A story that doesn’t end with Revelation

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash. Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash.

When I think about the interpre­tation of scripture, my mind goes back to my Biblical Literature course at Hesston College. (Thank you, Marion Bontrager and Michele Hershberger, for your genius and stewardship of the course for so many Hesston students and alumni.)

I remember being asked to consider how we have interacted with the Bible throughout our lives. Was the Bible a mystical book? A book like any other? God’s rule book? Or something else?

For many of us, our relationship with the Bible changes throughout our lives. At that point in my life, one of the most powerful gifts the course gave to me was a sense of connection to God’s story — a story that didn’t end with the Book of Revelation. At the end of the course, students were required to tell the story of God, beginning with Genesis and concluding with themselves, today.

I teared up as I finished my presentation — which recounted a timeline of events past the era of scripture, to the Reformation, to my family, to my parents and, finally, to me.

The exercise connected me to the immensity of God’s love — from the beginning of time to right now, from the lives of every living being to my own existence, from prophets, psalmists and the woman who met Jesus at the well to my own encounters with the divine.

It was a lesson that stuck with me.

In this issue, you’ll hear from writers who invite us to consider how we understand, read and interact with scripture. Reta Halteman Finger’s article has me reflecting on these words: “Anabaptists take scripture seriously, a commendable attribute. The challenge lies in seeking the essence of Jesus’ gospel amid the vast gap between our cultural context and the ancient world of the Middle East.”

Reading seriously to live faithfully provides endless opportunities for reflection and growth. We hope this issue’s articles contribute to your own journey with scripture.

On a different note, I’m pleased to tell you that the Associated Church Press affirmed the work of our writers and editors at its recent convention. On page 37 you’ll find a report of the ACP awards, including recognition of editors Tim Huber and Paul Schrag and columnists Sarah Kehrberg and Lucinda J. Kinsinger.

Also, two of our board members, Melissa Florer-Bixler and Dawn Araujo-Hawkins, received awards for articles in The Christian Century.

One of the awards — for letters to the editor — belongs to you, our readers. The “Letters & Comments” page received an Award of Excellence. We are excited about this award because it recognizes that readers care enough about what we publish to engage in conversation about it — which is what every writer and editor hopes for.

Danielle Klotz

Danielle Klotz is executive director of Anabaptist World. She lives in Goshen Indiana with her partner Nata and their sons Read More

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