Disconnet happens all the time. People might attend a church service, crack open a Bible and read a passage or two, read something online, shrug their shoulders and say something like, “What does that have to do with real life?” And they have a point. Real life according to scripture begins with a commitment to the God who has committed himself to the world in and through Christ. Without that, the point of scripture is entirely lacking, is indeed missed. So there has to be that basic orientation to God in and through Jesus found in the gospel, the good news of Jesus, God’s coming and saving work in him.
That being in place, then by God’s Spirit scripture as God’s written word can begin to speak to us, God speaking to us through the word. This takes for granted that we are reading and approaching it both in the fellowship of the Trinity, and in the fellowship of the church. God’s people are taken up into this fellowship together. So that we don’t do well reading it on our own, by ourselves. We need to read it ourselves and with others of our own church and of the church at large, including the church spread throughout time back to its beginning in Acts as the (“mystical”) body of Christ.
And when we read it in the tradition, we employ reason as well, knowing that scripture is written to appeal to us in our reasoning, and ultimately to our wills in our submitting even our reasoning to God and his will. God’s written word rings true in this context. And over time. If we expect as it were to be zapped and transported into a new existence, something different overnight, simply because we’re in the word, then we will be disappointed. Actually something of that nature does take place through faith and baptism, the beginning rudiments of it. But being in the word is part of a commitment that carries on through thick and thin, in spite of the lack of experience, being encouraged over whatever experience does help verify this to us. It takes time. But ordinarily in small yet significant ways in short intervals, and in life altering ways through the long run, God’s written word will do its work, one part of that: to connect with us in helping us see its truth and relevance to life.
It’s up to us in our commitment to Christ and to his body, the church, to continue on, in the word and prayer. God is faithful; we will find our way into God’s way for us in Jesus. If we continue on, not turning to the right or to the left, eyes set in a singular focus on God’s will for us and for the world in and through Jesus. Dependent on God and his grace throughout, to help us again and again get back on track, when we do stray.