Thoughts for Wednesday 10th June, 2020

Psalm 29; Job 39:26-40:5; John 14:25-26

 Wednesday 10 June- Rev. Jerry Eve

 First coined by an American professor of Judaic Studies, Peter Ochs, if you ever get the chance to take part in a ‘scriptural reasoning’ event then I would recommend it. The idea is to get people from different faiths together in order to discuss one another’s sacred texts. And while it’s always interesting for us as Christians to learn, for example, about the Talmud or the Koran, it’s also insightful and helpful for us to discover what people from different faith traditions think of the Bible.

 There was once a Buddhist in one of these groups, and the text they were reading was John 1, which begins, ‘In the beginning was the Word’; whereupon he couldn’t resist expressing exasperation that even from the start of Christianity there had been no silence.

 Well, here in the Book of Job, Job is silenced. And we might say, ‘At last’; but for Job what happens is that this then becomes a new starting point – as it can be for all of us, as we too are able to continually start again on our journey of faith saying with Job as well that, ‘I spoke foolishly, Lord. What can I answer? I will not try to say anything else. I have already said more than I should,’ always knowing, of course, that before too long we’ll be babbling a lot of nonsense once again, only that it will be different nonsense!

 Once again we have the Holy Spirit to contend with in our New Testament reading, and I wonder if it’s helpful – as we did yesterday – to try to make that which is intangible tangible by the use of symbols. We’re all aware of the common ones for the Holy Spirit such as the dove and tongues of fire, but two that are less common are:

) The Earnest (KJV) or Deposit (NIV) or Guarantee (GNT) we find in Ephesians 1:14, that ‘we shall receive what God has promised.’ Which, I think, does help to explain the Holy Spirit in part i.e. that it’s a bit like the way we used to have to save up and then put a down-payment on an item in a shop before we could buy it (and I know it’s a credit system these days, but it used to be the case that you wouldn’t be able to get something until you’d paid for it in full) the shopkeeper won’t then sell it to anyone else.

 And the other (another) symbol of the Holy Spirit we find in the Bible is that of the firstfruits (Romans 8:23, KJV) of the Harvest, which in Biblical times were to be given to God in anticipation then of God’s subsequent Providence.

 Let us pray (and let’s try to do so in silence today) Amen.


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