According to the Daily Office calendar that I use, today is the feast day of St. James of Jerusalem. Unfortunately, however, the biblical texts that are provided for morning prayer aren’t really capturing my imagination. The psalm reading (119:145-168) extols God’s laws and decrees — which is always good — but which isn’t inspiring any new insights. The Old Testament lesson (Jeremiah 11:18-23) describes the prophet’s reaction to a plot against his life; and since I don’t think anybody is plotting against me right now, this fails to strike a chord. And the gospel lesson (Matthew 10:16-22) has a somewhat apocalyptic tone — which might be extremely relevant, given the chaotic happenings in our world these days — but which doesn’t resonate with the generally grateful and content sentiments that occupy my heart this morning. So this, too, is proving to be a bit of a “dead end” in terms of written reflection.
And that’s okay. While I am all for “wrestling with the scripture” until it yields its lessons, I also think we need to be careful about assuming that we’re always meant to “get something” out of Bible reading. Sometimes, we simply need the discipline of attending to God’s Word. And if we keep presenting ourselves before Him…and if we keep listening…and if we keep acting on the insights that we do receive…we can trust, I think, that God’s Spirit will use even our “uninspired” days to continue His transforming work.
Of course, if you — dear reader — are pursuing some Bible reading of your own today, I pray that the Lord is blessing you with all kinds of inspiring and convicting insights. But even if He isn’t, may you feel certain that “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6)
Office Note: I will be “Out of the Office” for the next few days while I take a little retreat to do some long-range sermon planning. Therefore, I’ll be putting these daily blog posts on hold until next week. But we’ll pick up again next Monday. Until then, grace and peace…