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.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Reflection on readings for June 5

To you I lift up my eyes,
O you who are enthroned 
   in the heavens!
(Psalm 123:1)

2 Samuel 23:24-24:25

Acts 3:1-26
Even seeing the healing first hand, they all were astonished that the beggar was now able to walk. Even after hearing Peter invoke the name of Jesus, they couldn't understand what had just happened.

In response to their lack of understanding, Peter preaches to them. "Did you think that we did this? Have you forgotten the God of Israel? You may have rejected Jesus, the one that God chose, but God has not rejected him."

We today are living among people who also have heard about God, about God's gifts, and God's faithfulness. Yet, they don't expect God to do anything good for them, and they don't recognize when God does. They may have neglected God or they may have corroborated in acts that were in opposition to what God wished.

What now?

Peter preaches, "Repent. Even your sins can be forgiven.

Tangent: Verse 16 says that Peter was able to heal the man through faith, but is not explicit whether Peter is talking about his own faith. Nothing is said about the beggar's faith before the healing.

Psalm 123:1-4
When the Israelites were oppressed by Canaan, they cried out to the Lord for help (Judges 4:3). Centuries later, after success and great failure, they continued to ask the Lord for mercy. And, we, their descendants, continue to suffer and continue to turn to the Lord to aid them.

And, like them, we can pray Psalm 123 when we are suffering from the contempt of those around us.

The notes in The New Interpreter's Bible interpret the image of servant and master:
Worshipers turn to God as their true sovereign, sick to death of the scorn and contempt of those who strut through the earth, oblivious of everything and everyone except themselves. The petition, even so, has no bitterness, just an urgent plea for God's mercy.
Proverbs 16:21-23
The wise of heart is called perceptive,
and pleasant speech increases persuasiveness.
Wisdom is a fountain of life to one who has it,
but folly is the punishment of fools.
The mind of the wise makes their speech judicious,
and adds persuasiveness to their lips.

Prayer for Today: Choose a prayer from Joan Stott's website The Timeless Psalms.

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