Reflections from Pastor Kim
“…let the wise also hear and gain in learning, and the discerning acquire skill,… "
I am a lifetime learner. There has never been a time in my life that I can remember not wanting to know more about, well, anything! Now, this can be both a blessing and a curse. It means I know just enough about just about everything to be a bit dangerous. It also means that I have spent many nights in my life (still do) reading way too late into the night, which leaves me a little bleary eyed for the day to come. This need to continue to learn has included learning more about scripture, the Church, and my role in the midst of that.
One thing that fascinates me is to read scripture and then dig into the context of what was going on at the time it was written. Why was this story important to the people of the time. What was the original words in which it was written? Do they mean the same thing today? Did the story have an ulterior motive or is it clearly directed by God? So very many different things to dig into.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Perhaps the hardest thing I’ve found to do with knowledge is to relearn something. An example would be to dive into new knowledge and then discern how that effects what I already know to be true, then draw new and informed conclusions to add to the knowledge bank. The longer I’ve had the base knowledge, the harder it is to think of the topic or situation in a different light. Let’s think on the familiar Birth of Christ story. In our youth as we are building the foundation of our faith, all the events of the Birth of Christ happen in one night, right? That is, according to the annual Christmas pageant! When we begin to age and read scripture ourselves, what an onslaught of emotion there is when we realize that our Christmas pageant story actually comes from more than one story. Then as we get older and the realization hits that not all the Gospel writers felt the “Birth of Christ” was worthy of inclusion, but instead focused on the life and ministry of Christ, there’s another hiccup. At that point there is yet another gut punch to our faith, or at least a realization that we may need to dig deeper; learn more.
“An intelligent mind acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.”
What I’ve found to be particularly helpful in my journey of lifelong learning, is having people to bounce my thoughts off of as I wonder about what I’ve been learning. That includes colleagues, friends, small groups and educators in many different levels and genres. If I just lean on my own understanding, I miss the depth of meaning in nearly every topic known to man. When it comes to scripture, in my mind and life, it is essential to have those folks in my life who I can question, safely debate with, and in all things, learn together.
“Give instruction to the wise, and they will become wiser still; teach the righteous and they
will gain in learning.”
How about you? How do you learn best? No matter what age you are as you read this, your faith can deepen. Whether you are young, middle-aged, or in your golden years, deepening your faith is still very important. How we read and understand the Living Word throughout our lives, is indeed the “Living” part of the Word. Our age, our experiences and our culture all plays a part in how we experience that Living Word. Though it is timeless, it speaks to the people of every age, in every age. All of us can use someone to bounce our learnings off of, to help us discern is we are hearing what we think we are hearing.
How are you working towards learning more about scripture? What about learning to deepen your faith? I’d love to have a chat with you about how we can work on those things together. Feel free to contact me at any time to dive a bit deeper or to chat about what tools I may be able to offer for your faith journey.
Above all – DON’T STOP LEARNING!
Be blessed, be a blessing, and take someone with you on the journey!
Pastor Kim Dewey