It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Reflection on readings for February 9

Love the Lord, all you saints.
The Lord preserves the faithful.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the Lord.
(from Psalm 31:23-24 CEB)

Exodus 29:1-30:10

Matthew 26:14-46
Disciples are the ones closest to the leader, the ones who are with him, hear what he has to say, watch what he does, and see the effects up close. They are the ones he speaks to and the ones who can ask him questions. They can learn how to emulate their leader--

Or not.

One of the people closest to Jesus was Judas. He offered to betray Jesus to the authorities in exchange for money.

Unfortunately, it is not that difficult for us modern-day disciples to visualize giving up some Jesus-wish in exchange for our own financial security. We may not actually try to get rid of up in some dramatic way, but we might just ignore him and his wishes if they interfere with our own comforts.

Even closer to Jesus than Judas was Peter. After denying strongly that he would never ever desert Jesus, he went to sleep when he was supposed to be awake.

Being a disciple is a full-time job, but many of us want to work only part time.

Psalm 31:19-24

Proverbs 8:14-26

Wisdom was created by God and was present with God as the earth and all its components were created. I looked back at Genesis 1 because of the similarities to that telling about creation:
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters....
A footnote explains that the word translated as "wind" is ruakh ("air" in Hebrew) may also be translated as "wind" or "breath" and that the KJV and RSV translated it as "spirit."

Since I grew up on the RSV and certainly was influenced as well by the KJV, I still think "spirit," particularly on Trinity Sunday, but I'm willing to consider wisdom. 

So, I turned again as I often do to Preaching the Old Testament by Ronald J. Allen & Clark M. Williamson: "The Wisdom literature assumes that the world itself reveals the character and purposes of God. The idea that Woman Wisdom was an agent of creation is one way of explaining how the divine intentions become implanted in the world: wisdom put them there. Now, people can discover God's design for the good life by paying attention to what we learn from life itself." 

Samuel Terrien, in his The Elusive Presence asserts that the figure of the beautiful woman  hidden among the angels in Michelangelo's Sistine chapel fresco of the creation of man is Wisdom although in a footnote he admits that other commentors see her as Eve.

Prayer for Today: God, imbue within us the will to travel through our day guided by your wisdom. Keep us on your path every day and even all day. Amen.

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