Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

If you’ve read my recent post Reading the Bible again for the first time, you would know that beginning this week I’ll be posting a weekly article on my study of the Gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary.

It’s been a while since I did any systematic study of a passage. I’ve enjoyed getting my feet wet again but have to go about it in a new way. I’m not preparing to write sermons. This isn’t a congregation. I’m trying to discover the impact of the text, reading through a new set of lenses, in hope of hearing what it says first of all to me personally and also to the broader faith community.

I don’t want this weekly post to be a mini-sermon, though you’re welcome to it if you need one, nor do I want to write a running commentary. I think I may include my personal commentary or behind the scenes work as a comment to the post for those die hard enough to want to read it.

It’s occured to me that you cannot have an honest dialouge about matters of faith and your journey deeper or farther away without first wrestling with scripture one on one. It’s easy to knock out theological lightweights and counter paper thin doctrinal diatribes, but it’s another matter altogether to wrestle with the angel until he blesses you, or in this case hear the text again for the first time.

You’re welcome to join the conversation any time. I always appreciate your feedback and comments, but as with everything on this blog it is a personal exercise in sanity that you are invited to eavesdrop on at your own peril.

For years I pillaged the Bible in search of sermons. I did my share of devotional reading too, but it was always hard to hear the text on a personal level separate from how it speaks to a congregation. When I left the pastorate, my reading of the Bible went the way of my church attendance for a while, but I did maintain devotions through the readings in Celtic Daily Prayer which had daily texts from the Old Testament, Psalms, and New Testament.

A lot of the reading that I’ve done lately has challenged me to go back to the text with a fresh pair of lenses with which to read, especially Marcus Borg’s book Reading the Bible Again for the First Time. There is a difference in reading devotional selections and wrestling with hard texts to flush out their context and bridge the gap to apply them today. I guess that is the one thing I miss most about being in the pulpit every week.

In the pursuit of fairness and balance I thought it might be best to begin with the lectionary selections and a weekly post on my struggle with the text. In particular I think I’m going to be using the gospel readings, because I’ve got unfinished business with the historical Jesus vs. evangelical Jesus. We’ll see what happens. It may generate discussion, but surely it will keep my edge sharpened.

I’ll try to have each post up by Saturday, just in case some of you guys still in the saddle want to bum some ideas from me to get your “Saturday night specials” ready for Sunday morning. Just kidding, I want to have my ideas in print before I hear a sermon that biases me towards the text. I make no promises, just giving you a warning for what’s coming.