Sunday, November 26, 2006

God speaks

through the people in my lectio divina group.

Every Sunday we gather in a little storage room and sit in a circle and read the gospel lesson for the day. We pray together and meditate on the message that Jesus is sending us through the reading. We share about what action Jesus is asking us to take. We are amazed by the synchronicities in our stories. And the Lord uses our little foibles to great effect. Today for example, the woman who read through the gospel first, went a little too far and we got to the part where Pilate asks the crowd whether they want Jesus or Barabbas to be set free. We used three different translations for the readings, today. One identified Barabbas as a robber, another as a rabble rouser and the third as a freedom fighter.

"My kingdom is not of this earth" Christ says in the preceding passages. We discussed the fact that we, ourselves, must choose between Jesus and Barabbas every day. Do we choose what makes sense in this world, ie Barabbas, who will fight to overthrow the Romans? Or do we choose the option that makes absolutely no sense in the worldly realm.... Jesus? Every day we are faced with that decision.

For Advent, I am making my second confession on Tuesday. As time draws close, I must examine, with humility and honesty, the times when I have chosen Barabbas. I must face the fact that I choose Barabbas over Jesus on a regular basis. And if we take this gospel lesson to it's logical conclusion, I must acknowledge that when I choose the worldly choice, I consign Jesus to the tree.


LutheranChik said...

Your lectio group sounds great. I wish we had something like this at my parish. Maybe someday...

Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Start one, LC! (When you are ready, that is!)

This was a last minute, no time to prepare or say no, request from our rector who asked if I would be willing to facilitate this group. We use a little liturgy we found from the Native American ministries of the Episcopal Church, but there are a bunch of outlines on the internet. And really, the structure is the taking off point, anyway, so it probably doesn't matter what particular format you use as long as you are reading the scripture reading 3 times.

We have chosen to read the gospel lesson for the day, which makes the entire exercise feel deeply meaningful because after our group, we go to the service and hear Jesus speaking to us during the service.

The group has grown exponentially since we started, from just two of us to (today) six.

Email me offline if you would like to talk about the logistics.... I'd be glad to share our process in more detail!


BC said...

Hey Rachel,

Aren't the Gospels fun? Especially during Advent. John is my favorite, I have to admit.

I like your take on the Barabbas choice. It makes me think of a particular exchange I read about once:

A questioner (at a lecture) asks about the need for balance between practicality (worldliness) and spirituality. The lecturer responds by saying, "Imagine you are in a house I am trying to help you out of. I bring a ladder (Jesus) to your window. Now we can get into a discussion about the qualities of the ladder, whether it will work, whether you really need to get out of the house, etc. What you may be unaware of is that THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE. What seems a practical and worldly concern to you (Barabbas) might be beside the point, given the possibility of your imminent demise."


Rachel's Big Dunk said...

Hi Bill!

We are reading John in our Tuesday morning bible study and it is blowing me away. I love the little asides. "Jesus did thus and so to show that he was the son of God..."

I love it!

But really, I love them all. They each take a different perspective, which seems necessary with this crazy, enigmatic, carpenter's son.

The house on fire story is interesting because it implies that
a. your house is on fire and you are in imminent danger, and
b. Jesus is the ladder, not Barabbas.

Most Christians would heartily agree, LOL.

I am afraid I waste precious time running around trying to grab stuff off my shelves.