A few years ago I was asked if I believed in the Bible. After some thought I admitted that no, I did not believe in the Bible. "I believe the Bible," I said, "but I believe in God as he is made known through Jesus Christ." In other words, my faith is in that which the Bible itself points toward which is the love and mercy of God. Am I splitting hairs? I don't think so. I think the distinction is clear, especially the way Jesus describes it in John. If we are not careful we may find ourselves so intent on searching scripture - one form of God's Word - that we overlook the real presence of God in Jesus Christ - the Word of God incarnate.
I would contend that many contemporary communities of faith have become so fixated on what they are reading in scripture that they have failed to notice what God is actually doing all around them, touching lives, making men and women whole, anointing with the Spirit of hope and peace. I do not in any way discount the role of scripture as a witness to the saving grace of God, but I do believe it is worth looking up from our texts now and again - our reading about God's work - in order to see what it is that God is actually doing all around us. God may very well surprise us with the life we seek.
Prayer: Lord God, lead us beyond our own feeble efforts to explain or account for you so that we may come to know you as you would be known. In Jesus' name. Amen.