Tuesday, March 28, 2006

devotioning while...drunk?

so i'm reading today's devotional; it's about the miracle of the fishes and loaves. the devotional is put-putting along in standard fashion and then, this:

"The second part confuses me. It says that Christ blessed the food and broke it and set it down before the four thousand people, yet it doesn’t say how God multiplied the food. All Mark wrote down was that they were satisfied. After thinking, I came up with two answers. Either it was a miracle that God created more food, or, since they began with seven loaves and seven baskets remained at the end, then all that God did was make the crowd feel full without eating. When I thought about this I thought, “Why would Jesus require the disciples to go in search of bread if he knew that God’s miracle would make the people full?” I thought that maybe this was a test for the disciples. How far would they go to help Jesus?"

the tone was so bizarre, i thought, 'Hm. How refreshing (er, strange) to have a devotional that's totally up front with being confused. And what an...interesting (er, weird) way of entering the scripture.'

but then i kept reading and came to this part:
"Believe it or not, I had a lot more ideas about this passage that confused me and probably have confused some other people, too. Perhaps the Bible is supposed to confuse us and not be so descriptive in all the things that it says. If it were clear, then there wouldn’t be any good sermons in the churches."

OK, i thought, which of our pastoral staff submitted a drunk devotional?? (and i will admit i totally thought it was my friend, CM. the devotional was too weird to be american. it had to be the product of some bizarro european.)

but, no.

our candid and thoughtful devotional was written by ...
(wait for it)

a seventh grader.


Songbird said...

I love your telling of this. The seventh grader did a good job!

john patrick said...

Well, I have some seniors from a Catholic high school who write less coherently and who don't show have as much evidence of scriptural reflection.

And you know all those people didn't plan to spend an afternoon with JESUS CHRIST without putting a granola bar in their pocket, or something.

Serena said...

Love it! To have been that thoughtful at that age would have been a blessing.

ding said...

i know.
in seventh grade i don't think i was that introspective.

and the 7th grader's devotional is a lot more coherent than the ones written by our director of music.

(his devotion about 'God's Trombone' still makes us all fall out in hilarity.)

john patrick said...

A few years ago there was a young campus minister who, in her morning prayer about Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, took the point of view of the donkey.

"Am I worthy enough for this man to mount me?"

She also managed to pronouce the word "adequate" as "aquedate" more than once.

ding said...


after each sermon, my sister and i would make a list of all the things my dad said wrong and review them on the way home.