So I went to the angel and told him to give me the scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will make you sick to your stomach,
but sweet as honey in your mouth.”
You will have to slow up your imagination to catch all the strong images that John unfolds for us in his visions. Just as in yesterday’s psalm about good and evil and about which one is going to win, so too the verses of these chapters share similar stories, though much more grand and big.
Let’s take the image of eating the scroll which we find in 10:9-11. When we read the Bible each day, it really is like eating it! We are meant not only to take the words in our mind, but into our whole body and person as well. Just as in the case of Holy Communion, so also when we read God’s Word with great attention, this Word enters us completely and can change us. At first, says John, there is a sweetness to it, like honey. But then, as the Word really gets inside us, the challenge to our lives and to our call to be witness to God can move us so much that it might feel like food upsetting the stomach.
There’s a swing from sweet and sour with God’s Word….But then again, there’s a sauce for Chinese food that deliberately is sweet and sour for the enjoyment of eating certain foods. So really, the sweet and sour aspects of God’s Word blends into an overall great enjoyment, for the sourness becomes the joy of God’s power and triumph soon to come, just as happens in the glorious ending of the reading for today.
Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
The scroll—both bitter and sweet 10:9
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.
This is the last week in the season of Kingtomtide,
autumn in the north Year B.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
In this season we are reading 1st and 2nd Thessalonians.
These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet. More information…