Friday, March 25, 2005

Revealing stories

It's Good Friday. We've been retelling the story of the crucifixion. Yesterday - Maundy Thursday - we retold the story of the final supper and arrest of Jesus. we had a Tanebrae, a service of gathering shadows; as we told the story recorded in Matthew's gospel, we blew out candles and ended our hour together in total darkness. It was simple and sombre. It was also revelatory.

A member of my congregation said afterwards that she hadn't really heard the story before, although she's been a Christian for years. New things struck her through the evening because, in her words, 'it was so different. We've never done that before and I saw things in the story I never realised were there.'

I tell you this because John (from asked about dialectic and revelation (see previous post). It set me thinking about whether dialectic as Christians experience it is only rational. I don't think so. I think it also happens as we share stories. revelation particularly occurs, it seems to me, when familiar stories come at us from fresh angles. Suddenly the familiar assumes strange shapes and forms and we see angles on it that we haven't seen before.

So to directly answer John's question, I guess revelation in the 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 sense doesn't come through reasoning so much as through hearing familiar stories in new ways, ways that enable us to make new connections, gain fresh insights.

I'm sure that's not a full answer - even an adequate one - but I hope it keeps the conversation alive!

I'm off to Skegness for week 1 of Spring Harvest. Linda (my wife) and I are on the pastoral team. Back Thursday evening.

Have a great Easter.

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