I will tell you something about stories
[he said]
They aren’t just entertainment
Don’t be fooled.
They are all we have you see.
All we have to fight off illness and death.

You don’t have anything if
you don’t have stories.
Their evil is mighty
but it can’t stand up to our stories.
So they try to destroy the stories.
Let the stories be confused or forgotten.
They would like that…
Because we would be defenceless then…

Leslie Marmon Silco – Ceremony

Stories are all we have – the hermeneutic approach of the Bartimaeus Institute.

Native Americans make storytelling dolls out of pottery – collecting the clay is a spiritual and mindful process, native plants and minerals are used for the colours and designs, shaped and smoothed by hand, sanded, slip coats applied and then hand polished – a lengthy and involved process.  These beautiful artworks generally depict an elder with children in their lap,  honouring the oral tradition of the culture, validating the importance of each persons voice in family/community and the importance of the role of storytellers in society for keeping awareness alive.

MLK once said: the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.  That is to say that we need to draw on the wisdom of tradition, history and our elders to better understand ourselves and the world in which we live.

John 1:18 No one has ever seen God.  It is the Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made God known (Greek: exegesato) – Jesus ‘decodes’ gives meaning to God.

Luke 10:25-30, 36f
A) What must I do to inherit eternal life?
B) What’s written in the Torah? How do you read it?
C) Love the Lord your God
D) Given right answer. Do this.
E) Who is my nieghbour?
F) Who was neighbour to the robbed man?
G) One who showed mercy.
H) Go and do it.

3 disciplines of interpretation: what stands? how do we read it? what do we do with it?

Who around you has stories you could be learning from?  Are you making space to hear them?
If you live a life trying to be like Jesus, what are the ways in which your life points to or gives meaning to God?
What ways does what you read influence/affect praxis in your life?

We need wisdom that is older, wider, deeper than we are – sacred stories provide that.  Listening to the old stories needs to be central to any expression of faith that is related to transformation. We need to have a practise of returning to the well of imagination.