Advent Day 3

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

2 Peter 1:16-22

These paragraphs have a the tang of old-school, hard-core, not always sensitive Peter about them. I am encouraged by Peter’s impulsiveness and imperfection as a disciple…if Jesus could use him, I imagine it might work out for me, too.

Later on, Peter seems to become more temperate and thoughtful, but I like how this passage has some of the old swagger to it. Look, he says, we disciples didn’t make this stuff up. We’re telling you about Jesus like it was, for real, and when you get around to interpreting it, you can’t act like you alone have a corner on the story. Because that’s not how God works. It’s a matter of a group of people with the Spirit working through them.

At the risk of sounding insensitive, I think we need this reminder sometimes. The disciples didn’t make this stuff up. They saw it and lived it and experienced it in all it’s flesh and blood reality. And it was so amazing that they had to tell it like it was.

And now, when we carry that story around in scripture, we have to rely on the fact that the Spirit worked through them and through us, and we have the story as one community, not as a whole bunch of individuals who get to turn and twist it however it works best for us.

That’s one reason we work best…no, scratch that, we ONLY work…in community. Community is messy, and difficult, but we need each other be able to really truly hear the scriptures, hear the story, and be confident that we are figuring out what it means.

Which makes it too bad that the church usually splinters along lines where we wind up hanging out with only those Christians whose interpretation matches ours.

While we are waiting for Jesus, we should probably be waiting together. So, maybe another Advent task is to find the people whose interpretation you disagree with (and, this might mean going outside of your own church!), and spending some time with them.

Because on our own, we are more likely to make the mistake of twisting the story around to suit our own purposes and missing the whole point.

One Response to “Advent Day 3”

  1. ssb Says:

    Amen. I’m having an advent where I need to be reminded of waiting together. Glad to read your writing/thoughts again!

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