Today I received a copy of "The Word on the Street" by Rob Lacey. For those of you who are not familiar with the book, it's a paraphrase of the Bible, but with more of an urban flare to it than "The Message".
Tonight as I was browsing through it, I already found myself being refreshed by the words. Sometimes a different perspective on the same text can make a big difference. Consider Isaiah 53:1-6:
"Who would credit it? Who'd have foreseen this plot line in God's liberation story? He grew up vulnerable as a sapling in a concrete yard. Not especially attractive; nothing particularly regal about him: he didn't stand out in a crowd, your Mr. Average. He was dissed by most, given the cold shoulder by many. There was a sadness about him. You could see in his face that he was on personal terms with grief. People blocked him out, verbally abused him, didn't rate him.
But whoa! Step back a sec! Weren't those our weakness he took on? Wasn't that our sadness he carried? But we were convinced he'd been rubbed out of God's good books, punished by him, held down by him. How wrong can you be?! He was messed up by our mess. He was knocked down for our slip-ups. The slapping we should've got- he got. And we got serenity instead. His punishment beating left him half-human and us whole and fully human. We've all wandered off like lost boys, all followed our own directions. And God's punished him for everything we've done."
While obviously paraphrases aren't study Bibles, in my personal devotions I have a feeling I'll be enjoying this one!