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.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Reflection on readings for July 19

O Lord, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?
(Psalm 15:1)

1 Chronicles 28:1-29:30
After assembling all officialdom of Israel, David tells them that God would not let him build the temple because he was a warrior who had shed blood, and that the Lord had chosen from David's many sons, Solomon, to be his successor for as long as he keeps the Lord's commandments and ordinance.

Steven Tuell in his commentary points out that in 17:14, the promise for eternal kingship for Solomon and his descendants was unconditional.

Although David was not allowed to build the temple, he did give detailed instructions for building it.

Romans 5:6-21
Several years ago just after reading his passage from Paul about suffering and hope and about God's love for sinners, I then read a couple of stories in the newspaper that seemed to be examples of this message.

The headline is "Vermont: Poetry Classes for Vandals." Twenty-eight young people broke into Robert Frost's house, got drunk, and damaged the place. The prosecuter has asked Jay Parini, a Frost biographer, who believes in the redemptive power of poetry, to lead them in a study of Frost's life and work. The New York Times, June 3, 2008, page A21.

The headline is "Where Illegal Guns Can Do No More Harm." In New York City, thousands of firearms are taken by law enforcement officers each year. Instead of crushing and burying them, they are crushing and re-using them. They have found a way to turn spears into plowshares. Guns are sent to scrap processing plants to be chopped up into tiny pieces and sent to foundries from New Jersey to China. The former firearms will be ultimately be used to build water pipes, chain link fences, or appliances. The New York Times, June 3, 2008, page A22.

Psalm 15:1-5
This psalm is given to us in the words of David but the concerns are ours as well.

It begins with the question, "Lord, who is welcome in your house?"

The answer given:
the one who lives without blame
who does what is right, who has never done wrong to anyone
who stands by his oath even if doing so hurts him
who has never lent money at interest
who has never accepted a bribe.
I'm trying to imagine this list posted at the door of a church--or synagogue or mosque. How many of us would read that list and then go on in?

On the other hand, why is it so much easier for so many of us to imagine a quite different list of who should be allowed in our congregation? Furthermore, why is it so much easier for some of us Christians to think that our Jewish ancestors cared only about dietary restrictions?

Although I'm having a hard time imagining that anyone could live up to the requirements of Psalm 15 completely, I can recognize that I need to try. I need to live and speak in a way that does not harm those around me. I need to remember that any assets I am in possession of are being held by me in trust for the Lord. If I say I'll do something--and it's something I ought to do, then I should do it.

Proverbs 19:18-19
Discipline your children while there is hope;
do not set your heart on their destruction.

Prayer for Today: O Lord, assist us in becoming worthy to enter your fellowship. Assist us in making welcome others into this fellowship. Amen.

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