“The Moment of Our Visitation”
Some people have ignored the Scriptures because, in their view, there is a “disconnect” between its message and their own lives. After all, how can a collection of writings assembled over many centuries and not added to in some two thousand years be relevant for us today?
The historical context of the bible normalizes cultural variants far from our own experiences, i.e. the subjugation of women, the acceptance of slavery, and the assumption that one culture is superior to another... Well, maybe not all of them are too far outside of our historical norms.
I readily admit that there are challenges in approaching the Scriptures from the perspective of one who is incapable or unwilling to probe its contents for deeper meaning; and once found, to test those meanings against their own value system.
First, one must recognize the different components of the bible. Writings that are intended to identify a generational connection of a people differ from writings designed to articulate origins and the relationship between the creation and Creator. In the same way descriptions of historical events differ from stories told to convey ethical or spiritual meanings.
When an individual asks me, “How long did it take God to form Creation?” I assume that they are trying to place me within a theological cubicle. Do I take the creation account found in the Book of Genesis literally… or not? I admit to trying to put them back on their heels with just a bit of humor when I respond, “Well, I was very young then… and it has become somewhat fuzzy in my memory. But maybe… just maybe what the writers of Genesis were trying to state about humanity… in addition to us being here because of a creator’s intention… was not meant to be a science lesson but simply to say that if you put a man or a woman in a perfect environment with only one chance to screw up… we will.”
In Luke’s gospel Jesus steps aside from what biblical scholars have entitled his “triumphant entry” into Jerusalem to pause overlooking the Holy City. The bible tells us that he weeps as he mourns the consequence of their not recognizing the “time of their visitation” from God.
It caused me to ponder the significance of that statement for a reader today. Are there moments within our lives that have a deeper significance that we choose to ignore? Does it have to be a beam of sunlight breaking through the clouds and striking the stained glass window for us to “see the light?”
Maybe our time of visitation is found in participation in worship… Or might it be as simple as a smile made to a stranger, or a gesture of kindness in a parking lot?
I think Jesus weeps because his gestures of love are rejected by so many… I pray that we might be more open to recognizing God’s love in our lives every day.