Last night was another session of the bible study which I should have named ‘A Reckless Romp through the Old Testament’.
Reckless because we have been going too fast.
Reckless because so much depends on the overview given in week one, and not everyone was there.
Reckless because I am fascinated by the OT, but it is not really my subject, and I should have spent far more time preparing each session than I have.
Reckless because I have been cavalierly speaking of the gap between event and writing; ‘fact’, and theological retelling; generally playing with fire.
And last night, I found the flaw in my plan. If I am not careful, I’m going to deconstruct things, and then ask people to take a break for the summer. By the time autumn comes, they will all be off reading Richard Dawkins, having been driven from OT henotheism & emergent monotheism to atheism by way of despair.
So, we’ve decided on an extra session which I will think of as ‘holding onto God’.
The study of theology and scripture is exciting because it dismantles our assumptions and exposes the ways we restrict God. Confusion is necessary as we move out of our comfort zone and play with ideas that are– with the one who is — too big to grasp. But when you’re in the midst of it, it can feel pretty grim.
So, for those who are beginning to sympathize with grumpy Israelites wandering through the desert, a word of encouragement: stay with it. After a while the darkness glimmers and a flash of raven’s-wing becomes more captivating than all the bright certainties you thought you knew.
And occasionally, you might even be allowed to catch a feather to play with and to call your own.