In the broadest sense, figural reading is a long-term visa and a rail-pass rolled up into one, that opens up pathways across the extraordinary terrain of the Bible, in a way that includes all reality.
Rather than acting as a signpost to the strange new world of Scripture, the sermon all-too-often obstructs our view of the Bible’s terrain. We have lost sight of the strange; our pews remain fixed in the familiar.
We may still be attracted to the holy, but disbelief permeates our faith in God because it’s what we “breathe in our times.” Therefore, it’s becoming harder – even for Christians – to view God as believable in today’s age.
In the role of a pastor, results are not tangible and are seldom measurable. Even when they are measurable, the question of what they are measuring is an open one. I can apply myself to a task and see nothing change over long periods of time. Pastoral ministry can often feel purposeless.
Living with faith, hope, and courage in the time between Jesus’ resurrection and the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come, our life is “on the way.”