Daily Devotional for January 29
January 29 John 7:14-31
Upon college graduation a young man returned to his home
church for a reception. He had majored in drama and was asked
by an old nun, his former speech coach, to display his skills.
She asked him to read her favorite psalm. Taking the Bible,
he read slowly and dramatically, "The Lord is my shepherd,"
in a rich, mellow, well-trained voice. The people were spell-
bound and applauded loudly and enthusiastically when he
Then he handed the Bible to the nun and asked her to read
the psalm. She took the book, laid it aside, and from memory
began slowly and with deep feeling to recite the psalm. When
she had finished there was dead silence in the hall and not
a few wet eyes. The young graduate stepped forward and said:
"Now you know the difference. I know the psalm, but she
knows the shepherd."
People were amazed by what Jesus taught and by the way he
spoke. Traditional rabbis quoted their teachers, passing on
learned wisdom. Jesus' education came not from rabbinic
schools, but from a personal and intimate relationship with
Yahweh. He had no credits, no degrees, and no institutional
backing. But his whole life was spent glorifying God, and from
that source he drew a teaching which could not be challenged
or denied. His enemies accused him of being possessed by an
evil spirit. But the spirit that possessed Jesus was the spirit of
truth and integrity, instantly recognizable by those who seek
God with their lives.
Speaking about God is not just for theologians, academics,
seminarians, or preachers. Baptized Christians can and must
speak about God. Those who nourish a deep relationship with
God often speak to us in direct and simple ways that reveal
God to us. Whether as educated as Thomas Merton or as simple
and "unlearned" as a Latin American campesino, their honesty
and truthfulness, if we listen, speak to us clearly of the one
who sent them.
From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle
Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.1989