In the Brackets

I have to admit that I’m a little more at home speaking words than writing them. ( I have delivered far more words in my life in speeches and sermons than in my writing.)

But I see the advantage in writing as a way of organizing my thinking and forcing my ideas into more coherent phrasings.   (Even though I find it a struggle, I find that writing helps me critique my ideas as I go and therefore helps me work toward clarity and focus in communicating my ideas.)

I also like writing because I can use brackets as I communicate.  (Was that already obvious?)

The reason I like brackets is that they (brackets) let me improvise on what I’ve just said.  (For instance, I can insert something else on the tailwind of my previous bloviating.)  How handy is that?  (I’ve just written twice as much without adding anything substantially different from the ideas I had already shared.)

In case you didn’t notice how clever I am, I just bracketed a bracket statement.

OK…..      I know you are growing tired of this rather overdone satire on the benefits of bracket statements.

And …..

…….as I’m confident you think there is no point whatsoever to these paragraphs,  let me hasten to make an observation or two.  (or three)  (or maybe four)

Life comes at us fast.

Sometimes we don’t understand what God is seeking to convey to us through our Bible study, our spiritual struggles and our life experiences.

But if we seek God’s will and keep our hearts and minds fixed on Him, He will often follow up with something to clarify and expand on His message to us.

In other words, be alert to what God says at first hearing.   And then pay attention to what He offers in His bracketed elaboration statements which follow His initial words.

One of the most striking examples I think of is the intent of God in the Old Testament.  God had some powerful things to say through the Law and the Prophets in the Hebrew Bible.

But read again,  Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”  Jesus is the bracket elaboration of what God is saying in the Law and Prophets.

When you think about it, the parables of Jesus are groupings of teachings set alongside what He had already said in other words.  The very meaning of the word parable is to state one thing alongside another.  The narratives of Jesus in parable form are clarifications and elaboration of His previous teaching on the same theme.

So keep a keen eye out for God’s after statements.  (His bracketed elaborations.)

For often, this is where the real understanding of God and His agenda can be discerned.

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About Gary Cleveland

An old chunk of coal waiting to become a diamond some day. I spend the bulk of my time focused on spiritual development. I teach, preach and stand by the hurting and wounded. I believe our heavenly Father offers us daily opportunities to discover who we are and what we can yet become. I serve as a bringer of good news in and around the city of Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
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One Response to In the Brackets

  1. preacherman says:

    Great Post Gary.
    I enjoy your blog so much brother.
    I hope all is well and wish you, your family and ministry many blessings in Christ.

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