I wrote for The Year of Luke 6 years ago, that I was "learning to pay attention to my first impressions. There is always more to consider, and insight to seek, but often my first impression tells a surprising amount about a passage of scripture- or about myself! It makes sense."
This instinct has served me well. I say in an early post this year
David Tacey says that "the story of Jesus enables us to see the life of the spirit: the Jesus story opens a window to the soul." He goes on to say "that the Jesus story is about the secret life of us… a story about the life of the human soul." (Beyond Literal Belief: Religion as Metaphor pp 59, 63)
This means that at least as important as the text, is our response to the text, especially our emotional response. So a key question is:
What are your emotions after reading this? Boredom, confusion, anger, fear, curiosity…?
There is no "right response" to a text, but our emotions key into what the text may say to us. Reading our emotions is important: I knew a child who, when faced with something distasteful, would yawn prodigiously and begin to fall asleep! What does my anger/fear/curiosity/enthusiasm etc signify? My little friend's boredom was not his primary emotion; it signified something else!
I find this to be true for me, too.
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