A Question of Balance

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Little Rock Connections: The Good News for Today
May 2018

Interview with Amy Ekeh

Interview with Amy Ekeh

“Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.”
(Romans 15:7)

Amy EkehAmy Ekeh joined the staff of Little Rock Scripture Study at the start of February. Readers of Little Rock Connections will recognize her name from the wonderful article she wrote for our January newsletter, “Being Right and the End of Wisdom.” You may also recognize her name from her articles that have appeared in Catechist Magazine and Liguorian Magazine. And if you read Lent, Season of Transformation, you surely felt better prepared for Easter this year.

To further introduce Amy to you, Cackie Upchurch, our director, asked her a few questions. Take a look!

You’ve chosen to invest yourself in teaching and writing about the Bible. Why do you think it’s an essential part of being a follower of Christ?

St. Gregory the Great wrote that the Bible is like a mirror that we look into and see our inward selves. In this mirror, we see our beauty and our flaws. We are reassured of God’s love for us, but we are also urged to grow, change, and become even more beautiful.

It’s exciting to me to have this kind of “conversation” with God every time I open a Bible. What will I learn about God? What will I learn about myself? What will I learn about what it means for God and I to be together?

To be able to devote myself to sharing the gift of Scripture with others is a privilege—and a responsibility that I don’t take lightly.

Do you have a favorite Bible verse or story at this time in your life? Tell us more.

I’ve always been partial to Zacchaeus because I share in his “height challenge”! Zacchaeus wasn’t making the best decisions. In fact, he was harming others. But there was something inside of him that knew his life wasn’t right. That was the thing that motivated him to climb that tree, to get a better look at the savior of the world. Jesus, on the other hand, was planning to pass through the town. But he saw Zacchaeus in the tree, and his heart was moved to spend time with him. I can only imagine what was going through Zacchaeus’ mind as Jesus started walking towards that tree: “Wait, is he coming over here?” As we know, the encounter ends with a declaration of salvation in the house of Zacchaeus. The story is an amazing testament to how our lives can change when we are looking for Jesus and he is looking for us (Luke 19:1-10).

Who are some of the biblical scholars and teachers who influence you?

My parents were really my first teachers in the faith. They never made a big fuss over faith or Scripture, but I always knew it was important. I still remember my mom’s RSV study Bible with her notes and highlights in it, and I remember my eyes bugging out when my dad read me the description of the risen and glorified Christ in the Book of Revelation, a passage that still gives me goosebumps (1:12-20)! When I was seven, my Sunday School teacher gave me a Good News Bible. During church services (we were Presbyterian at the time), I used to sit and read Proverbs and match the verses up with Annie Vallotton’s wonderful little pictures. I sure loved that Bible.

Many people nurtured my passion for Scripture along the way, and when I started graduate school, I decided I wanted to take every Scripture class I could fit into my schedule. I took Old Testament courses with Fr. Christopher Begg and New Testament courses with Fr. Frank Matera. Both are outstanding scholars, but they are also kind, humble men. Something about studying the Bible in an academic setting with people who are grounded in living discipleship in “real life” brought my appreciation for Scripture to another level. Because of this experience, I tend to prefer scholarship that is grounded in a genuinely pastoral outlook. I’m less interested in the latest scholarly theory and more interested in how ideas shape and change lives.

How has your appreciation for God’s Word changed in the course of your ministry? Are there events that have helped to deepen your appreciation?

My first ministry position was as a Director of Religious Education at a parish in Clinton, Maryland. I was responsible for students from pre-K through 8th grade. I enjoyed the job, but I didn’t feel settled. Some years later, I moved into an Adult Faith Formation position at the same parish. As I began to teach and discuss the faith with adults, I discovered where I belonged. This wasn’t because I was so good at teaching them; it was because I loved what they were teaching me. I learned so much from the faith journeys of the men and women in my parish. They brought a perspective to Scripture that I had never experienced in the classroom or in my ministry up to that point. I realized then how multi-faceted Scripture is, how when different people read the same text, it refracts light through the beautiful prism of each person’s experience.

Teaching Scripture to adults has also helped me appreciate how Scripture truly is living and active (Heb 4:12). I may teach the same topics year after year, but somehow they are always new. There is a depth and dynamism to Scripture that just isn’t found in any other book. I guess that’s what happens when God and people make something together!

(Visit www.amyekeh.com for more about Amy.)


Bible Institute You still have time to register for the 2018 Bible Institute here in Little Rock. Registration is due Friday, June 1 for the June 15-17 weekend event. Come learn more about the Old Testament witness to God in an atmosphere that is inviting and joyful. Find out more here.

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