Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.
Discussion: The Blue Parakeet by Scott McKnight
From Chapter 2, “The Birds and I”
McKnight starts off this chapter by telling a story about a blue parakeet that landed in his back yard. He observed this unusual visitor and watched how the regular attenders of his back yard reacted. At first the sparrows were afraid of the movement and the noise made by the unique intruder. Eventually, as the parakeet made itself at home, the sparrows became more comfortable around the bird and went back to their usual bird business.
Chance encounters sometimes lead us deeper into thought. The passages I mentioned in the previous chapter as well as comments from students are for me “blue parakeet experiences.” When we encounter blue parakeets in the Bible or in the questions of others, whether we think of something as simple as the Sabbath or foot washing or as complex and emotional as women in church ministries or homosexuality, we have to stop and think. Is this passage for today or not? Sometimes we hope the blue parakeet will go away – as I hoped. After all, it was just a pet. Or perhaps we shoo them away. Or perhaps we try to catch them and return them to their cage. I tried to see if I could catch the birth, but he (or she) didn’t even let me get close. It had been caged and it wanted its freedom.
How we respond to passages and questions will determine if we become aware of what is going on or not. When chance encounters with blue parakeet passages in the Bible happen to come our way, we are given the opportunity to observe and learn. In such cases, we really do open ourselves to the thrill of learning how to read the Bible. But, like the sparrows, we have to get over our fears and learn to adjust to the squawks of the Bible’s blue parakeets. We dare not tame them.
How do you read the Bible? What happens to you when you encounter blue parakeet passages in the Bible will reveal all you need to know about how to read the Bible.
I will leave that last question up for discussion: “How do you read the Bible?”
I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name O Most High.
My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. For you have upheld my right and my cause; you have sat on your throne, judging righteously. You have rebuked the nations and destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name for ever and ever. Endless ruin has overtaken the enemy, you have uprooted their cities; even the memory of them has perished.
The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know you name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the Lord, enthroned in Zion; proclaim among the nations what he has done. For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cry of the afflicted.
O Lord, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death, that I may declare your praises in the gates of the Daughter of Zion and there rejoice in your salvation. The nations have fallen into the pit they have dug; there feet are caught in the net they have hidden. The Lord is known by his justice; the wicked are ensnared by the work of their hands.
The wicked return to the grave, all the nations that forget God. But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.
Arise, O Lord, let not man triumph; let the nations be judged in your presence. Strike them with terror, O Lord; let the nations know they are but men.
Proverbs 11: 9-10
With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor, but through knowledge the righteous escape. When the righteous prosper, the city rejoices; when the wicked perish, there are shouts of joy.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.
Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?
Photo credit: Kathi – Incredible Florida clouds!