Thursday, September 28, 2006

hello, my name is...

tonight was the first small group bible study i've been to in a long time. all part of my new quest to get me some community - i wore a nametag and everything; i hate wearing nametags. didn't have any awkward small talk, lord be praised. i was curious to see how things would be, you know, post-theological education and all.

i've got some problems with how we do bible study - "we" being a general pronoun for the average church. let's go through a book of the bible, one chapter per week and make our best (largely uneducated) guesses at what the scripture is getting at. and with our western perspective, that means diving in from our contemporary viewpoint, jumping around to different verses, and immediately measuring ourselves against the passage. "do i live up to this passage?" (the answer: of course we don't, otherwise we wouldn't need grace), and so on. we were spending time in the word, but not really soaking it in so much. it had kind of a bull-in-a-china-shop feel to me in approaching scripture.

it made me appreciate the practice of lectio divina - of reading the word out loud, spending time in silence, soaking in the passage in a contemplative manner and letting it speak to us. and THEN sharing with each other.

i squirmed internally. i tried not to dominate the conversation. i know i know more than them, but that does not give me license to do my own bull in a china shop act. doesn't seem right to me. i'll go back, i guess. i want to meet people, after all, and be more involved at this church. this will not be my main source of intellectual stimulation, however. kind of a weird situation to find myself in.