Day 309, Evening
Today’s evening meditation is available below in audio and script formats. The audio version is also available for free download on the player.
In the Spirit, we know that the Church is the difference Jesus of Nazareth has made and makes in human history.
The best way in which a Christian can interpret Scripture is to do so as Jesus did! It almost sounds too simple, doesn’t it? Yet, ironically, this has not been the norm for most of Christianity. So, what does it mean to read the Bible as Jesus did?
Jesus approached the Hebrew Scriptures with the assumption that God had been dialoging with humanity since the beginning. He used the Jewish practice of midrash as a way of participating in this dialogue. Midrash is a method of interpreting Scripture that fills in the gaps, by questioning and imagining a multitude of possible interpretations. Midrash allows the text and the Spirit of God to open up the reader to transformation, instead of resisting change by latching onto one final, closed, and certain interpretation. This open-horizon approach was common for most of the first 1300 years of Christianity, where as many as six levels of interpretation and numerous levels of truth were perceived in any one Scripture text.
The traditional forms of midrash demand both a prayerful approach and scholarly familiarity with the Bible and commentaries which have formed the tradition over the centuries. However, it is possible for someone who is not a biblical scholar or theologian to get a sense of the practice of midrash.
This practice invites us to trust that God will meet us where we are and will take us where we need to go as we consider the meaning of the text. We could engage in this dialogue often, even with the same text, since there will always be more discoveries about the meaning(s) of sacred texts. (CAC)
As your day draws to a close, spend a few moments in silence and stillness.
(BC) The Belgic Confession
(CAC) The Center For Action & Contemplation
(CD) The Canons of Dort
(CIB) Church In Bethesda Prayers
(DZ) Donna Z.
(HC) The Heidelberg Catechism
(IO) Inward Outward
(MAO) Michael A. O’Sullivan
(NT) The New Testament
(OT) The Old Testament
(RP) Ryan Phipps
(TAO) The Tao Te Ching
(WC) The Westminster Confession
(WLB) Words To Live By
(WLC) The Westminster Larger Catechism
(WSC) The Westminster Shorter Catechism