Recently I am across this picture of Homer Simpson reading his bible. At first his expression made me laugh but the more I thought about it the more I decided that this was truly an insightful depiction of me reading my bible.
First Homer looks worried. Do you ever feel worried when you read some of the bible. I do. Mostly because I have this sense that I just don’t understand it. I know its all inspired, and all brilliant but, well you know, we all have bits that just don’t make sense!
Second I like the way he’s flicking. I like to think he doesn’t know what bit to read. Its a big old book – I often pick it up and can’t remember what I read last time so I wonder ‘”What shall I read”…
Third I like the way he’s flicking BACKWARDS. I guess he’s wondering what is the connection between the Old and the New testaments. (Yeah, he is!) Sometimes it sure doesn’t seem like the same book does it? My studies at Westminster Theological College have helped me see that there is continuity. This was a big issue for me when I started – all that love in the new, and blood in the old. By looking at Jesus context a bit more its begun to make sense. I now rejoice in a new set of questions!
Fourth he looks confused. See the other points.
Fifth – he’s reading it. As someone who owns seven box sets of the Simpson’s I think I can say that Homer’s occasional brushes with God are usually when things are going wrong for him. I remember his prayer ‘Oh Lord, are we the most pathetic family or what?’ Now that reflects his sense of failure as a parent, and which parent hasn’t been there eh? C’mon you have.
I don’t know what happens next. Maybe he just throws the bible into the fire with a cry of ‘There’s no help here’ – that would seem likely knowing how impulsive Homer is. Which of course, is me all over. I need to be still and quiet to hear.