… Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them. – John 17:22-26 (NIV)

*   *   *

Again, we have a proclamation of Christ in us!

Each of us carries unnecessary baggage when we undertake our journey with scripture. Concepts such as Trinity are not presented as such in the text at hand, but are extrapolated later and cast into dogma. Traditional Quaker theology is rightly more unitarian than trinitarian. To perceive the difference, revisit the telescoping motion of the Divine from God as the Father and then in Jesus and through each of us as it is presented here in John 17:20-23. This view is more palpable and more inviting than the fractured Trinity impressed upon children.

There are so many more dimension to encounter, even in a short passage like the four fragments we’re examining in this one. And that’s just in a single translation.

One eye-opener came in our Bible study at Winona, with Myrtle’s four-translation edition, where the verses are presented in parallel columns. Sometimes the translations vary so much you will become lost trying to follow a reader who is using another translation.

So we return, and return again, not just to the texts, but more importantly to await the wonders they describe – glory, love, creation, unity with the Holy One.

*   *   *

Therefore Perfection must needs be attainable even in this Life; and to shew that it is not altogether unfeasible to be attained, I shall bring in Instances of some which have attained it: Noah was a just Man, and perfect in his Generation. Job was a perfect and an upright Man, one that feared God and eschewed Evil. Nathaniel was an Israelite indeed, in whom was no Guile. Zacharias and Elizabeth were both righteous before God, walking in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord blameless. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

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