Thursday, July 31, 2008

With a Little Help from my Friends

So I'm working on a sermon and finding more and more that I hate doing this in isolation. Maybe my life has been too bland for me to have enough good sermon fodder. Though I doubt it. More likely, when I have to regularly face the question, "Will this really matter to people?" I often have to say I'm not sure I have any idea.

Mennonites talk of a "communal hermeneutic". It's a tongue-twisting way of saying we believe in reading the bible together, in dealing with scripture as a team and in not trusting too much each other's individualistic tendencies. We test with each other whether or not ideas, beliefs, and interpretations make any sense, hold any water or really matter.

This is going to be a little experiment to try that. This may not float your boat. Some of you are likely completely indifferent to the bible or find it passe. If so, take this with a grain of salt. I have the task of facing it everyday and am finding it full of stories that confound me and keep me asking good questions of myself. I trust some of you find this too, or maybe this will be a place to discover that.

Regardless, here's the story I'm facing this week. If you have any thoughts, questions, bones to pick with it, or stories or feelings it stirs, let me know. Thanks for joining the fray that I tangle with most weeks...

Genesis 32:22-31

The same night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, "Let me go, for the day is breaking." But Jacob said, "I will not let you go, unless you bless me." So he said to him, "What is your name?" And he said, "Jacob." Then the man said, "You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed." Then Jacob asked him, "Please tell me your name." But he said, "Why is it that you ask my name?" And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved." The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

11 January, 2010  

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