Next reading assignment: Genesis 25:12 – 50:26 (end)
How grateful I am to have the company of other faithful souls willing to engage the Word at a personal level but also with thoughtful, intellectual consideration. Our meeting on the 22nd proved to me that we could spend hours on end looking at each pericope, each story, or every line; such is the way we approach our Bible. But our time is limited, and we moved from discussion about the writers of Genesis, the parallel stories of Abram/Abraham claiming Sarai/Sarah to be his sister, and Ham’s curse for disrespecting his father to breaking up into our triads.
It is this exercise in our triads in which we practice good care of self and others. Within the triads, we implement the practice of holy listening, garnered from lessons from Parker Palmer and Circles of Trust. In the triads we give each person 8 minutes of uninterrupted time to share–share experiences of reading and praying with Scripture, share insights revealed about God, share whatever bubbles to the surface in this time of trust of one another and the presence of the Holy Spirit. I was only in one group, and I know that our experience in that time was intimate, holy, and sincere. For this time I am immensely grateful. It seemed that no one had a problem filling the 8 minutes, even though when first presented, it was thought to be a long time!
We could have talked about so much–the creation stories, the concept of hospitality, the bargaining with God, the flood and the rainbow, the families–but we do only have so much time. If there are questions, persistent thoughts or wonderings, we are certainly not limited from engaging in them either here in the comments or at our next meeting.
The emphasis on Enoch and Noah walking faithfully with God (5:24, 6:9) caught my attention and begged me to linger. No matter the wickedness in the world, there are those who remain faithful, those who follow God, however imperfectly but faithfully. Through these willing souls, God moves and acts in our midst. My responsibilities as a faithful pilgrim do not settle lightly, but the burden of responsibility is made manageable by the grace of God through Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
We don’t do this work alone, thanks be to God.