Thursday, June 28, 2012

My father used to sit on the end of my bed and animatedly read stories to me before our prayers and goodnight kisses. I remember those tales vividly because they permanently infected my imagination and informed my faith. I carry Lewis Carroll’s magic with me from his masterpieces, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. “Beware the Jabberwok my friend, the jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch!” and “Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast,” and “But it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” I hold onto the belief that God’s heavenly Kingdom is like the magical, but dangerous, land at the bottom of the rabbit’s hole and on the other side of the mirror. I instinctively know that playing with language is good for your health, and I believe that it is especially important to imagine different ways of seeing the world around us. Did my father’s theatric reading teach me this? Or was it Lewis Carroll’s artistry? Or maybe it was my young imagination, coupled with the power of words. Throughout Pentecost we have the opportunity to hear some incredible stories from First and Second Samuel. One of the highlights of our Revised Common Lectionary is the continuity of story-line running through our Sunday lessons from Hebrew Scripture. This summer we will hear of the kingships of Saul and David, of the dangers of power and the depth of love binding David and Jonathan; of the horrors of war and of David’s shattering grief when he loses a favorite child. These stories are part of our heritage and had a huge effect on the writers of the New Testament. I invite you all to listen on Sunday, as these stories are read from the lectern, and let them play with your imagination. Maybe they will trouble and fascinate you. Maybe they will haunt you. Maybe they will guide you back to your family bible. Maybe you will read them to your children.

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