The other day I was listening to a recorded lecture by a professor at the seminary.  At one point, he began to speak about Jesus’ birth as a vastly different “sign” than the other signs to which people in Ancient Palestine ascribed significance, and he got choked up.  He began to expound on the fact that God announced His presence in the most unlovely and unlikely way, but he kept pausing in order to regain his composure.

Though he studies the New Testament daily as his profession and knows intimately the technicalities of the original text, it still brings him to tears.  The magnificence of God still slays him.  The beauty of His Word still causes him to catch his breath.  He has plumbed the depths of Scripture and has found more than mere intellectual knowledge.  He has found God.  And because he has found Him, he loves Him.  The more he studies, the greater his love is for the One who wrote the text.

How often have we left a church service, wondering how many more times we must listen to a sermon about a particular topic? 

How often do we want to skip over familiar passages of Scripture because, surely, there is no further wisdom for us to glean from them?

Dare I say, how often do we partake of communion without being undone by the magnitude of Christ’s work on the cross for us?

It has been said that familiarity breeds contempt.

But I think familiarity can also breed affection.

There are biblical scholars who fail to let the Word take root in their hearts, and there are beggars who will be first at the Kingdom feast (Luke 13:29-30). 

But there are also academics who are overcome by humility in their studies, and laypeople who assume they have heard it all before. 

Jesus commanded us to remain in Him (John 15:5).

He told us this so that our “joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

What has happened to all your joy?  (Galatians 4:15)