The Saturday Post: "This is my Bible," Osteen meets Orthodoxy


As sure as Sunday, every week, Joel Osteen takes the stage at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, holds his Bible in the air and invites the congregation to declare these words with him:

Back when we lived in Texas, we visited Lakewood from time to time in its pre-arena neighborhood. The late John Osteen had the same practice. Only his version was somewhat longer. Admittedly, it’s fun and somewhat light hearted, and as far as liturgy goes, it’s a lot more lively than a lot of what we see. Heck, even Carmen has gotten in on the act.

It’s gotten me thinking about taking this practice a step further. In preparing to preach this Sunday, I’ve chosen Psalm 130 from the lections for the week. Early in the week verse 5 caught my attention.

“I wait for the Lord. My soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.”

I began thinking of some of the many ways Scripture makes reference to itself. Through the week I’ve shaped them into my own “This is my Bible” liturgy. Take a look: (congregation in bold)

I wait for the Lord. My soul waits

And in his word I put my hope.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

This word is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

The word of God is perfect: reviving the soul.

The word of God is trustworthy: making wise the simple.

The word of God is right: giving joy to the heart.

The word of God is radiant: giving light to the eyes.

The fear of God is pure: enduring forever.

The word of God is sure: and altogether righteous.

Your word is more precious than gold, than much pure gold.

Your word is sweeter than honey, than honey from the comb.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

therefore I will delight in the Word of the Lord

and on his Word I will meditate day and night.

I wait for the Lord. My soul waits

And in his word I put my hope. 

Blessed be the name of the Lord. 

(adapted from Psalm 1, 19, 119, 130, John 1, Hebrews 4)

What if we chanted it with the exuberance of football fans every week in the arena (i.e. sanctuary)? I think we will try it tomorrow. Anybody want to give it a shot with me? If so, tell me how it goes in the comments below.

“Say it like you mean it!”

Follow him on twitter @jdwalt. Read his blog here.



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