2 Peter 1:16-21 (NRSV)
Verse 16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. Verse 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased." Verse 18We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.
Verse 19So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. Verse 20First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, Verse 21because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
I remember when I was called a heretic by another Lutheran pastor for affirming the ordination of women. My interpretation of scripture was questioned and all we could agree on was that we disagreed. The reading for today addresses this issue: “First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:20-21) When I am confronted with concerns like this, I ponder what Martin Luther wrote in the Small Catechism: “I believe that by my own understanding or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel.” We trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us as we seek to interpret God’s word for us in our lives, and be patient and gracious when just as in the early church we seek to deliberate when our interpretations differ from one another.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on us and guide us as we seek to understand your word for us and empower us to do your good and gracious will. Amen.