Over the past few years I have felt that there was a tiredness about Spring Harvest, but this year feels different………….it seems fresh again.
Following the them of Route 66, its aim is to explore how the 66 books which comprise the Bible help us in life today. The four teaching days are divided into the headings of Sonnet, Symphony, Screenplay and Streetmap. Yesterday we looked at the first one and explored how Scripture is a love letter from God to us; we recognised how it’s too easy to select certain passages and keep going back to them but how that doesn`t help us to get the full flavour. We need to be people who see the whole story and this was shared as the drama of Scripture………………………….
Act 1 Creation, God establishes His Kingdom
Act 2 Fall, rebellion in the Kingdom
Act 3 Redemption initiated, Abraham onwards
Act 4 Redemption accomplished, Jesus comes
Act 5 Mission of the Church (We live in Act 5)
Act 6 Restored creation, Kingdom fully present, New Heaven and New Earth.
Too often people look at a small portion of Scripture (usually that which supports and confirms what they`ve already decided) instead of trying to grasp the whole story of start to finish. That’s not to say that we must read from cover to cover, but it is to say that we must place our preferences into the context of the wholeness of Scripture.
It also brought back some of my theological training when we spoke about the `tough texts` which make us uncomfortable or don`t fit the image of a loving God. Usually we would avoid the passages which speak about God telling his people to `destroy the amelichites` and so on as these passages challenge us too deeply. However, I was reminded of different approaches to these tough texts…………….
1 The Cultural Contextual Approach~recognising the historical context in which these things happen
2 The Biblical Contextual Approach~trying to understand the situation by looking at the `big` picture and seeing it as a journey
3 The Allegorical/Prophetic Approach~a highly Christo-centric approach which sees everything as pointing to Jesus
4 The Fundamental Approach~which says that every word is literal and applies to the current time and place as well.
5 The Progressive Approach~involving reading and re-reading the tough texts over and over again until some meaning can be found, maybe teaching us something about our world today
It was quite fascinating.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Its strange but after 17 years of coming to Spring Harvest at either site, last night was the first time I have ever got to the after hours entertainment 10.30~11.30 p.m. It was to see a comedian called Joe Fisher who I enjoyed very much including his competition “Spot the Vicar”.
On a more practical front, the weather remains lovely (very unSkegnesslike), warm sunshine and no trouble with wind (read that however you wish to read it !), the worship band are good if somewhat loud (maybe I`m getting old !), the preaching is mixed (last nights preacher began by shouting and ended with shouting and guess what ? there was a lot of shouting in between !). However, the advantage to something like this is that although last nights preacher did not move me she will have reached the heart of someone; 8000 people between this event and the one at Minehead means that God will touch many lives and ultimately all of them but at different times and in different ways.
Sadly Alison seems to have developed quite severe Conjunctivitus resulting in an early morning dash to the chemists for eye drops and so we have both missed out on this mornings sessions (Symphony). Shes resting at the moment without her contact lenses in. Might get out for a walk later.
OR I might go to the bookshop/Dvd/Cd and see what might tempt me ……………………..