Advent 3, Friday, Year A

Inspired by 2 Peter 3:11-18

“So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, speaking of this as he does in all his letters.  There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.”  2 Peter 3:15b-16 (NRSV)

Many people quote verses from the bible to prove that their position on a given issue is from God.  And then their opposition will quote different verses from the same bible that seem to support their position.  And yet others will quote still other verses taken out of context to demonstrate that the bible actually bears no relevance to our lives today.  For anyone earnestly seeking God’s authoritative word, it can be extremely discouraging.

In fact, the bible does not contain God’s authoritative word on any ‘issue’ of our time.  Issues rely upon cultures and social norms to give them definition; God’s word transcends culture and society.  Instead the bible points us to the God who is actively engaged in our lives through all times and in all places, and by getting to know how people have perceived and understood God’s activity in the past we can better discern how he might be working in our lives today.

The bible points us to the authority, but the bible is not the authority.  We do not worship the bible, and we do not rely on the bible for our salvation.  All that comes from God.

Let us pray.  God of all times and places, you have revealed your will to prophets and disciples of old.  Help us to recognize your grace and wisdom in their words, that we may discern your will and activity in our lives today.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.