Thursday, December 02, 2010

Learning How to Read

Scripture never ceases to amaze me. I love how the Spirit of God can take a well worn passage and familiar story and bring it to life again - as if for the first time. This is the power of Scripture. Yet, there is a danger in coming to well worn and familiar portions of text. There is a tendency to come to the text as the teacher, rather than the student. If we are not careful, we can impose on the text what we already know (or think we know). In doing so, what we know may become the very stumbling block that keeps us from learning something we don't know (at least experientially). Therefore, we must approach the text as a student, as one who listens more than speaks.

The Nativity Story is one of these such passages - one filled with insight, power and relevance that can burst into our very present circumstances, but we mustn't assume we know what's going to happen. The more "familiar" a text has become to us cognitively, the more cautious and slowly we should approach it. Perhaps, as one would approach a dove - slowly, softly, gently, quietly - so as not to startle it and miss the close encounter that is at hand. I intentionally and prayerfully try to engage the text of Scripture in such manner, especially with passages that have become well learned (or at least well-heard) like the nativity passages.

On that note, I'm pretty excited about the new series we began last night called Nativity Reflections.

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