Now I am really having doubts about this blog. Is it such a good idea?
It is taking far more energy than I thought it would and I’ve not been able to get near the goal I set out for. I could spend a life time just dealing with the stories I’ve read up till now – and there are still six days left till Easter.
Maybe that is why most Christian churches these days largely ignore the events of Monday through Wednesday and focus on the end of the week. There are other reasons but I’ll avoid being cynical today.
There are two elements in understanding any story in the Bible, the intellectual connection and the emotional connection. As a Methodist and would be scholar I tend to approach the Bible from an intellectual perspective and try to turn it into a scholarly exercise by rationally understanding every word in the text and all the nuances of those words – what do they mean now, what did they mean then, how did the meanings change, what are the elements of the translation?
But yet it is the feeling – the emotional response I get to these stories that most affect me. Sitting in a Good Friday service, it’s not the intellectual notion that Jesus died for us but rather the overwhelming sadness I feel for the story that truly connects and informs my soul. Don’t think about it, feel about it.
So for today I am leaving the intellectual analysis on the road side and just reporting my feelings.
The story is overwhelming. Jesus is like a whirlwind on Tuesday – we see the fig tree he cursed, dead; Jesus’s authority is challenged; Jesus challenges the religious authorities, etc. Plus we get a number of basic Christian stories and teachings, “Render unto Caesar,” the story of the vineyard, the wife and the brothers, the great commandment, the widow and the coins and prophesies of the apocalypse.
If I were following Jesus around on Tuesday I’d be a little worried. What is going on here? Is this guy right?
Reading the story today I am more than just a bit overwhelmed and more than a bit sure that I don’t understand but a fraction of it and after reading Borg and Crossan a little concerned that my traditionally held views and understandings might be wrong.
Emotions for the day? Fatigue, confusion, and doubt. The emotional question is, “can I carry on with this?”