Seeing beyond the present surface of history (Deuteronomy 8; Acts 8,26-end)
‘Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him. For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; a land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates… And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the Lord thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.’
Under the surface of our prosperity and well being (individually and as a community), at its roots, there is our liberation by God. Our Exodus from Egypt is always there as the very ground of our present life. The ‘material surface’ should lead our attention to these past gifts.
In the Acts, we learn how Philip baptised the Ethiopian official, who was reading prophet Isaiah but could not understand it. It is a symbolic reminder, how important it is to keep the Bible as part of public discourse. The Sacred texts, if part of public consciousness, can become events of personal revelations. ‘Keeping the Bible alive’ also has a communal meaning. Keeping the Bible as a live book stands for the ability to see beneath the surface of our present history. There is no other window which would help in preserving the meaning of life (‘the Sacred’).
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..