Sunday, 2 May 2010

Bible study and blogging

On three mornings of the past week we had Bible studies led by John Baxter Brown, currently working as the WCC's consultant on evangelism. The studies were simple but powerful times of listening to the Bible and sharing - about our lives, work and vocations. In the words of the old advert they reached parts that other meetings and discussions simply could not. We ended on Friday by meditating on the story of the miraculous fish catch from John 21 with brilliant repeated readings of the text by various colleagues at different points during our "study". We ended by listening to a version read by colleagues mainly in English but with the words said by Jesus and Peter read in Syriac - a language very close to the Aramaic spoken in biblical time. It was very powerful.
In our table discussions we first focused on words in the text that spoke to each of us. Then we shared something of our own contexts, what the text awoke in us. It's at moments like this that you realise what an extraordinary privilege it is to be part of such a culturually diverse staff community. In one thirty minute session you can hear a story from the shore of an African lake where people would fish at night time, a perspective from a human rights activist, a contribution on struggling with Peter's conversation with Jesus (given in a language the rest of us didn't understand, but interpreted for us) or a further appreciation of the Peter's words ‘Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.’
It was good to begin our final day of staff meetings with this wonderful eucharistic text which has all of the sensuality of a barbecue on the beach, water, fish, friendship, love - deep conversation, pain and joy. Reurrection is made of such things, miracles of togetherness and common work too ...
Meanwhile John BB has started a new blog csalled Evangelism is in your comfort zone. Join in the conversation through the comments section.