I took a break from this weekly blog during Lent because of the daily devotions series. Many thanks to those of you who shared your thoughts and insights in what turned out to be a wonderfully eclectic and soul-affirming journey. And now we’re into the Easter season.
One of the topics that the wider church has been discussing for a number of years now is the role of the Bible in our personal and collective lives. How we read and interpret the Bible (or not!) says a lot about us. The passages that we elevate as central to faith and those that we minimize, disagree with, or ignore, shape how we go about life. And how we go about life in turn shapes our understanding of the Bible. Some of us have had a Bible-saturated life and have a complex and nuanced relationship with it, while others approach the Bible with a fresh curiosity, or a passive indifference.
Perhaps by now you’ve read or heard that this spring CMC is embarking on a Twelve Scriptures project – venturing to name the Twelve Scriptures that are of central importance to us. We would love for as many people as possible to be involved, with each person coming up with their own list of twelve to submit. These could be single verses (e.g. Micah 6:8), passages or chapters (e.g. Psalm 23), or stories (e.g. The Prodigal Son). Hey, a quarter of the way there! If you’re in a small group, this would make for a great discussion topic. If you’re a Sunday school teacher, you might consider giving a portion of one class to having your kids brainstorm and record their favorite Bible stories and why. It could even make for good conversation around family dinner.
Jim F. will be leading an adult Sunday school class which will serve as the hub of the project. All lists can be submitted to the church office and during their last session on May 18 members of Jim’s class will help discern the final list. Those twelve scriptures will be the basis of our summer worship.
But the Bible isn’t all Love your neighbor and Swords into ploughshares. There’s some rough stuff in there, and that very stuff might be part of the reason for our ambivalence or mixed feelings about said holy book. So, along with your top twelve, we invite each person to also submit the six passages that they find most difficult, confusing, or downright nasty. In my opinion, this would also make for a pretty good worship series sometime.
The Delightful Dozen and the Dangerous Half-Dozen, or something like that.
This should be fun, and hopefully will take us into a deeper and more authentic relationship with the book that has been the companion of the church from its early days.