ULU: Bread of Life: Reflections on Texts from the New Common Lectionary by B. David Williams
Stories, examples, parables, metaphors, and humor support the sixty three reflections on bibilical texts from the Revised Common Lectionary. The author uses a "theme approach," addressing issues and questions sometimes overlooked in preaching, balancing private, personal spirituality with the social and corporate.
Open-minded and ecumenical in tone, ULU reflects the theology of one firmly planted in the Wesleyan tradition, where scripture, tradition, experience, and reason insist upon openness to the new things that God is doing, and where believers seek to work actively for the transformation of creation according to the values and the vision of the realm of God.
Twenty original monochrome photos by the author are distributed between chapters.
"I´m convinced that the Gospel enters our experience with the most sharpness and clarity at the points of the pain and passion of our life-encounters. As a comfortable middle-class, straight, white male American Christian, I´ve had virtually everything to learn from the people to whom I´ve been "sent." Experiences in the Philippines and Pacific Islands, those while working with the World Hunger Emphasis of The United Methodist Church, and while assigned to ecumenical organizations, have had profound impact upon my faith and my approach to Bible study and worship preparation. Serving as pastor of congregations that openly welcomed gay and lesbian persons into a full participation have extended this experience.
"I´m also convinced that the Gospel most powerfully enters the experience of those to whom we´ve been sent when it speaks practical hope to vulnerabilities and pain. At their best, and as they were intended to be, ministries of service are a vital, integral part of the task of evangelization, which not only involves preaching Good News, but BEING Good News. Preaching and "reflecting" are meaningless without serious engagement with real life!
"The simplest of traditional cultures to which I was introduced have helped me in my spiritual journey. As a Filipino anthropologist friend said after spending some weeks with the so-called "Lost Tribe," the Tasaday, in South Cotabato, "We´ll not realize how much we have to learn from them until we admit to what we ourselves have lost."
"My friends in traditional/indigenous cultures have made me more sensitive to deeper meanings in stories and parables. Perhaps they´re more aware than we so-called "educated folk" that this is how we transmit our culture and values. It´s in the stories where we find the greatest richness of the Bible, in both the old and New Testaments. Jesus constantly taught through story, parable, and metaphor. Taking a shallow, literal approach to these causes us to miss the many layers of meanings and themes which the writers intended to be addressed. While stories may not prove something, they illustrate something, and they carry their own conviction. It´s up to us to incorporate them into our insight and understanding.
"Hearing the stories of others has put me in closer touch with my own. May mine do the same for you!"