Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love.
Like much of Leviticus, this passage seems harsh yet familiar. For example, anybody who destroys someone else's property has to make restitution. Another recommendation is letting the land lie fallow periodically. Instead of forgiving debts every fifty years, we have a system of allowing bankruptcy.
A few years ago, three long-divided denominations, Methodists, Catholics, and Lutherans, made a public commitment to unity. Their agreement "on justification by faith, or how individuals are forgiven and brought into a right relationship with God, began with a colorful opening procession in which robed leaders of the three historic Christian traditions walked side by side."
I'm going to have to say that this doctrine is important and has been divisive. But, I wonder what joint statement they could issue on their understanding of selling all (17-22). Or, what joint statement could the possibly issue about Christianity requiring someone to desert work, home and family (29-31)?
Yes, I know that Mark's community thought the end of the world was near and that they wouldn't have to live long without assets. But, still. What is the source of our happiness? How closely are we willing to live to Jesus' test of who would get eternal life?
After extolling God about the care provided for the nation earlier, Psalm 44 then turns to the right now. The nation feels rejected, their problems are dire and ignored. Yet, they still turn to God.
Prayer for Today: O Lord our God, we remember the love you have shown us. Help us to find ways and willingness to share that love with others. We pause today to remember the contributions that the women in our denomination have exemplified this sharing. Amen.