This summer I’ll be highlighting some Biblical Storytelling, my favorite way to approach the texts. Allowing imagination to breathe life back into the stories has some interesting consequences. I can’t always tell, when I get started, where the story will end up. Often, once I have the characters in my imagination, they start showing me things I never expected, or asking me to research things that I haven’t yet considered. For example, this Sunday I will be sharing the story of Peter as he dares to walk on water. I haven’t written the story yet, but Peter is suggesting to me that I need a little more information about the size and depth of the sea, the kind of fish that tend to be found there, the color of the water, what stars might be seen overhead. I am not sure if any of that will end up part of the story; still Peter needs me to be more familiar with his surroundings if he is going to tell me what was in his heart that moment when he asked Jesus to bid him to walk on the waves.
Storytelling also implies a living relationship with the texts for me. The story I might cook up today may be nothing like the one I discovered 5 years ago. And it has an implicit invitation for you to allow your imagination to scan these texts as well. Together we make space for the texts to show us something rather than expecting a granular and bounded declaration of what the texts “mean.” When people ask me what the bible says, I always think: What the bible says to who? And in what circumstance? And does it say anything at all if you don’t demonstrate a willingness to enter it’s domain and stay a little while?
So come for some stories (and a Sunday of singing old hymns).
In the meanwhile, may you enjoy the story of your life, and be blessed by the music of your spirit.
Subject to change, here is a look at what I’ll be up to this summer from the pulpit:
June 24: Peter walks on Water; Matthew 14:22-33
July 1: The hemorrhaging woman; Mark 5:25-34
July 22: Hymn Sunday; we can sing whatever you want to, plus I’ll share a few of my favorites and why
Aug 12: Feeding the 5,000; Matthew 14:13-21
Aug 19: The woman at the well; John 4:1-42