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Speaking to the Soul: Not Yet Fifty

Speaking to the Soul: Not Yet Fifty

Week of Proper 17, Year Two

[Go to Mission St Clare for an online version of the Daily Office including today’s scripture readings.]

Today’s Readings for the Daily Office:

Psalms 38 (morning) // 119:25-48 (evening)

Job 12:1, 14:1-22

Acts 12:18-25

John 8:47-59

At the conclusion of today’s gospel, Jesus makes a startling declaration about his age. First, he tells the people, “Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.” The people find this claim rather audacious. How could Jesus have possibly known Abraham, who would have lived roughly two-thousand years before Jesus was born? The people say to Jesus, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” You can almost hear them laughing at the man barely thirty years old who sees himself as the culmination of Abraham’s hope and faith.

Jesus then surprises them by claiming not to be two-thousand years old, but to be eternal: “Very truly, I tell you, before Abraham was, I am.”

The presence, wisdom, and love embodied by Jesus Christ were not novelties a few decades old, or even traditions older than a couple of millennia. Instead, they are timeless and eternal realities that Jesus invites us to enter into. What is more, it’s easy to miss these realities when we dismiss others as too young to reflect them. As Jesus reminds us, the eternal presence, wisdom, and love of God will surely find their way to us in all different ages.

Lora Walsh blogs about the Daily Office readings at A Daily Scandal. She serves as Priest Associate of Grace Episcopal Church in Siloam Springs and assists with adult formation and campus ministry at St. Paul’s in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

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