Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Theologically Speaking

Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.  John 5:24

Good morning, Friends.  It’s the second week of Lent and I’ve already missed a post for this past Saturday.  But, the thing about Lent is that it isn’t about being perfect.  It’s about instilling disciplines that help us to grow in our faith and our relationship with God.  Failures are only truly failures if we fail to learn from them.  Saturday, when I sat down to write, I was reading over the lectionary passages for the day and even began writing something but it all sounded so forced I just couldn’t finish it.  I did have the intention of coming back to it but I let the regular tasks of my week prevent me from doing so.  And so as the old monk once said when asked what did he do all day “I fall down, I get up, I fall down, I get up…”  

This morning as I sat down, I was apprehensive, what if I couldn’t come up with anything that I feel is worthy of your time to read?  First, today is the commemoration of the martyr Perpetua and her Companions.  My very first writing assignment in seminary was on Perpetua.  I remember being so very afraid of saying the “wrong” thing, of taking a story of someone willing to die because of her faith in Christ and botch it, theologically speaking.  Even after almost 3 years of learning and writing about theology, that fear has not gone away completely.  I still struggle with giving my theological voice credit.  I think, perhaps though, the most valuable thing I’ve learned is that unless I allow my studies not only inform my mind but also my heart and my actions, I don’t deserve any credit.  Knowing about God should never be separated from knowing God and being in relation with him. 

In my devotional reading for this morning there was a quote from Henri Nouwen:
 To take the holy scriptures and read them is the first thing we have to do to open ourselves to God’s call.  Reading the scriptures is into as easy as it seems….We tend to make anything and everything we read subject to analysis and discussion.  But the word of God should lead us first of all to contemplation and meditation….We should be willing to let them penetrate into the most hidden corners of our hearts, even those places where no other word has yet found entrance.
My prayer is not for greater confidence in my writing but for greater humility – that God will let his word continuously move and form me so I can effectively share my experience with others so that they are moved by God as well.  

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and redeemer. Psalm 19:14.  

God’s peace be with you,

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