It was not lost on me that these were the last texts I did a "sharing" about in that same community three years ago. That all by itself is just crazy cool. And you know how I feel about coincidences and things that just keep showing up. But really, this post is not about that.
This post is about what great joy it brought me to read scripture, meditate on it and engage in exciting exploration - conversation, debate, contextualization, etc. - with wonderful people committed to sharing the scripture with others in ways that are life changing.
We come to the life-changing heart of these passages sometimes after a full hour or more of just grappling with the surface issues. Then there is an alchemy...gold emerges from straw or something fantastic like that. We tap into a deep resonance...the chord we all feel in our bones and flesh as we sit around the table. This! This!
It is in our varied life experiences that each of us can reveal just a piece of the truth. Yes, we need to read scripture as a personal discipline, examine our own hearts and responses. But we also really must do this in community, bouncing off of one another, speaking our own truth out loud to another while deeply listening to another...holding those truths and experiences side by side in tension, respecting the God in all of those gathered around the text.
This, to me, is such a critical piece of being the body of Christ, sharing the word SO THAT we might uncover deeper, richer things, SO THAT we are able to bring those truths to others as we gather to worship.
Community, at its finest, is about knowing we all have gifts, we all have sins, we all see glimpses of another that they may not see themselves. We are richer expressions of who God created us to be when we are open to those around us.
Today, this embrace was exactly what I needed to be reminded that I am beloved and called to love.