Category Archives: Lent

Between the Lines: Easter 7: May 12, 2013

Text: Psalm 97

Darkness Over Eden 2709

Darkness Over Eden 2709 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are
the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him,
and consumes his adversaries on every side.
His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.

We often emphasize light in our descriptions of God, in hymns, prayers, and liturgy. Yet the opening images of the psalm invite us to imagine both darkness and light: clouds and thick darkness, fire and lightnings.

A contemporary hymn by Brian Wren begins:

Joyful is the dark, holy, hidden God,
Rolling cloud of night beyond all naming:
Majesty in darkness, Energy of love,
Word-in-Flesh, the mystery proclaiming.

What dimensions of the image of God might these pictures of darkness be inviting us to see? What do you know of the clouds and thick darkness that you would associate with the experience of God? Take some art materials and draw clouds and thick darkness. Sit with your image and discover what it has to say to you.

– Andy Kille (editor@educationalcenter.org)


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.

http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=138#gospel_oth_reading

Advertisements

Between the Lines: Easter 6: May 5, 2013

Text: John 5:1-9

When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time…

And the lame man will walk

And the lame man will walk (Photo credit: Maxine Sherrin)

I am intrigued by the image of the healing pool this man has sat beside for so many years.  I wonder what form that pool and its waters might take in my life.

Take some art materials and paper and quickly give some form to this healing pool.  What waters have you lived beside, without ever putting your toe in?  What expectations might you have around what others have found healing?  What do you know of finding life somewhere other than in the expected place?  What might it be like to “stand up…”

What might it cost you to pick up that mat that you have been lying on?  What might it cost you not to?

What might it be like to walk away, carrying your mat?

Put on a short piece of music, perhaps something like Pachelbel’s Canon, or Barber’s Adagio for Strings.  Sit with it for a moment beside the pool, waiting. Decide as you sit there whether you will stand up, or not.  Take up your mat and walk.  Or not.

Consider, then, what you now know that you didn’t know before.

– Beth Harrison


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.

http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/texts.php?id=138#gospel_oth_reading

Between the Lines: Easter 5: April 28, 2013

Text: John 13:31-35

Simple Love

Simple Love (Photo credit: smiling_da_vinci)

Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, “Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.

Jesus calls his disciples little children.
What does the designation child mean in his culture?
What do you know of “little children”?
of little children and love?

Whom do they love?
Whom do you/are you to love?
What do you know of the “little child” in yourself?
What does she or he love?

– Terry Dowdy


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.

Between the Lines: Easter 4: April 21, 2013

Text: Acts 9:36-43

Charity

Charity (Photo credit: Danny McL)

Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity… [When Peter arrived] All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them.

Luke Timothy Johnson argues that “Luke uses a character’s disposition of possessions as a character indicator.” What might Luke have to say about our modern era of a widening gap between the wealthy and the poor and conspicuous consumption? What might your own use of your possessions say about you? Where are your priorities, according to how you spend your money, your time, your resources? Whom or what do you serve?

– Andy Kille


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.

Between the Lines: Easter 2: April 7, 2013

Text: Acts 5:27-32

 

Detail from Albrecht Dürer

Detail from Albrecht Dürer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”

 

We are asked here to rethink our ideas of and assumptions about authority.

 

What is the “master story” you were taught or assumed or absorbed in your youth?  What did you “know” or think was so obvious it wasn’t even conscious?  Peter challenges the council to consider what they think they know.

 

So… as we rethink our own history –

 

What is the cost to us of doing the hard work of re-imagining the early Christian movement in all its diversity and pluralism?  How might our community be different if we took this seriously?  What promise might we see?  What is the cost to you, personally, if you took this seriously?  What promise?

 

Can we do it?

 

Should we?

 

What difference might it make?

 

– Beth Harrison

 


 

“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.

 

Between the Lines: Easter: March 31, 2013

Text: John 20:1-18

English: Grieving Mary Magdalene by Czech-Aust...

Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple…

How do you suppose Mary might be feeling when arriving at the tomb she finds the stone removed? What must be running through her mind? Why do you suppose she does not enter the tomb or even peek in but rather sets off to find Simon Peter and the other disciples? What have you ever experienced of discovering a deal you thought was done not done or a death that you thought to be dead not dead? Of an agreement you assumed finished not yet agreed upon, incomplete and undecided? Of an ending you supposed over, done with and final only to be surprised that the issue, argument, relationship or love was still alive and well? What is it that may have filled you with caution and kept you from going into that dark tomb and looking around? What is an issue for you today that you have assumed dead that you now discover is still alive? What is the cost and promise of entering the tomb and seeing what yet lives? What is the cost and promise of running off in search of another to look inside for you?

– Bill Dols


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.

Between the Lines: Lent 5: March 17, 2013

Text: Isaiah 43:16-21

Sons of the American Revolution

Sons of the American Revolution (Photo credit: bon_here)

Do not remember
the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not
perceive it?

Some interpreters suggest that in this passage, the Lord (through Isaiah) is calling on the Israelites to rethink how they tell the story of their founding. No longer are they to focus on the crossing of the Red Sea (who makes a way in the sea) and the defeat of Pharaoh’s army (chariot and horse, army and warrior). They are rather to recall the journey through the desert (a way in the wilderness).

For a people in exile in Babylonia, what difference might it make to refocus their national story from success in battle to sustenance on a wilderness way?

How do you or those around you tell your national story? What are the key events, the shared memories, the cherished figures? What might it mean to tell the national story in a different way? What might happen if we did not remember the former things? What new things might we be freed up to see?

– Andy Kille


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC.  For details and subscription information, see About BibleWorkbench.