We scrapbook ourselves into the Bible.
We cut out everyone we know. We Xacto every institution of our modern day.
And we paste them all into the pages of scripture, into the places we think they best fit.
We might take a friend, rip him out of his modern life, and paste him into the story of the prodigal son. We’ll put his name right next to the character he most resembles. The younger brother.
Or we scissor out whole churches, and place them in the margins, and between the lines of the book of First Corinthians.
We even chainsaw whole countries out of 2017 and drag them back in time. They get glued overtop of the ancient nations of Israel, Egypt, or Babylon.
But, it’s not all bad.
Sometimes our collages are works of art, full of truth and beauty. Scrapbook Bibles of hope, contextualized for our modern world.
But other times, they have been murder notes.
Black Africans were ripped out of their land by White American Christians, and glued next to Bible verse about obeying slave masters.
The slaves were smart though. They learned that they had been pasted into the wrong places in the Bible. So, they ripped themselves out, and taped their whole race to completely different passages of the Bible. To pages that spoke of God’s liberation for the slave, and justice for the oppressed.
The dilemma is this: the powerful often think the weak belong on certain pages of the Bible. And they are willing to kill to keep them there.
But the weak* know a secret.
The whole Bible was written by them and for them. It’s their palette.
The meek will inherit the scissors and the glue.
God knows they’re better at art projects.
Because the most beautiful collage of scripture and human life was wrought by God himself. When he was at his weakest.
Dear America, beware of the narratives you glue yourself to.
*weak - used here only in terms of voice, power, wealth, or social status.