Telling our stories

TheConfessionsSt. Augustine of Hippo begins his great work The Confessions with a question: “How shall I call upon my God and my Lord, when by the very act of calling upon him I would be calling himself into myself? Is there any place within me into which my God might come? How can God who made the heaven and earth come into me? Is there any room in me for you, Lord, my God?” (I:2)

As Augustine continues to write you can sense his feeling of frustration or bafflement grow until he asks the ultimate question to God that we all should ask of ourselves: “What are you to me?” Then wonderfully Augustine continues, “Have mercy on me, so that I may tell you.” (I:5) Augustine then proceeds with the rest of The Confessions in which he finds God in the telling of his own story – not in the universe or theological books – but in his own story. Continue reading

The Lost: reflection

Lost_Luke15Final Thoughts (from Culpepper, 304-5)

It is no hyperbole to say that this parable is a gem; all of its facets deserve to be considered. It is no simple simile with a single point but a compressed slice of life with complexity and texture. In the following paragraphs, we will take note of various of the parable’s facets, but in preaching the interpreter should probably avoid such a “shotgun” approach and develop only one or two themes for emphasis. Let the parable be one of those beloved texts that always repays a return visit. Continue reading