In the reflections in the Small Christian Communities we would sometimes start
with biblical quotations and go to corresponding African proverbs, that is, from
faith to life. At other times we would go from life to faith, that is, start
with an African proverb and find matching biblical quotations and applications.
Sometimes this approach produced very fruitful theological reflection. In
Nairobi in April, 1987 I met with a group of Kenyan youths in a faith sharing
discussion. We started with the Swahili proverb Ring and finger don’t
separate. In the brief period of 30 minutes the youth reflected on the
following parallels in the Bible and daily life (in the following
order): Union of husband and wife in Christian marriage. The love of mother
and child. The relationship of Jesus and Mary. Our spiritual bonds with Jesus
and Mary. The Blessed Trinity. The relationship of the vine and branches (John
15). God and the chosen people (Old Testament Reference to Isaiah).
Here was a good example of "the local community as theologian."