Today we launch a study of the Bible as Progressive Christians living in 2020- "The Bible you didn't know You Could Believe In". Through the study we respond to the call of Jesus to the First Disciples to follow him on the path of Light of God's Love. We have heard the gospel call before and have answered which is why we gather. Our experience, hope and trust in God is truly important . Sadly, the Jesus message of Love and Inclusion which is the bedrock of our faith has been transformed into sand in our modern culture due to the contamination of literalism. Literalism seeks to transform the historic metaphorical understanding into seeing the stories as actual literal happenings. It is an ill-conceived narrow effort to counter the truth of science. It has confused people to the point that many modern people are turning their backs on God even though the need for Spiritual Life is greater than ever having the effect of killing the Holy Mystical truth of God's love. As Anglicans we have always understood that our story speaks to the "real presence" of God. We read the scripture as a source of the Holy Mystery of God. However, we live in a very learned, concrete evidence based society. Knowledge about the planet and universe doubles every year and one-half. Literalism has the effect of presenting Christian truth as false evidence! The net result is that more and more people are turning their backs on the faith that has guided and warmed us during our lifetimes.
We are called to prune out the sand of literalism which clogs faith and return to the beauty of God's love in our life. Our journey as disciples is to pass on our understanding of God's loving presence through the teaching of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to the generations following us in a way that gets us back to the "rock foundation" of love. The study in the parish will give us language to counter the cultural problems associated with literalism and assist those of our loved ones who have found this interpretation as a block to following Jesus. It will give us the vision that God loves all of God's Creation.