My doctoral supervisor, Robert Wilken, is fond of calling the Bible "a carried book." It never just sits there in a vacuum, he says, it is always handed to you by someone. And as they hand it to you, some claim, some context, some tradition, is handed down along with it. Of course, Prof. Wilken is talking about grand claims in historical theology. But the universal is also particular--the grand claims also play out in our lives. I like the image, and it made me think of all of those people who have handed the Bible down to me over the years. All the pastors, all the Young Life and FOCUS leaders, all the Bible study leaders, friends and relatives, who have at one point or another handed me a bit of Scripture, some little fragment of light from the Word of God, and said, Here, I think this applies.
This morning, the Scriptures were handed to me by a student at Darden School of Business here at the University of Virginia. Apparently it's the greatest business school in the world (that's what I hear from the students anyway). I support the Christian Fellowship there, and we had an early morning Bible Study. So much of the Christian life is about learning to read the Bible right where we are. Read the Bible in the hospital. Read the Bible in the living room. Read the Bible in Darden. He carried in a little bit of Nehemiah, and we all read it. He handed it to us and said, here, I think this applies.
Darden students are busy people. I think it's how they prepare them for the pace of American business. They've learned to cram a lot into their day. And the most important thing to cram in is just a few minutes of Scripture to remind them of the far country to which they belong, the Kingdom of God, and to remind them of the language that is spoken there.