It is a new year. A chance to reflect on our assumptions about life and faith and such.
One of my bug bears is the phrase "The Word of God". When we hear “the Word of God” I think we too quickly think about the Bible. And that quickly gets reduced down to "The Makers Handbook" which is full of ways we are supposed to live and useful little proverbs we can pluck out and apply to all kinds of situations to prove our point - like guns are good and gays are really bad. (Some of my prejudice may be showing at this point.)
This Sunday is the 3rd Sunday in Epiphany. The readings set down are:
- Psalm: 19
- Nehemiah 8:1-3,5-6,8-10
- 1 Cor 12:12-31
- Luke 4:14-21
I think the writers of these passages have something much bigger in mind. The Psalmist talks of the silent word proclaiming the glory of God. The Word is in this silent praise, but is also met in the Law, which was both written and oral. In Nehemiah the people seek the Word, standing and praising as they listen for hours on end. All of this “is about the life-giving, renewing, releasing, freeing, sight-giving nature of God’s word, the joy that it can engender, and the joy of wanting to hear it.”
In Luke we find that the word found in the prophets is fulfilled in Jesus. Or to put it another way, Jesus is the Word of God. And in Jesus the Word changes everything. Including us.But not just us. The bible is not a serlf help manual. It is where we meet the world changing life giving Word of God.
As we listen to the scriptures today I wonder where we meet the Word of God? How are our eyes opened? What are we freed from? How is our poverty met?