Monday, June 14, 2010

creationary: elijah in his man cave

A creationary: a space to be creative with the lectionary. (For more on what is a creationary go here; for other Creationary resources, go here).

The OT lectionary text is 1 Kings 19. The last few weeks have made Elijah out to be a hero, so we need this reading to bring Elijah down to earth. The great prophet is oh, so human after all.

I’d invite people to list their caves, the places where they go when tired and depressed. I’d probably do this quietly ie no public response, simply describing the text, giving space for people to name their places quietly, and then to affirming that God of grace will find us in those places, just as God found Elijah. This could easily become a lectio divina meditation and could be really powerful in terms of people finding God in their caves.

I might frame this around the fabulous art piece, Elijah Visited by an Angel from the Altarpiece of the Last Supper, 1464-68 by Dirck Bouts, which has 2 Elijah’s, one being awoken by the angel, another walking into the wilderness. Which again invites people to explore whether they have two Elijah’s and how they might find themselves wrapped in God’s care for themselves, both in sleep and in flight.

I’d make a “shuffle pack” of religious practices. To generate the practices, I’d look up a book like Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us, which has 62 practices, each with an introduction, Scriptural framing, discussion questions and practical examples. I’d spread selected practices, say 7, out on tables and invite people to choose one at random. And keep choosing a card until they come across a practice that is alien and strange. Better, if I had time, I’d have a few “spiritual guides” actually do the shuffling, helping guide people to find a new practice.

Why a new practice? Because in 1 Kings 18, Elijah finds God in fire and wind that brings rain, yet in 1 Kings 19, God is not in fire and wind, but in the still voice. Elijah has to learn to hear God in new ways. Such is the journey of discipleship.

And I’d invite them to practice that for the month coming. I’d also provide instructions and invite them to weblog it. (For an example of how I’ve done this previously, inviting people to discern the Kingdom, here). Why this sort of community formation? Well, it would make concrete one of the commentaries, “Prophecy cannot be carried out in a desolate desert. Rather, it must be manifest within a community, and manifest specifically among God’s people.” Abingdon Commentaries – 1 and 2 Kings So we need ways to explore spiritual practices in community, and using of blog-rings allows people to do that, yet still at a time that suits them.

Posted by steve at 12:05 PM

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