Learning to Listen to the Bible

From time to time I get to teach a class at ELET (Escuela Latinoamericana de Estudios Teológicos) in El Cerrito, California.  Most of my students are immigrants.  They are hard workers who, after a hard day of work, come to spend a couple of hours and work hard to pay close attention to the text and let the Bible examine them.

I am learning to keep a blog where I hope to keep my Students engaged.  To be honest, I still can’t figure out if it helps them, but it sure helps me gather my scattered thoughts and focuses me on helping them listen to the Bible.

One of the things that has surprised me Continue reading “Learning to Listen to the Bible”

Thinking clearly — in Caesaria Phillipi.

When I think I see clearly, that is when I am most at risk.  Clarity is overrated. It’s not useful fuel for that “inner light”, nor is it a good guide our choices.

I obviously have a problem with pride. I find it hard to tell pride from a victory that needs celebrating.  When I feel self-satisfied, it can be predictive of something destructive that affects me and people around me. I can tell when I come home and tell Lois what happened–she’ll know if we should celebrate or if I am bragging.   I still need to learn how to enjoy the victories, but not to make a big deal of them. Since it is always God who empowers, the victories can be meaningful.  I should be able to accept the gift, and move on.

So it is when we think we see clearly.  It is easy to get overconfident in our ability to live by what we see.  It doesn’t take long before we start acting stupid. Last year, my favorite baseball team, each time they started reading good press about them, seemed to start loosing games that they should have won. Then they got into a slump the couldn’t get out of.

Seeing clearly is no preparation for the un-expected, out-of-our-control transformative events by which the story moves forward.

So it was for Peter, James and John in Mark 8:22-9:41

I almost put pictures in here to draw readers into the story of the disciples seeing clearly.  But the pictures that are on the internet made it hard to identify myself with the story.  I need to see myself in that progression in which their eyes were opened, they understood about Jesus, and then they got all hung up with being the smart ones — “who is the greatest?”.  The problem is that in all the pictures on the internet they are wearing ROBES! Even when I get out of the shower–let alone when I interview for a job–I don’t wear a robe.  

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