Hi, hello, how are ya? Still trying to stay afloat during an ongoing pandemic while also contending with *checks notes* the biggest European land invasion since WWII by a tyrannical despot who could nuke us to kingdom come at the drop of a hat? Cool, coolcoolcoolcoolcoolcool.
Right, so…it’s been a minute. My last post is from 2019 and it was about a Substack newsletter I started and promptly abandoned, just like all my other writing ventures. But it’ll be different this time, I swear! I finally got an official ADHD/anxiety/depression diagnosis and am working on finding a good medicine regiment! It’s going…pretty well, actually! I don’t think I’m on a high enough dose yet, but I’m working with my care team over at Cerebral and I feel better than I have in years. Very cool and chill to be lucid and focused on my little tasks and emails as the world crumbles around me.
Now that things are getting on an even keel personally, I want to get back to writing and writing consistently. I pay $60 a year for this humble little slice of the web and it’s time to start getting my money’s worth.
I’ve been getting back to my Lutheran roots over the past few months (global tumult will do that to ya) and started going to church again. I’ve found a truly excellent community at Salem Catonsville, just down the street from my house, led by the incomparable Pastors Dave Asendorf and Sarah Garrett Krey. Going there consistently has rekindled something in me that’s been missing for the better part of fifteen years.
I still don’t know entirely where I stand on what I believe — and in fact, there’s a blog post that’s been sitting in my drafts since 2018-ish that will eventually go into my lifelong spiritual journey in greater detail — but I do know that this is something I want to explore more. Going to church and hearing sermons on Gospel texts is helpful, but I think it’s finally high time to actually read the thing that centers Christians. That’s right: I’m reading the Bible, in chronological order from the New International Version (NIV)*, and I’m going to do it in 365 days. In a row? We’ll see.
I’m not just going to be reading it, though. I’m going to use this space to explore the daily texts — questions, commentary, reflections, what have you. I’m bringing a LOT of baggage with me as I read the Bible, but am going to try and keep as open a mind as possible. It’s a pretty heady text, and there are lots of things I don’t fully know or understand, like historical context. That’s all going to be laid out pretty clearly as I write (and hopefully, you read!) these posts.
Tons and tons of people more educated and just plain smarter than me have written about the Bible. Pastors, scholars, seminarians, professors, etc. You’ll find that stuff anywhere if you know where to look. That’s not, and I cannot stress this enough, what you’ll be getting here. I’m just an ordinary human doing their best to parse this text. You’re probably not going to find anything groundbreaking or mind-blowing in what I’m writing, but maybe you’ll get something out of it anyway…even if it’s just that I’m probably out of my gourd on some interpretations.
Some other caveats: I’m going to swear (hopefully not a lot, but a lot of these passages are just varying buckets of yikes). I’m going to make jokes. Probably some crass ones. I like humor. I know that the Bible is Serious Business, but my entire personality is bringing levity to situations, even when/especially it might be inappropriate. Sometimes I can and will read the room and sometimes I am Jared, 19.
So, that’s what I’m going to be attempting, and I hope you’ll join me!
Writing about it.
Sharp rocks at the bottom?
Bring it on.
*I settled on this version after a bit of research as it seems to be the most balanced between literal translation and application of meaning and ideas. It’s also, I think, one of the most “readable” versions and I’d like to focus more on interpretation than working through the language/syntax.