Tag Archives: Andy Kille

Between the Lines- Proper 19, September 15, 2013

Text: Psalm 51:1-10

according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions

writing in the sand

written in sand (Wikimedia Commons)

Find some sand, or loose dirt in which you can “write” down your transgressions—the ways you may have violated a rule, a command, or a duty, or crossed a boundary or exceeded a limit in relation to God, to others, to yourself. When you have written them, sit with them for a while, and then erase them, blot them out.

How does it feel to consider your transgressions? How are they always a part of you? What is it like to have them blotted out? Can you leave them behind and start over anew?

– Andy Kille


“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weely resource for engagning the Bible in a new way, published by the Educational Center

Between the Lines: Proper 15- August 18, 2013

Text: Hebrews 11:29-12:2

God is a 49ers fan?

God is a 49ers fan?
(Photo credit: CaptBrando)

…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us…

The writer of Hebrews (who is probably not Paul, as many modern scholars have pointed out) draws on a sports image which appears in the authentic letters of Paul:

Do you not know that in a race the runners all compete, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win it. Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one. So I do not run aimlessly, nor do I box as though beating the air [1Cor 9:24-26];

and

It is by your holding fast to the word of life that I can boast on the day of Christ that I did not run in vain or labor in vain [Phil 2:16].

    Contemporary preachers are also often drawn to sports metaphors. If you are an athlete or sports enthusiast, to what sport might you compare your faith? What are the skills that are needed, the goal that is set forth, the training that is required?

If you are not a sports fan, to what would you compare your faith? Is it a painting or song? A dance? A political campaign? A trip? Allow the images related to your understanding of faith to unfold themselves and see what you discover!

– 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: Proper 14- August 11, 2013

Text: Luke 12:32-40

service

service (Photo credit: nuanc)

“Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes…”

Assuming that you have never actually been a slave, what in your experience comes the closest to being a slave? What do you know of needing to be ready at a moment’s notice to respond to the needs of another? Perhaps you have cared for a child, or a parent, an invalid or even a demanding pet.

What is it like to be “on alert” every moment? What kind of attentiveness is required? What aspects of your own life—your desires, your time, your resources—must be given up to be of service? What rewards come from serving well? Recognition from the one for whom you are caring? Satisfaction in being adequate to the task? In what way is a prepared servant “blessed”?

– 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: Proper 10- July 14, 2013

Text: Luke 10:25-37

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus.

Just then

Just then
(Photo credit: Damian Gadal)

Just then. Just when? I am struck by the urgency and suddenness of this questioner’s appearance. Just then is only one of the ways the NRSV translates the Greek words that elsewhere are translated “suddenly,” “see,” “now,” or even “indeed.” It appears 30 times in the gospel of Luke. This particular translation is offered only seven times: when the friends of the paralytic man bring him and let him through the roof (5:18), when Jesus heals the crowds (7:21), when Jairus comes seeking healing for his daughter (8:41), when a man calls Jesus to heal his epileptic son (9:38), when a crippled woman appears in the synagogue where Jesus is teaching (13:11), when a man with dropsy appears at a Pharisee’s house (14:2), and here.

What do you know of “just then” experiences in your life- when something happened “suddenly,” “now,” or even “indeed.” What distinguished those times, made them remarkable or memorable? What might make a moment a “just then” moment today?

– 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: Proper 8- June 30, 2013

Text: Luke 9:51-62

Whirl-fire

Whirl-fire (Photo credit: Loving Earth)

When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”

Where did the disciples get the idea this was the way to deal with opponents? Take a look at 1Kings 18:20-40 (Elijah’s battle with the prophets of Baal, in which he calls down fire on the offering and ultimately slaughters all the Baal prophets), 2Kings 1:9-12 (Elijah calling down fire on the king’s captain and 50 men- twice!), or 2Kings 2:23-24 (two she-bears maul 42 small boys who have been heckling the prophet Elisha).

When have you ever found yourself wanting to “command fire to come down” on someone who has disrespected, ignored, or embarrassed you? What kind of “fire” do you imagine—misfortune, illness, poetic justice? What was the injury you felt you had suffered at their hands? What does the desire to “command fire to come down” want to affirm, defend, protect? What do you make of Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples?

– 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: Pentecost 23: November 4, 2012

Text: Deuteronomy. 6:1-9

Mezuzah

Mezuzah
(Photo credit:
Jonathan Caves)

Bind [these words] as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Orthodox Jewish tradition takes this admonition seriously; the words of the Shema are written on parchment and placed in the tefillin,the leather boxes that are tied onto one’s forehead and left arm before prayer. A piece of parchment inscribed with the Shema, the mezuzah, is placed inside a small container attached to the doorframe of a house (and sometimes of rooms inside). As a person passes through the doorway, they might touch or kiss the mezuzah.

Have you ever tied a string around your finger or done some other unusual thing to help you remember something you felt was important? That’s what tefillin and mezuzah are about.

During this week, try creating your own reminder. Write down a verse, or poem, or passage you find meaningful, and place it somewhere you will see it and remember what it is. Carry it with you; wear it around your neck; attach it to the bathroom mirror, put it on the dashboard of your car. What changes for you in remembering?

– 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: Pentecost 17: September 23, 2012

Text: Mark 9:30-37

Happy Children Playing Kids

Children Playing
(Photo credit: epSos.de)

“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

What does welcoming someone look like? What actions does it involve? What attitudes, feelings, or emotions? Think of a time when you felt welcomed. What was it that gave you that feeling? What did you learn in being welcomed? About yourself? About the one who welcomed you?

What is there within you that you find it difficult to welcome? What might happen if you were to treat that part of yourself like a child, and find your way to welcoming it?

– 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. BibleWorkbench includes a series of open-ended questions focused on a reading in the Common Lectionary aimed at drawing readers into the story and making connections with the world around them and the world within. Also included are “Between the Lines” reflections, Parallel Readings from literature, poetry, and the news, and Critical Background on the text and its setting. For details and subscription information, go to www.educationalcenter.org.