I'm "attending" the Festival of Homiletics this week (from my dining room). The lecture I just watched was by Ellen F. Davis who teaches at Duke. She was talking about truth telling.
Our primary vocation is to shape our words, imaginations, and lives by the biblical story. We have the responsibility to affirm moral imagination as a social force & a genuine politics which negotiates difference with a concern for truth. To do these things we must tell the story well. The guidelines for truthful storytelling are:
- transparency that opens a window onto the present moment,
- faith that looks for God's work
- hope that opens to the future
- and love
She focused on the early Exodus story to explore creation, power, and fear. We need to summon courage and humility in order to face how we are corporately Pharaoh, healing our (hardened) heart disease.
The Bible is not fantasy literature. Destructive power is real, and its consequences are tragically permanent.
What started in the story as natural fear has, through the story, become holy fear. Fear of the Lord is true faith. It is knowing where real power reside and acting on it. It is the opposite of pharaonic insanity, arrogance, recklessness, and moral blindness. Fear of the Lord is empowering, because it is the flipside of the love of God.