I’ve written many posts about Lent, common prayer, the Coronavirus, etc. in my mind these last few weeks. But, with caring for my little newborn, they haven’t made it past a paragraph or two when I actually go to type them. I did manage to write my monthly article for the North American Anglican, sending it in the day before I had my baby (I’m guessing this is the only article on that site finished in between contractions?).
My article, “Surrounded by the Scriptures,” was posted this morning and in light of all that’s going on in our world, I’m finding what I wrote then to be relevant. Isn’t it stunning how the Scriptures leap up at us in light of contemporary events? How the prayers in the Prayer Book seem written just for this moment? As I write in this article, I’m so grateful for the “intertextuality” of a liturgical life by the Prayer Book.
I was a “Preseminary Bible Major” at my evangelical college. While I regret the assumptions about spirituality which caused my switch to this major (not to mention my minimum wage jobs after graduating), I will never regret my Biblical studies and Greek classes. My professors dwelt richly in the Word of Christ, and I found myself heady and bright-eyed at learning the Scriptures through their teaching. I caught a glimpse of what it meant for the New Testament authors to “read” their world through the Old Testament texts and wanted, ardently, to inhabit my world surrounded by the Scriptures.
For my senior seminar, the capstone project, I chose to study the meaning of “freedom” in 2 Corinthians 3:17. I cringed at the way “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” was tossed around to justify a modern view of freedom as simply willy-nilly choice. I wanted to explore what freedom meant to Paul in the New Covenant, and I had always been mesmerized by the way Paul wove together Moses and his veil, letters being written on the heart, being “transformed from glory to glory,” and so much more. Looking at that one verse in its context, of course, led into a glorious maze of intertextuality – Exodus 32 through 34, the New Covenant passages in the prophets, the Transfiguration. I reveled in it. I thought about it constantly. I even dreamed about it. In one dream, I lay sleeping surrounded by glorious light and a veiled Moses, while being battered on the head by glowing Greek phrases.