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Engaging God through the Scriptures

It’s Monday morning, do you recall what you heard at church on Sunday?

I’ve been inspired by many great speakers and preachers, but I wonder how often we really engage God through the Scriptures during our church gatherings?

I’m sure I’ve heard Scripture, at least audibly, in every church that I’ve attended, but I wonder how often people truly encounter God through the Scriptures.

From what I can tell of what Scripture says of itself is that it was worth meditating upon day and night.  It was often engaged as a community.  The Scriptures led to revival and transformation.

Yet I wonder how often ‘preachers’ get in the way of allowing the Scriptures to speak?  How often do we deny people the opportunity to wrestle with God’s words personally, for themselves, with one another?  How often do we allow people to use their own imagination, to question and doubt, and to emotionally invest themselves into the Story of the Scriptures?

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Jason Allen June 9, 2008, 9:17 am

    I certainly appreciate what you’re saying. But it seems the scriptures, especially the NT, places a high value, regard, and necessity upon preaching and preachers. So the same scriptures teach the value of meditating on them as well as listening to the proclamation of the word. So just curious, how does that fit into your assessment?

    good thoughts, thanks.

  • Lon June 9, 2008, 9:44 am

    Absolutely true Jason… one, i know that we share the same broken human condition as with all generations past, but I can’t help but think that culturally we’re at a place where we’re a bit more divided in terms of what we hear and what we do, at least it seems a bit more acceptable in north america. So listening, knowing and responding today, isn’t quite what it use to be.

    another thought that just came up is maybe it has a lot to do with the perception of the preacher. I’ve been mostly in low-church circles – where we’re low in the forms of doing church and trying to raise the bar in what it means to be a disciple or a priesthood of all believers… but there are plenty of traditions where the preacher/bishop/priest is next to God himself. I would assume if that was my mindset, I would leave church feeling like I encountered God, and feel the burden to act upon what’s been proclaimed.

    and maybe for me it’s just the structure/form/frequency thing of typical preaching. especially when the ‘sermon’ is considered the apex of worship in most protestant roots. My life has been changed many times by great preaching and proclamation… maybe when it’s when I hear my own words reduced to taglines at times that I feel people have no idea what a journey it took to arrive at my conclusions…

    I also feel that in the OT and NT there were more opportunities for interaction than the closing song and prayer we typically default to. People asked Jesus questions afterwards, paul’s letters were often addressed to entire communities, and people were able to stone steven after preaching…

    anyhow, now i’m rambling… i’d love to hear how others struggle through with these concepts too.

    this past sunday, I just spent a few minutes ‘proclaiming’ the centrality of the scripture and ‘preached’ on different ways I personally engage the scriptures, and just let people loose in groups to encounter god for themselves, and then share back with the community.

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