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, August 28, 2014

Reflection on readings for August 28

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
(Psalm 42:1)

Job 28:1-30:31
Job rhapsodizes on wisdom, how hard it us for so many to find it and how God knows and is its source.  Job looks back on his life, how rewarding it had been, and, in despair, how hard it is now.

2 Corinthians 2:12-17
Not everybody accepted Paul's preaching with approval. Neither does Paul approve of some of the others' preaching. He asserts his sincerity and that he has been commissioned by God.

Psalm 42:1-11
No, we don't have to pretend that everything that happens is really for the best. We are allowed to recognize the difference between things working out well and not working out at all.

Much of the Bible is written about God and about the relationship between God and God's people--Genesis through 2 Chronicles, say.

The books of the prophets are filled with words that God intends for us to listen to.

The wisdom books, including but not limited to Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, are largely people speaking to people, that is, wise people speaking to people that need and want to be wise.

Psalms, though, has a large component of people speaking to God.

And often, what we say is a complaint, an expression of sadness, a lament that things are the way we wanted--or expected--them to be.

Psalm 42 begins with an expression of longing for God, a longing prompted by a sense of separation from God. A long separation, and one that has been noticed by onlookers.

The psalmist is in despair. He thinks that God has forgotten about him.

Is being too unimportant to be remembered worst than being so bad that you deserve being punished?

Although he thinks that God has forgotten him, he knows very well that his enemies haven't. They mock him, "Where is your God?"

But, even in despair, the psalmist turns to God,
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

Proverbs 22:7
The rich rules over the poor.
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

Prayer for Today: O Lord, turn us toward Christ, keep us focused on Christ, enable us to demonstrate the work of Christ in this world. Amen.

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