I know because
Hebrews 2: 10-18 (NRSVA)
10 It was fitting that God, for whom and through whom all things exist, in bringing many children to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through sufferings. 11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters, 12 saying,
‘I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters,
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you.’
13 And again,
‘I will put my trust in him.’
‘Here am I and the children whom God has given me.’
14 Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by the fear of death. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels, but the descendants of Abraham. 17 Therefore he had to become like his brothers and sisters in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself was tested by what he suffered, he is able to help those who are being tested.
Imagine, just for a second, if no-one had written down the happenings and remembrances of Jesus’s life. How different a world would we live in? There would perhaps be a few less divisions over syntax and misreadings of context but there would also be so much missing from our understanding of Jesus and his ministry that I find myself immensely glad people wanted to record his words in a way that could one day make it to me.
Because they wrote it down I know that Jesus called me his sister. Because they wrote it down I know that Jesus felt things I feel even though it was so long ago. Because they wrote it down I know he called God Abba. Because they wrote it down I know that Jesus came to help people, people who were not always the best, or the richest, or the cleverest, or the prettiest. Because they wrote it down I know that Jesus came for messed-up-making-it-through people like me. And I think they wrote it down because they knew people like me — like us — would forever need to know that.
Dear God of the Gospels,
Thank you that you inspired people to write things down
Thank you that you sent your son to earth as a human
Thank you that you still speak to us through ancient words