Desiring Life

Where have you been? Where are you going? And why?

Keep Stories Alive

So Friday I am sitting with three close friends over lunch.  Close is a relative term.  To clarify, we’ve sat and listened to each others’ worst moments in life.  The times we felt like God abandoned us or wasn’t there.  Scenes full of fear, shame, guilt, loneliness, sadness, and anger.  When one of them looks at me, there is little room to hide; nor do I really want to.  The bond is rare.  We sit discussing the direction of the group we are apart of which had just ended.  It’s a group solely focused on telling our stories.  Connection happened throughout the spring.  We sipped tastes of perfect relationship.

We long to find a way to continue sipping.  So we brainstorm.  The idea of doing a book/Bible study is swiftly torched.  As one of them puts it, we’re not interested in some “religious regiment of study.”  There’s an expletive in there somewhere, too.  I am amazed at the hostility he feels towards a group Bible study or marriage study book.  Yet, he speaks for me as well.  I know making a study the focus of our time only degrades the quality of the group.  It grieves me, though, thinking that our gut reaction to studying the Bible mirrors a child’s reaction to the offer of Robituusin cough medicine.  Larry Crabb does an excellent job at putting words to what has happened.

We have managed to take the only real living Book and squeeze the life out of it with an exacting exegesis that engages the brain but not the relationship-starved soul, and then we arrange the remaining dust into neat little piles that we call theology- the study of God.  How utterly terrible!

I know.  I do it, too.  I long to approach the Word as a life offering from One who wants to touch my “relationship-starved soul.”  That’s what our stories group did in each and every one of us.  A taste of what’s to come.  And that’s what we need.  I love Jesus in John 5.  The sterile Pharisees are there, having studied the scriptures extensively and intellectually, yet having missed the point.  Jesus, full of life, sets them straight, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”

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2 responses to “Keep Stories Alive

  1. grant May 28, 2007 at 4:28 am

    i am the guy throwing the expletives around. its a new hobby of mine. i guess i feel its a bit akin to the throwing of rice at the bride and groom after a wedding… there’s no real point to it, but its the only way you really feel like you’re able to express yourself in the celebration. I am expressing my celebration of Freedom. I am finally free to express myself with no guilt, no shame… its nice to be honest and not fear the man’s opinions.
    Luke, in response to the amazing hostility shown toward bible study, I can only say that the aforementioned scripture speaks volumes. John 3:3 says ‘Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.’ So, the answer to the hostility is there. The relationship has been stripped from the organized church with it’s studies and programs. we are in desperate need of relationship. It was the purpose of creation. The Pharisees missed it, too. It doesn’t grieve me that we are tired of the studies as we’ve known them. rather, it is exciting. we are finally pursuing the very thing we were created for. not head knowledge but relationship.

  2. Luke May 28, 2007 at 6:43 pm

    Grant, I love your last couple lines. Indeed it is a fresh perspective. It grieves me that so many have missed it. Myself included on many days. And it is also so exciting, finally experiencing slivers of the very thing we were created for. The slivers bring me to have a little more faith, to hope a little stronger, and to love a whole lot deeper.

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