We talk a lot in church about being faithful.
Being faithful, however, does not mean being a sitck-in-the-mud, obstinant, (probably) cranky person who refuses to entertain even the thought of change. But you might not know that, considering how a good many Christians act these days. It’s a variation on the “If it was good enough for Grandma, then it’s good enough for me” approach to living the life of a Christian disciple. That, by the way, is NOT a knock on grandmothers!
This week allows me the opportunity to offer one of my all-time favorite phrases related to scripture: You can take the Bible literally or you can take the Bible seriously, but you can’t do both. Nevertheless, lots of preachers and biblical pseudo-experts are fond of telling others exactly how history is going to turn out. They head straight to Revelation or Daniel or a few choice parts of the Gospels and offer often-persuasive versions of “the last days.” This despite Jesus’ clear warning (as found in this week’s passage from Mark) that nobody really knows the time or place or any other details.
Here’s a link to a previous ForeWords blog posting on this week’s lectionary scriptures:
My most recent book, Speak to the Bones: How to Be a Prophetic People in a Time of Exile, is up on Amazon in both print and e-book formats: 161-page Book ; Kindle e-book. The ancient Hebrew prophets can serve as guides for modern-day prophetic communities to engage in actions for peace and social justice. Each of the 10 chapters includes questions for reflection and discussion, making this great for class use. My previous book What Was Paul Thinking? is also available on Amazon in both print and Kindle e-book editions.