What a lovely way to begin- with a blessing of grace and peace. My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who make up the local Samoan church taught me the importance of greeting and beginning service with a Biblical blessing. Noting like starting out in the Spirit of God, eh, to get the conversation started.
Imagine how our world might be if we all greeted one another the way the Apostle Paul greeted the churches in his letters. We can learn a lot about how to live our lives well by reading the Bible. Richard Rohr teaches that when we read and use God’s Word maturely, we discover how they confront, convert, and console us.
Nearly every story in the Bible confronts us with a bigger picture than we’re used to: God’s Kingdom, which has the power to tear down our smaller, false kingdoms. Jesus especially confronts our notions that God’s rule is okay as long as it doesn’t interfere with the human rules we follow. In such confrontations, Jesus turns our world upside down…or more accurately he turns it right-side up!
God’s Word has the power to convert us to welcome this new world and way of thinking by proclamation, grace, and the sheer attraction of the good, the true, and the beautiful. God does not resort to shame, guilt, or fear like the human world tends to rely on. God converts us with unconditional, everlasting, steadfast love. Jesus is the perfect example of how powerful and life changing God’s love can be.
Lastly, stories and words that make up the Scriptures have the power to console us and bring deep healing as they reconstruct us in a new place with a new mind and heart. If you seek consolation as the first meaning of a biblical text, you may not get very far because our human heart often believes we are in control of our mindset. It’s only when you let go, and let God’s Spirit move you through the text, that you are moved into a new and truer self – the beloved image of God’s love and faithfulness.
Rohr, Richard. Yes, And...Daily Meditations. Franciscan Media:1997. p. 59