What we are seeking is the questions that themselves brought the text into being. We try to follow the questions back to their source, to comprehend what is moving in the questions. We become willing to suspend our favorite beliefs (and disbeliefs), to bring our own lives and understandings under radical scrutiny, to allow the text to examine us, rebound on us, as a fundamental challenge to our integrity. We give the Bible that much authority, not because we worship it, but because we are confident (we have heard about it happening to others or it has happened to us!) that the Holy Spirit is able to train its words on us, laser-like, and perform the soul-surgery that we need to become more whole, more real, more our true selves.
June 7, Pentecost: The Spirit is Poured
Acts 2:1-21, Genesis 11:1-9, Romans 8:14-17, John 14:8-17, 25-27
The gospel has a context. It is not eternal truth indifferent to its environment, but a response to the system of domination that began, in earnest at least, when herdsmen "from the east" descended on "Shinar" (Babylon--already a thriving agricultural civilization) and first introduced the warfare, empire building, arrogance, desire for fame, and alienation from nature so characteristic of the conquest states that arose around 3000 B.C.E.