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.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Reflection on readings for March 4

Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.
(Psalm 47:1)

Numbers 2:1-3:51
John Goldingay, in Old Testament Theology, Volume 1, describes how the assembling for the journey differs from the regulations for Passover. He sees signs of bureaucratication: not only in the counting but also in what he terms choreography, the arrangement of the tribes around the meeting tent. Each clan chooses a leader, and all clans have the same status--although the clan of Levi has different responsibilities.

Mark 11:27-12:17
Jesus had been teaching and healing and upsetting (pun intended) means for access to the place of worship.

The people in charge of the temple asked him, "Who gives you the authority to do these things? When they won't admit his source of authority, he tells them he's not going to tell them.

They are able to tell that the parable he tells about the tenants killing the son of the vineyard is about them. They want to arrest him but are too afraid of the crowds to do it right then and there. Instead, they ask him what they think is a trick question, "Is paying tax to Caesar lawful?" He points out that they are doing something unlawful by carrying coins--because they bear a graven image.

Remember this the next time someone call you a hypocrite because you aren't following the scriptures just the way the interpret them. But, the next time you call someone a hypocrite, think about how hard it is not to practice hypocrisy in every way everyday.

Psalm 47:1-9
The congregation is called to sing praises to the King, and the King is identified as God, the great king over all the earth, God, the king over the nations.
Clap your hands, all you peoples;
Shout to God with loud songs of joy (1).
Sing praises to God, sing praises;
Sing praises to our King, sing praises(6).
For God is king over the nations... (7).
Think about the "all the earth" and "king over the nations" assertions. People who have not formally entered into our community are being cared for by God.

Proverbs 10:24-25

Prayer for Today: God, help us to recognize your wisdom. Help us to respond appropriately. Amen.

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