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Encountering God through the Bible
Encountering God through the Bible

Encountering God in the Bible: Weekly Summary

Saturday, February 5, 2022

The marvelous anthology of books and letters called the Bible is for the sake of a love affair between God and the soul. —Richard Rohr 

One way to read the entire Bible is to note the gradual unveiling of our faces, the gradual creating of “persons” capable of relationship with God and all others. We grow from infants totally receiving love, to teenage love, to infatuation, to adult communion. Biblical spirituality has the potential of creating persons who can both receive and give out of love, and love that is perfectly free. —Richard Rohr 

Revelation occurs not in the words and statements of individuals, but in the conversation among individuals and God. —Brian McLaren 

Friendship is contingent on love—real love: compassion, empathy, reaching out, going beyond what we imagine is possible. That is the command: love. And if we reach out in love, friendship is the result, even friendship with God. —Diana Butler Bass 

It’s not about becoming spiritual beings nearly as much as about becoming human beings. The biblical revelation is saying that we are already spiritual beings; we just don’t know it yet. The Bible tries to let you in on the secret, by revealing God in the ordinary. —Richard Rohr 

The power of God’s words works as leaven in the heart, awakening us to a personal experience of the presence of God that Scripture reveals. —James Finley 

Lectio Divina with Poetry  

CAC Board member Drew Jackson is a pastor and poet, whose poems reflect his deep understanding of and relationship with Scripture. We invite you to engage in the practice of lectio divina with his poem “Of Earth and Sky,” based on the genealogy of Jesus offered in Luke 3:23–38, using this guideline from Father Richard:  

Read the following passage slowly four times. With the first reading (perhaps aloud), listen with your heart’s ear for a phrase or word that stands out for you. During the second reading, reflect on what touches you, perhaps speaking that phrase or word aloud or writing it in a journal. Third, respond with a prayer or expression of what you have experienced and to what you are called. Fourth, rest in silence after the reading. [1] 

Of Earth and Sky  

Let me tell you about the ancestors,  
she said to me as I sat and relaxed 
myself into Grandma’s lap. She was  
sharp, and even in her old age 
her memory could search  
into the far reaches of the past.

I can’t stay up too late, not like I used to.  
And then she proceeded to tell me tales 
of Greats and Great Greats who did some  
great and not-so-great things. Our family 
tree is filled with triumph and struggle.  
The imperfections make it beautiful.

They’re all just human, you know, just like you.  
She poked her frail finger into the flesh of my pectoral.  
My kin, of the earth—the humus—yet filled with the breath 
of God. Is this not what it means to be adam?

Never forget who you come from,  
she said before calling it a night. Her words 
implied that this sort of remembrance 
would keep me grounded, but also keep me going.  
Soaring high when they try to keep me down.  
I won’t forget that I am of earth and sky. 

Experience a version of this practice through video and sound.

Ilia Delio, Keith Douglass Warner, and Pamela Wood, Care for Creation: A Franciscan Spirituality of the Earth (Cincinnati, OH:

[1] Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016), 30.  

From God Speaks Through Wombs: Poems on God’s Unexpected Coming, a book of poetry by Drew Jackson. Copyright ©2021 by Drew Edward Jackson. Used by permission of InterVarsity Press, PO Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515. 

Explore Further. . .

Image credit: Barbara Holmes, Untitled 17 & 20 (detail), 2021, photograph, United States, used with permission. Warren K. Leffler, Civil rights march on Washington, D.C., 1963 (detail), Photograph, public domain. Jenna Keiper and Leslye Colvin, 2021, triptych art, United States. 

The creative team at CAC sent a single-use camera to core teacher Dr. Barbara Holmes as part of an exploration into contemplative photography. Her photos are featured here together with historical images in a form inspired by early Christian/Catholic triptych art: a threefold form that tells a unified story.  

Image Inspiration: The Bible reveals the ongoing work of liberation by God and God’s people. It is a bridge to our understanding of God moving through the ordinariness of time and space. Just like this river: symbolizing the continuing story of the struggle for justice as it flows around and through this freedom fighter of the 1960s.

Prayer for our community:

God, Lord of all creation, lover of life and of everything, please help us to love in our very small way what You love infinitely and everywhere. We thank You that we can offer just this one prayer and that will be more than enough,  because in reality every thing and every one is connected, and nothing stands alone. To pray for one part is really to pray for the whole, and so we do. Help us each day to stand for love, for healing, for the good, for the diverse unity of the Body of Christ and all creation, because we know this is what You desire: as Jesus prayed, that all may be one. We offer our prayer together with all the holy names of God, we offer our prayer together with Christ, our Lord, Amen.

Listen to the prayer.

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