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, July 20, 2014

Reflection on readings for July 20

Protect me, O God,  for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, "You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you."
(Psalm 16:1-2)

2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17
Succeeding David as king, Solomon went to the tent of meeting to make offerings to the Lord. That night God appeared to Solomon telling him, "Ask what I should give you." Solomon asked for wisdom. God answered, "Because you asked for this instead of for possessions or for revenge against people who have hurt you, or for long life, I am going to give you not only wisdom but also riches, possessions, and honors."

Romans 6:1-23
Paul asked "Does being saved by grace mean that we can keep on sinning?" He responded to his rhetorical (?) question by asserting that in Christ's death, we are dead to sin. Grace is more than forgiveness,  it is freedom from the power of sin to control us.

I'm paraphrasing: Sin used to control you. You were its slave and an obedient one. Now,  let righteousness be your master. Look at this way, what benefits did you get from sin? What benefits can you receive from God?

Psalm 16:1-11
The Wesley Study Bible describes Psalm 16 as a refugee's song. And certainly the Scriptures contain many stories of refugees--some voluntary but most involuntary. Think about what would be important to you if you lost your home or even your nation, if you had to leave behind so much of what had been familiar, what had seemed to be necessary. Then imagine praying this psalm.

Verse 4 of Psalm 16 reminds us that choosing another god doesn't work out well for people. Verses 5 and 6 are a reminder that the Lord has shown us the way to life, to fullness of joy, and eternal happiness, as well as an expression of appreciation for all that.

The psalmist is not afraid. He trusts the Lord to continue to care for the faithful (10-11).

Proverbs 19:20-21
Listen to advice and accept instruction,
that you may gain wisdom for the future.
The human mind may devise many plans,
but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established.

Prayer for Today: Lord, remind us of what is important to you. Remind us of the blessings you have given us. Remind us then that you intend for us to share those blessings, Amen.

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