A dispatch from the desert

I have had an odd experience these last couple of weeks of lectionary blogging. It has weakened my sense of nourishment from Scripture. This has never happened with my blogging before, but at this time, right now, I am finding that blogging the lectionary readings has turned my study and reading into a means to an end.

And that has left me with a sense of dryness.

At the same time, thoughts and ideas crowd in about other topics to write about. I have even started writing posts that would violate my Lenten discipline, only to delete them before finishing.

It may be that I am just experiencing the trials and temptations of any fast. It may be something deeper is going on here.

At any rate, this is a report from the midst of Lent. May God sustain you in your observance.

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6 thoughts on “A dispatch from the desert

  1. I don’t blog, but maybe someday I’ll feel prepared and enabled to do so. I do journal however and have enjoyed a sense of honoring what God has revealed to me by attempting to record them and use the revelations more intentionally over time. I have ended up using a “two book system”. I have my journal where I write out my developed ideas as they are inspired and I have my notebook where I jot down the raw thoughts, verses that inspire me, and notes from sermons. When time allows, I use the raw data in my notebook to serve as the inspiration for my journal writing. I would encourage you to not erase those ideas and revelations you receive, even if your Lenten discipline means you temporarily set them aside undeveloped!

    1. I wonder if blogging somehow feels like it corrupts the intimacy of God’s revelation, kind of like when I read scripture for sermon preparation, it feels like it “doesn’t count” as my devotional.

  2. Very interesting observation, John. Perhaps in another year you may choose a richer alternative. You could use the daily readings from the Order of St. Luke, or from the Episcopal Church. I believe they are somewhat shaped by the lectionary themes. Another possibility would be to use a schedule like a read-through-the-Bible in a year program. This leads to an in-depth study/reflection on Bible passages that may be overlooked by the lectionary/church. The pace of this is a bit overwhelming with large chunks of text to read each day; but you can modify it by focusing on ONE text a day.

    1. An untimely reply, but the biggest issue is that blogging the lectionary has turned reading Scripture into something I do for the purpose of writing about it.

      Always before now — I realized in the last few weeks — I’ve always written because I felt like I needed to write to work through some thoughts or because I wanted to share something that was on my mind with the world. The writing grew out of questions and issues that I wanted to share.

      I reversed that with this now-aborted Lenten discipline. Perhaps I should have just had silence rather than try to do this.

      1. It took me a LONG time (many years) to realize that the texts the lectionary leaves out were left out for a reason. They challenge our assumptions; they are not supportive of community development; or they are counter-cultural. I became fascinated with these texts after being a lectionary preacher for several cycles. Reading between the lines of the lectionary can be revolutionary and spiritually refreshing. The lectionary can stretch us or confine us, but it is well to be aware of WHAT it is doing to us and to the churches we serve.

  3. Hola! I’ve been reading your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Kingwood Texas! Just wanted to say keep up the great work!

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