Stories are some of the most powerful things we can share. It’s our life stories that give us a sense of identity. We don’t know someone until we hear their story. We don’t feel a part of a community until we share stories with other members, and usually, it’s the understanding of those stories that makes us want to join communities.
B’reshit by Andrea Hernandez
In MCC, our story has often been one of overcoming rejection and loneliness, and finding community. In fact, we are part of a bigger story than this, a story that begins with the Spirit of God hovering over the waters of chaos, creating a world, setting apart the people of Israel as God’s special people, freeing them from captivity in Egypt and in Babylon, and then through Jesus the Messiah, bringing the Good News to the whole world.
The credits have not yet rolled on this greatest story. It’s not just a story that we remember. We are a part of it.
Our world presents us with many different stories. One such story is the story of Empire, of one nation fulfilling its manifest destiny to have control over the world. Another story tells of technological progress, that eventually industry and science will create a utopia. Others put faith in the story of “The American Dream,” that working hard and buying property will create happiness-and this story of middle-class, suburban bliss has spread beyond America into many lands.
Crossroads by Ross
But we stand at a crossroads. The stories of Empire, Technological Utopias, and Suburban Dreams are not compatible with the story we are called to.
In this story, we meet with God, we hear God speak, and we remind ourselves of who we really are.
Since this story is so central to our identity and our purpose, it is no surprise how painful it can be when the Bible is weaponized, and especially when it is used against us or those we love. Sometimes we are caught in the cross-fire between a fundamentalism which worships the book, and a liberalism which rejects it.
We’ve a story to tell the nations. Sacred texts range from poetry to wisdom to history to teaching to heartfelt story and mystery are enduring. All at once they can inspire, challenge, comfort, enrage, and soothe. Hebrews 10:16 notes:
This is the promise that I will make to them after those days, says the Lord: ‘I will put my teachings in their hearts and write them in their minds.
The scriptures witness to the goodness, love, and justice of the Creator. Since sacred texts like the bible have been used to convict, condemn, and marginalize people, it is important to study, to realize their full context, and view them through the lens of the entire body of scriptures.
These texts contain our story too as a people who seek justice, mercy, and God’s enduring love. And God still has more to say to us.
Sacred writings continue as God continues to inspire, challenge, teach and tell of covenant relationship with the Creator. We co-create our lives, our world, and our continuing story with the great God of our understanding.
Some questions that the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith has been asking about scripture and sacred text include:
- What is the role of scripture in worship and in spiritual formation?
- What authority does the Bible hold in theological reflection?
- Are other texts also sacred, and if so, what is their place?
Some Questions to Consider
We’d like to hear about your experiences. Join the conversation on our Facebook page, or send your private reply to us through the MCC website. See links below.
- How do you define/identify “sacred text”?
- What has been your experience with sacred texts and their use?
- What place do sacred texts have in your faith? In your relationship with God?
B’reshit by Andrea Fernandez
Thank you for being a part of the conversation. We look forward to continuing the dialogue.
Your Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith
Rev. Cathy Alexander; Washington, D.C. (USA), serves MCC of Washington DC as the Associate Pastor as well as the Network Co-Leader for the Eastern Network.
Rev. Dr. Karl Hand is a member of the Commission on the MCC Statement of Faith and the Senior Pastor at Crave MCC in New South Wales (Australia).
Subscribe to the Commission’s newsletter by sending us a request: Statement of Faith Newsletter