The Rev. Jane Lancaster Patterson Meditation

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Psalm: 63:1-11, 98; Amos 9:11-15; John 5:30-47

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15 , 2013  

“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf” (Jn 5:39). In today's reading from the Gospel of John, Jesus continues to defend himself before the religious authorities, pointing out the irony that, though they know the scriptures, they do not recognize how Jesus is embodying the very love and power of God o which the scriptures bear witness. And doesn't that remain the irony and the challenge of our lives? To recognize the God of the scriptures in the confusion of detail that confronts us each day, and to join ourselves to the work of God in our specific time and place. In my classes, I sometimes compare the Bible to a bird identification book. The point isn't to memorize the book, but to be able to recognize the bird when it shows up in your yard! Likewise, as Jesus says to those who confront him, the point of the scriptures is to train our eyes to recognize the God who shows up in our midst, the one who looks like Jesus. This is the ongoing Advent of God in our lives. I wonder where you will spot the unmistakable outline of Christ today...

God, grant me the grace to recognize you in my life and to embody your love for all whom you have entrusted to me. Amen.  


The Rev. Jane Lancaster Patterson, PhD
Assistant Professor of New Testament
Seminary of the Southwest
CITS, 1993