Saturday, November 29, 2008

Lectionary Year B - First Sunday In Advent

Iraqi image of Archangel Raphael Blowing the Trumpet to Signal the Last Judgment

This week's Lectionary readings are:
  • Isaiah 64:1-9

  • Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

  • 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

  • Mark 13:24-37

In the Isaiah reading, the author is asking God to make himself known. (Perhaps in a more angry form than I, or most Universalists, would normally think of.) How easy it would be to be a believer if God did appear to us and perform "awesome deeds"!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day - Year A

Happy Thanksgiving!
Covered Table by Faistauer

Today is the last reading for year A:

I was particularly struck by the reminder in the Deuteronomy section about remembering to be greatful in good times, and also by the reminder in Luke to be grateful in general. (Although it also is about being grateful when something good happens.) I think I'm a reasonably grateful person, but gratitude is something I really value in myself and others. I think gratitude just makes life better and I know I could be more grateful.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What and Why

A few years ago, David Plotz wrote a series for Slate where he attempts to answer the question "So, what will happen if I approach my Bible empty, unmediated by teachers or rabbis or parents?" (*) As a lifelong Unitarian-Universalist and Religious Studies major, I've always felt obligated to take scripture rationally (the responsible search for truth that is valued by UU's) and in historical context (the religious studies background), so this was a new idea to me. It made me realize that while my primary test for non-scriptural material (novels, quotes, life experiences, blogs, ...) influencing my faith, belief or practice is whether or not they help me better understand the big issues (my relationship with Deity, my purpose in life, ...), but when it comes to scripture I worry about context, translation, history and other factors. It's not that those things aren't important, but there is a value in letting the text speak to you that I've missed and want to explore.

I'm not going to attempt to structure myself as strictly as Plotz or be as disciplined (he got through his scripture, the TANAK, in a year.) For several reasons, including the fact that I see great value in reading other people's scriptures, I'll leave the definition of scripture for blogging purposes open. My goal is to blog on the Revised Common Lectionary readings (which I usually follow along with my church's Christian group, albeit poorly) with other scriptures as time and interest allow. I'm blogging mostly because I think it's a good way to organize the information for later use, but if someone feels compelled to read and comment, or has complimentary goals and would like to be a blog author, you are welcome!