"Breaking Open The Word"
The Question: What simple messages from the Bible are you missing?
My answer is _____ I have missed many messages from the Bible, but things are improving.
In today's reflection Fr. Richard begins by talking about the practice of the Quakers
and Mennonites. He says, "They are well practiced in being a minority. They
don't need to have crowds around them to believe that it is the truth. They gather
in little groups and share the Word of God."
Joe and I find more and more groups emerging who are interested in small, intimate
gatherings as opposed to large groups of people where anonymity is valued. We
are blessed to serve a church of two-hundred and fifty members who know one another,
work and worship side by side, study scripture together and venture out two-by-two
in God's name. And, we are exploring what it means to be church in our emerging
culture in this post-modern era.
As we approach 2010, Joe and I are looking forward to meeting for two years with
a group of persons who are interested in exploring "Innovative Monasticism."
Our hope, in this collaboration with forty other people, is that we can study
Scripture, practice classical spiritual disciplines and then more deliberately
and thoughtfully follow in The Way of Jesus. It is exciting precisely because
it is participatory.
We have used the Bible in many ways in our culture during recent years. In his book "The
New Christians" Tony Jones speaks to my point. In a discussion with other
young ministers Tony said some very provocative things about the Bible.
"In my experience, evangelicals read the Bible like a science book, looking
for clues that would establish its truth, in order to prove that the events recorded
in the Bible actually took place and to justify what they say it says about women's
roles in the church and the abonimation of homosexuality. I knew mainliners,
on the other hand, who read the Bible with a healthy dose of skepticism, almost
visibly uncomfortable with the extraordinary claims of miracles and items of
faith like the resurrection. But I had started to think that either of these
approaches is a misappropriation of the Bible. It is a living, breathing document
that makes a claim on its reader's lives."
In a journal entry I wrote the question, "So Suzanne, is the Bible a living,
breathing document that has made a claim on your life?" My answer was, "The
Bibile has made a claim on my life, but there are days when it is not living
Father Richard helps us experience the Bible as both living and breathing when he
asks the following questions today.
Matthew 1:20 "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife,
for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit."
Q. Do you really think Joseph understood what was happening?
Q. Was his trust in Mary, his dreams and the visions of angels really total certitude?
Q. Or was it actually faith?
My brothers and sisters, if you want the Bible to live and breathe take some time
and answer those questions. But be warned, it will change your life!