Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Thursday, August 6

Today’s Readings: Psalm 2; 2 Samuel 14:21-33; Mark 9:2-13; Acts 24:22-27; Psalm 97

There were a lot of wonderful things I learned during my sabbatical experience two years ago that had to do with emergent worshipping communities. Some of those learnings were simply trendy while other learnings had more substance. One of the most substantial learnings I experienced was an entirely new way of engaging Scripture. Let me tell you about that experience. Having been raised in traditional churches, I was used to examining Scripture in one way: I was used to using scholarly methods that were intended to help me better understand what the Scriptures might have meant to their original audience. While this approach to Scripture was intellectually stimulating, it had the additional benefit of being very safe. I say this approach to Scripture was safe because there was always a good deal of distance between Scripture and my life. Many emerging communities approach Scripture very differently. One of their primary goals is to help people find places where the sacred stories of their faith intersect with the story of their own lives. This removes virtually all space between oneself and the Scripture. This emerging approach is based upon the notion that Scripture is relevant to our daily lives. Ever sense I discovered this new way of relating to Scripture, my spiritual life has taken on rich new dimensions. As much as I personally enjoy this new way of engaging the sacred writings of our faith, I am mindful that not every one likes the notion that our faith should intrude into our everyday lives. In today’s reading from Acts, for instance, we were introduced to one such individual: Felix. When Paul laid out his faith in the God revealed through Jesus, Felix responded by pulling back. “As Paul continued to insist on right relations with God and his people, about a life of moral discipline and the coming Judgment,” the author of Acts noted, “Felix felt things getting a little too close for comfort and dismissed him.” (Acts 24:25 from The Message). In other words, Felix - like many of us - was more comfortable with a faith that could be held at arm’s length. My question for you to consider today is this: do you prefer a faith that you can stand back and explore at your own leisure, or one that often gets too close for your own comfort? Til next time…

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