I realize that I’m a little late, but I finally feel like 2011 is getting into gear. Most of the clean out jobs were completed by our self-made due date of January 1, but the task of putting into place the changes and new activities that are needed for the next year, well, that usually takes me a while longer. And so, now the decisions are made: the decision made between two forks in the road; the application submitted; the choice made between Italian or German classes; committee-work restarted; research begun for the new blog I will launch in March (more on that some other time); and well into gathering and sorting materials for the next recording session.
These were the easy things. But this week marks the beginning of something totally new and more than a little frightening: my first seminary class that deals directly with the primary source of my faith — the Bible. I feel lucky in that, because of my previous degree in Biblical Archaeology, I am not about to face what so many face in this situation face — that sense of disillusionment that comes when you study the history of how human beings came to create and assemble this book we hold so dear. I am used to working with this text as an historical primary source.
But the whole idea of addressing it as a text of my faith, is, well, a bit more daunting. The idea that I will have something to say that has not been said, is, well, frightening. And the idea that I will be writing the commentary myself, not quoting the work of others that I am quite convinced are smarter and more worthy to make comment, well, that idea almost stops me in my tracks.
I have done it once before, I know. I have actually researched and written a sermon. And while I relied a lot on others commentary for that activity, I know that I had something to contribute–I know that I ofered a different perspective, at least a little bit.
In a life devoted to taking the next “right” step, I know that this class is it; I know that this is a skill that I must add to my toolkit; I know that I must begin to think of myself as someone who has something to say on this topic. And I know that so much of what I feel called to do will rely on this foundation.
So, my new chair awaits with its cashmere throw and its wonderful reading light, all installed. Next to it, that stack of books will just have to wait while I get started reading again but for the very first time, the books of Philippians, 1 Thessolonians, and Philemon (oh, did I forget to mention that, crazy me, I started with a class on the Epistles?)