I am in the middle of several books, as usual.
I am slowly going through José Antonio Pagola’s Jesús: una aproximación histórica, an amazing reading of Jesus, that has helped me in my preaching and work with the people. It provides a hopeful way of reading the life of Jesus. There is an English translation.
During the clergy study week, I began to read Walter Brueggemann’s The Practice of Prophetic Imagination: Preaching an Emancipating Word. What a gem.
What struck me was his way of presenting prophetic teaching not in terms of issues but in terms of what narrative rules our lives? Does our narrative reflect the biblical narrative of God and Jesus at the center of meaning of all creation and history?
This also means that we ask whether ours is a narrative of hope – or a narrative of fear? Our preaching and our life of faith – are they based on a loving response, with gratitude, to love?
One phrase struck with me. Considering the question of historical reliability of the texts, he notes:
…so far as we care about reliability, we finally assert that whatever may be the “data,” we stake our lives in it, and live, as best we are able, in the world mandated by this narrative.
What do I stake my life on? Do I stake it on a God who became flesh as a poor child in an occupied land and who went about doing good – preaching the Kingdom and healing, and who gave his life for us?
What narrative rules my soul?