Saturday, September 2, 2017
Scripture Window Part 6
Rewind and review ~ Scripture is a window...some we can see through clearly...other times the words are like stained-glass, colorful/artistic/needing interpretation. We look through the window pane of the head to start, asking good questions and claiming our own insights. We look through the window pane of the heart to go deeper and to notice/name our emotional response/reactions...as well as the emotions in the passage itself. Next, we turn to the soul.
Scripture as a story means that it works on many different levels. Yes, we can hear words that form thoughts that form ideas. Yes, those words elicit an emotion. But even more than the head and heart, this is a soul story. It is meant to work on us in ways that defy the gravity of rational/reasonable thoughts. It is meant to sync with our own story. It is meant to causes a response we might embody in our lives.
Soul level is one that is the hardest to describe. What goes on in your gut when you hear our new familiar passage:
Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.
At a soul-level I start to ponder prayerfully how God interrupts and disrupts our ordinary, everyday routines. Moses wasn't expecting God to show up...but God did. I don't expect God to come knocking on Tuesday, but nevertheless God can and does.
At a soul-level, I want to join Moses in holy ground moments of saying, "Here I am." But the fear I feel can cause those words to get clogged in the back of my throat. My own self-confidence can cause me to get flustered, frustrated, and overwhelmed.
At a soul-level, I want to feel the connection to ancestors and stand in a stream of people whose faithfulness (and brokenness given the list of names) has led us this far on the journey of faith.
I think one of the ways you embark on the soul level is to breathe in Scripture. Bring the words close to your nose to smell...ask yourself if there is a word or image that you keep returning to...set the open Bible in your lap and simply be in the presence of the word in silence...see if anything stirs.
This soul-level is descriptive not prescriptive. I can't tell you exactly how. I can point and see that when I slow down, turn off my over-functioning brain, stop worrying if I have the right interpretation, but just be. Some of the best relationships are those where you can be comfortable with silence in the other person's presence. Where you don't have to fill every gap with words or explanations. The soul level of Scripture tries to get you to that space...where you are with each other in the still small silence. Just like the small space between tiny words on the thin pages of your Bible. The soul level lets God write in the margins of your life at that particular time.
I pray that some of this helps you draw closer to this window pane of exploring Scripture. Even more I pray we will sense more than a trace of God's grace when we step closer to the words of the Bible to gaze through this particular (and sometimes peculiar) window pane.
Grace and peace ~~