Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Tip for Preachers and Other Ponderers

As we head into summer, Krista Tippett did a show on the land, our food, and theology. Some of us, too few of us, have been thinking about these connections for decades. It does seem that lately more of us have been tying these strands together. Krista Tippett's guest, Ellen Davis, does a masterful job.

One of her comments leapt out at me: "I think that if one reads scripture carefully, one is continually challenged to rethink maybe everything that we take for granted. I sometimes say to my students the best way to find your preaching angle for any text is to ask how it challenges or turns on its head your ordinary way of thinking about how things really are." She calls this element "the prophetic dimension of Scripture."

Those of us who are Christians are familiar with this idea that Jesus came to turn our lives around and upside down, to show us that what appears to be real is often false. But how easy it is to forget that element of our relationship with the Divine.

So, as we read Scripture this Summer, perhaps that point should be central to our meditating: how does this text challenge our perceptions of ordinary life?

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