What a marvelous Holy Week we shared! Again, thank you, thank you to all who made such a special week happen! Wow! Christ is risen, Indeed!
This week, My Michael and I are going to trade places. I will sit in the front row and cheer him on, and he will be preaching. This gives me a bit of a break this week, and also gives Mike a chance to preach when he has had time to prepare, rather than jumping in when I am sick. So, I hope you will join me in being present this Sunday! I know you will be glad you did.
Our next sermon series will begin next week: “Bible Stories for Adults.” I love the stories we heard as children in Sunday School. We colored pictures, sang songs, played with the main characters on the Flannel Board, did an appropriate craft, and maybe memorized some key scripture verses to remind us of the grand stories of the faith. It was fun. But, when you think about it—it was a sanitized version of the actual stories in the text—which is entirely appropriate. But I wonder—have we ever considered some of these great stories through the lens of our adult faith?
I loved these stories as a kid. And I read them for myself. Then I re-read them. They were like Steven Spielberg movies, before there were Steven Spielberg movies–they had a bit of everything—love, betrayal, violence, adventure, stupidity, and heroic deeds. The characters—even the heroes– were flawed. They made poor decisions. They did bad things. It was sometimes unclear who was the good guy and who was the bad guy. And they really weren’t rated G.
What I would like to do in these weeks leading us to Pentecost is to look at these great stories as adults. Why are they told in this particular way? How do we understand these stories differently as adults than as children. How does our social location–our age, our race, our gender, our nationality impact how we read the story? How would earlier generations have read this story differently? We will look at some of the ways scholars have approached the texts, and see what archeologist have discovered about those who lived, worked, and raised families in a particular place and context.
I hope it will be fun. And, if there is a particular story you might want us to look at, be sure to let me know asap—I will be making the final cut by Monday afternoon. Bring your Bible to church, and join us as we explore our stories together.
See you Sunday, Pastor Nancy