Wednesday, June 20, 2007

reflecting Scripture/ the Story

It is important for us to be in Scripture regularly, and to be engaged in all of it over time. We do this not on our own but as part of the Church so that what others have said in the past as well as in the present is taken into consideration, and more importantly what the Church has agreed on as a whole is held to, such as God as Trinity, etc. Of course I'm referring to the reading of Scripture and its meaning.

What I call for here is for us to work at reflecting Scripture and the Story of God found in it, and doing so in a way that helps us enter by faith ourselves into God's story in Christ that continues to unfold in our world today.

While this is truly a lifelong work, we can begin right now and find identity and meaning, not on our own terms, nor on the world's terms, but on God's terms as we seek to remain true to his Word, Scripture. This can cause us to ask uncomfortable questions about ourselves and our world, and indeed it should. If it doesn't, it really means we're not engaged in this, and that we're really not hearing the voice of God in Christ through it.

Metaphorically, at least, we can and will, if we persist, hear God's voice through Christ, dim as it may seem. It will be more like impressions or waves on us of what, we may not know. But it becomes clearer as we keep digging and seeking to listen, clearer in the sense of us finding more and more our own place in the story even while there may be many things we continue not to understand.

Then I begin to find identity, my own, as I learn to reflect on God, his greatness and goodness, his active and interactive love. As I look at Bible characters and can see myself in them. And as I see the power of sin, but God's greater power of salvation and grace for us in Christ.

I'll keep working on this. What about you? How do you work on this?


odysseus said...

Good thoughts here, Ted. I think one of the ways we can understand this is through community. We discover who we are within that community, whether family, work, or church. Actually, a combination of all of these. Archbishop Tutu likes the African word 'ubuntu'. It is an idiom meaning (roughly) 'A person is a person through other persons.' So, not only do we understand ourselves from Scripture and our place within the story, we understand who we are in the midst of other people. That is why statements like 'I'm going off alone to find myself' are nonsense. Everything we are and everything we yearn to be is caught up, mysteriously, within this idea of community. When we treat other people as 'sub-human' we become sub-human ourselves. When we treat the planet as something that we can just use and discard, we see that we are linked in very really ways, to the preservation of the planet.

Likewise, as you said, in our reading of scripture, we discover who we are and how we fit, within God's story. And, it is best if we also seek the understanding of those who have gone on before us. We see, through history (tradition) how the church has thought about certain things.

But, to me, one of the greatest factors is our understanding, not only who we are in the story, but who everyone else is as well. We are all connected in our humanity. If we see other humans as 'devil's what does that make us?

Peace be with you.

+ OD

Ted Gossard said...

OD, Thanks so much for your thoughts here. So good and I resonate with them.

I wish I would have believed this years ago, and am now only beginning to find out just how very important community is in the life of God in Christ.

Our identity is certainly wrapped up in what and who we are a part of. Without that we really are at a loss. But with it we begin to fit into the whole and ongoing Story of God in Christ.