Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What do you know?


I participate in an online (and sometimes in person) community known as Emergent Village. EV has gone through several configurations over the year, but basically it is a community in which to have conversations about Christianity in a postmodern context – the practice, exploration and even rejection of the faith.

Anyone who has been a part of Emergent Village knows that it has its share of conflict and frustrations because of all the different personalities and intentions that gather at the table.

As an experimental practice to try to open up a space for conversation where people are coming at scripture from different backgrounds (and may be moving in different directions with their faith), we are trying to engage scripture passages from a lectionary with a few “simple” questions:

1) What encourages you about this passage? (gives you hope, inspires you to act, makes you feel peace or joy, etc.)

2) What disturbs you about this passage? (frustrates or confuses you, makes you angry or sad, etc.)

3) What questions does this passage raise? What would you like to explore more?

That’s it. We want to practice reading scripture as a community, in a way that is not mining for rules or feigning certainty, but rather as an honest reading where we feel safe to be vulnerable. We want to say what makes us angry, what doesn’t seem to add up. We want to say what brings us joy and fills us with hope. We want to express our questions and maybe even explore them more together.

This may be a practice you want to try in your own scripture reading or in your local community. I hope that it can encourage and enrich you, particularly if scripture has become something you avoid out of expectations that have been placed on you. 

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