A Personal Relationship With . . .

. . . Jesus Christ.

That’s how most of us in the evangelical world have grown accustomed to completing that sentence. In many ways, that phrase has become synonymous with modern American evangelical Christianity.

Yet I wonder if that notion of a living relationship with a living Lord accurately describes what goes on for many of us. Perhaps not.

It may well be more accurate to say that a lot of us have a personal relationship with words on a page. Like these words on this page:

I’ve been through seasons in my faith where my relationship with God — the wild, unpredictable, uncomfortable father of the Lord Jesus Christ — has been reduced to whatever principles and precepts I could get out of that day’s bible reading.

Now don’t get me wrong: I believe in the authority and inspiration of Scripture. There’s a reason we lift it up at Good Shepherd every Sunday.

Yet I want my connection with God to go beyond what I read about him in the arrangement of ink on a page. What I read should prepare me for an encounter with the living God, but it is not the encounter itself.

For the sake of my own spirit, I want my relationship with words to open me up to connection with the Word.