So; apparently Roman Catholics break the Lent fast on weekends. Therefore I am- a post of longer than 3 sentences.
It is both liberating and restricting to keep to 3 sentences:-
Liberating: I don’t have to waffle on and I have to be clear. Plus I have so many half formed gobbets in my brain at any one time thatÂ posting is not hard.
Restricting: I want to say more and have clause and counter clause- use oddball humour etc. I can’t.
Last week I was in a Bible Study- I am so bored of Bible studies- the same issues, over and over again.
At worst, I thinkÂ they can become a kind of ‘spiritual masturbation’; something done in private that has no relation to public space or ‘how do I live now’ and essentially escapistÂ with aÂ style of language used which you wouldn’t use in public if you wanted to be taken seriously or understood.
OK, just maybeÂ that was a rant. This is a blog. Blogs do that. But seriously, often I came out of Bible studies with my head full of so many words and so little action and rarely experienced the kind of realtionship where I truly experienced my brother or sister as aÂ real person. I more often encountered the other person as a set of opinions, words or concealing silence (although paradoxically I knew them more over coffee afterwards).
Anyway- where was I? I’ll just mop up the froth from my mouth and calm down a little…. I was in this Bible Study which lit me up for the first time in years. We used this practice known as ‘Lectio Divinia’: Short prayer- passage read out loud, slowlyÂ (with everyone having closed Bibles)- 5/10 mins of silence- passage read out loud, slowly (ditto closed Bibles)- 5/10 minutes of silence- then an ‘open time’ where people speak on what struck them with no one allowed to jump in, correct or add to what is said…
What I found was that I stopped flicking into ‘theological mode’ : where you turn off the still small voice, ride theological hobby horses, talk at people, stop really thinking about how God might be addressing you or any combination of those. What I also found- anything said in the silence became really precious, alive and pregnant with meaning. One thing really hit me about the passage we listened to that has shattered me and made me think about doing stuff differently.
Often less is more. In life- perhaps also in the blogosphere.
Why do we turn the Word made flesh back into so many words again?