What can I believe?
CrossOver reflection for Week One • Beginning December 2, 2018
We Make the Road by Walking, Chapter 14
by Rev. Charles D. Brower
“His clothes were as white as snow.
… And flames were all around its wheels.
A river of fire was flowing. It was coming out in front of God.
Thousands and thousands of angels served him.”
– Daniel 7:9b-10a (NIRV)
A worldwide flood with only two of each type of animal surviving?
A burning bush not consumed by flame?
A sea parting so a people can escape slavery?
Early missionaries to Alaska met a people used to hearing tales of feats by the shamans making these Bible stories easy to believe. The locals had heard of shamans’ interstellar travels or of their experiences changing into spirit animals.
Ever wonder how the concept of a Promised Land might sound to an indigenous person hearing a missionary expound promises of a life eternal? Then to hear that same promise followed by an uncertainty of when that fulfillment might happen?
What might be our response today to stories we deem hard to believe? Do the stories in the Bible challenge our faith; do the stories seem impossible?
Rev. Charles Brower is an Inupiaq serving Nome’s Community United Methodist Church. Social justice, homelessness, and high poverty challenge this mission church.
Photo Credit: “parting the red sea” by amboo who? , CC BY-SA 2.0.
Thank you for this first reflection. Maybe I’m missing something, but the start is at chapter 14, not at chapter 1?
Greater NW Communications
The study is starting at Chapter 14 so that readings can roughly align with the Christian calendar (readings for Holy Week will take place in Holy Week) McLaren’s book is written to accommodate different approaches. We’ll end up completing the study by returning to the beginning of the book. The study schedule can be found here: https://greaternw.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/CrossOver-Reading-Schedule.pdf
Ah, thank you. I missed that information because I jumper in later.