Three times in the New Testament, Jesus is referred to as Author. Peter called him the Author of life (Acts 3:15), and the writer of Hebrews referred to him as the Author of salvation (2:10) as well as the Author and Finisher of our faith (12:2).
As someone who enjoys writing, I’m intrigued by this title for Jesus. How is he like an author? And how should his role as Author impact my life?
Research and ponderings took me down these pathways:
Writers are creators. Where a character, place, or idea did not exist before, an author brings them to life. Without C.S. Lewis, for example, we would not know Aslan, the great and noble lion, the land of Narnia, or the concept of a New Narnia with its astounding dimensions: ” The further up and the further in you go, the bigger everything gets. The inside is larger than the outside” (The Last Battle, Book #7 of the Narnia series, p. 180).
Jesus, the Author of life, participated in the creation of the world, including us. “By him all things were created in heaven and earth…all things were created by him and for him.” (See also Note #1.)
Writers animate settings, characters, and ideas with the choicest words they can find. The sentence, “A bird sat on the gate looking over the snowy field,” becomes “A black and white magpie, sitting on the rail of a gate, reigned benevolently over the tranquility of a snowy field” (from Lisette’s List by Susan Vreeland, p. 322). Jesus animates our lives with his choicest blessings: purpose, hope, contentment, and joy.
Writers cajole their ideas on the page, striving to form nebulous concepts into clear, solidly built statements. They organize their thoughts, structure sentences, and decide upon word selection. Jesus lovingly coaxes us along, slowly over time sharpening the fuzzy understandings of our faith into solidly built knowledge, wisdom, and conduct.
Writers peel away redundancies, wordiness, and boring details. Jesus peels away our sins, spiritually unhealthy habits, and weighty emotions like discouragement, anxiety, and fear—any excesses that keep us from being our best selves.
According to author, Joan Lowery, writing is “a complicated mixture of art, craft, structure, free-flowing ideas, unleashed imagination, soaring hopes, wondrous insights, giddy joy, deep satisfaction, strong persistence and solid determination” (from The Making of a Writer, pp. 1-2).
As we allow the Author of Life (2) to write upon our souls, he applies these same processes. Persistently and determinedly he:
- crafts our spirits into works of poetry (Ephesians 2:10) (3),
- offers us safe structure in which to function (Proverbs 2:6-8),
- exposes us to ideas of freedom we never knew existed (John 8:31),
- surprises us with more blessings than we could ever imagine (Ephesians 3:20),
- fills us to overflowing with hope (Romans 15:13),
- imparts wondrous insights, especially through his Word (Psalm 119:130),
- bestows his complete joy upon us (John 15:11), and
- fills our hearts with deep satisfaction (Luke 6:21, John 10:10).
Joan Lowery’s long list of writing components (above) appears daunting. It’s a wonder anyone puts pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.
Yet there are many of us who actually enjoy the process—the discovery of new information and ideas as we research, the development of clearer understanding while wrestling with a concept; the puzzle-assembling of thoughts into organized paragraphs and words into precise sentences; the delight of creating a musical rhythm among the syllables.
In fact, Truman Capote asserted:
(“The greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about,
but the inner music the words make”
Surely Jesus feels the same. His purpose as Author is not to produce best sellers of our life stories. He’s interested in relationship. In collaboration with each of us, Jesus wants to write upon our souls and create inner music together: symphonies of joy, madrigals of peace, and songs of love.
Praise God, he takes great pleasure in the process (Psalm 149:4, Philippians 2:13).
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- For the record, Genesis 1:2 and Psalm 104:30 give us glimpses of the Holy Spirit’s role as well.
- God the Father and the Holy Spirit are also involved in the process, of course, as three-in-one.
- Paul said, “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:10). That word, workmanship, is translated from the Greek word, poema, from which we derive our English word, poem. Our triune God is making us into heavenly pieces of poetry—“the highest, finest, most beautiful expressions of his thought and purpose!” (Herbert Lockyer, Seasons of the Lord, 330).