For instance, did you know the apostle Paul had a sister and a nephew? I was totally surprised when I discovered that recently. I was preparing for a Bible study on the book of Acts when I read: “Now the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush, so he went and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul.” (Acts 23:16)
The people at the Bible study were surprised about this, also. This is a bit of biblical trivia, but the Bible can surprise us and challenge us in profound ways if we take and read it on a regular basis.
I recently read a story about a man who reads through the psalms every month, six psalms a day, and writes one verse from each psalm in a notebook. His daughter says that when she was a child she would sometimes read the six psalms to her dad and they would talk about which verse to write down.
The verse they chose one day might be completely different than the one they chose when they read the same psalm a month or a year later. All these years later, this man has notebook after notebook filled with verses from the psalms. It is a record of the surprising newness of the familiar, a record of the intersection of the Bible and living.
The Bible is not just for Sunday. When we spend time with it on a regular basis, no matter how familiar we may be with it, there is always the possibility of being surprised by the living God.
Rev. Burris is the senior pastor of Goliad Presbyterian Church