Half of the Picture

January 26th, 2008 • Category: Variety Week
by David Squire

Today’s scripture: I Corinthians 13:8-13 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (David Squire):

Brief Story of MeAre you familiar with the book, A Brief History of Time? It’s an overview of life, the universe, and everything, as told by the brilliant scientist Dr. Stephen Hawking. It’s in my own library, though I don’t pretend to understand even a tenth of it. It looks at the wacky world of sub-atomic particles, the movement of galaxies through the universe(s), and everything in between. It’s a fascinating book. But Stephen’s Brief Story of Me? Probably not so much.

The illustration shows how much we lose when we don’t have the whole picture. And in this example, it’s only a library sticker that’s in the way.

The writer of today’s scripture knew how little we understand, too. And look at what he calls “incomplete”: all of our prophecy, tongues, and knowledge. I like the way The Message says it: “We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete.”

God is so far above us, we’re just preschool kids trying to understand quantum physics. So why do we so often act like we know it all, or insist that our way — our denomination, our tradition, our interpretation — is the only “right” way?

I think God gives us enough knowledge, enough prophecy, enough truth, that we have what we need to live. But God hasn’t told me everything that God has told you — so I should probably listen to what you know about God, or I’ll miss something important.

Like verse 13 says, But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

Thought for the day: What can I learn about God from you?

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to start, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

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