I love sandwiches. When I was a little guy my favorite sandwich was peanut butter with pickles. I could barely wait for lunch at school so I could have my sandwich. One of the great things about a peanut butter sandwich is you can spread the peanut butter clear out to the edges. A fried egg sandwich is even better because it hangs out over the edges. Many kinds of sandwiches require one to eat three or four bites of just bread before you get to the internal goodies. Those are not my favorite kind.
They remind me of many books. One has to read several pages before it starts to taste good. You have to chew on the setup and the background before you really begin to feed on the story. I had to read a hundred pages before I got into The Brothers Karamazov. That’s a lot of edge bread.
The story of Jesus can be like a good peanut butter sandwich if one starts with some of the miracle stories, especially if you are very young. But like a sandwich with the goodies farther in one has to have a bit of maturity to grasp the Sermon on the Mount. (I still don’t. I need to keep eating.) The stories of Paul’s travels are a good way to begin but the real meat isn’t in Acts. It is in Ephesians and Galatians. The stories in Acts are like the bites of bread on the edge. They are good but not the really good stuff in the middle.
If you sometimes find yourself wanting to understand more but quickly bog down, keep reading. I promise you, you will get past the edges and ultimately discover the absolute wonder at the heart of it all.
Written by Roger Bothwell on December 2, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574