For some the words of scripture pierce the heart and enlighten the darkened mind. But for others scripture is opaque, archaic or so overwritten by prior interpretations—brilliant or deadening—that they cannot read it without a cacophony of contending viewpoints clamoring in the back of their minds.
After Jesus returned to the Father, the disciples withdrew to the upper room. They may have been waiting for the Spirit, but they did not wait in silence. According to the Acts of the Apostles, they prayed up a storm.
Some time ago the New York Times ran this headline in its science section: “Before the Big Bang, There Was . . . What?” The article surveyed cosmologists, those who study the whole physical universe, or, as some of them believe, universes.
Never in my life has the violence in the Gospel of John seemed so recognizable. Now it corresponds to the daily news: a man fears going out in public in Jerusalem, as Jesus did on that festival of booths. This simple act can result in either glory or destruction, depending on whether “the street” murmurs disapproval or approbation.
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