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The Rev. Jane L Patterson, PhDBy Jane Patterson
Sunday, December 13
Psalms 63:1-11, 98; Amos 9:11-15; John 5:30-47
Listen to the author read their meditation and prayer:
One morning, when I was praying the psalm in Morning Prayer, I found myself imagining Jesus praying the psalm through me. This has become the way that I routinely pray the psalms, and through that practice I have come to know more of the intensity of Jesus’ faith, more of his heartbreak for the suffering of his people, more of his courage to embody God’s will in a dangerous world.
Similarly, in Christ Chapel we recently sang the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The hymn recalls the bitter experiences of African Americans in the United States, and as I sang the verses I felt myself enfolded into a history of pain and faithfulness that I have never encountered in my actual life, but that I am invited to claim through singing. Allowing someone else’s words, someone else’s joy or questioning or pain to move through us as though it were our own is at the heart of loving our neighbor as ourselves, and calls us to account: having prayed and sung and spoken such words in prayer, what will I do next? Today, Amos’s vision for a restored Israel, the psalmist’s passion for God, and Jesus’ frustration with people who do not see him as the embodied Word all have a chance to flow through us into our world. Can we hope with Amos? Can we desire only God? Can we embody the Word in our world?
God of all, help the words I pray to become the life I lead, through the power of the Holy Spirit and the mercies of Christ. Amen.
The Rev. Jane L Patterson, PhD, ‘93
Assistant Professor of New Testament
Director of Community Care
SEMINARY OF THE SOUTHWEST
Jane Patterson (@JaneLPatterson1) served on the Adjunct Faculty since 2010 and was appointed assistant professor of New Testament beginning June 1, 2013. In the Master of Divinity program, she teaches courses in Bible and Spiritual Formation; in the Center for Christian Ministry and Vocation, she teaches a course on the Bible as a resource for pastoral caregivers. Outside the seminary, she is co-director of a ministry called The WorkShop that guides laity in the use of the scriptures for discerning how to live faithfully in all aspects of daily life.
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