Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Rule of Life (Part II)

Back to Simon Chan's Spiritual Theology again, as I continue my Lenten goal of formulating a rule of life: retaining a "communal aspect of reading and listening" helps us "become more fully members of the community of the Scripture" (p. 164).  That, in turn, is a distillation of what Chan's said earlier: "reading the Scripture is not just a pretext for preaching a nicely crafted sermon; it is a traditioning process. The flip side of reading is listening, and listening is no less a communal activity" (116).

Helping others (and myself) to rediscover that "traditioning," to "re-tradition," is (I think) one place where the different facets of my calling conjoin.  On the one hand, this isn't news; it's just the latest way of saying something that I've been working out since my junior year of undergrad or thereabouts (the first time I remember someone naming my gift of hospitality, as such).  On the other hand, to finally have a synthetic handle for this thing that I do -- and that Karen and I do together -- is a valuable thing.  (If you haven't read what Madeleine L'Engle and Michael Knowles each have to say about how vital a name is, you should.)  One could do worse than to say that "re-traditioning" holds one's rule of life together...and that in my case, study and hospitality, and the inward and outward cultivation of reading and listening in community, are some of re-traditioning's principal facets.

Maybe I'll walk around with that for a few days.  If you are predisposed toward prayer, pray for me (and us together) as I do so -- and as we pray through some potentially major vocational decisions, coming up over the next month.  And if you'd like to be involved in that conversation, let me know.