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, September 4, 2014

Reflection on readings for September 4

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised.
(Psalm 48:1a)

Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:18
Ellen Davis, in her excellent book Getting Involved with God, comments on the teaching of how we are to live our lives as we face the reality of death: Be cheerful.
Joy is the one thing strong enough to stand up in the face of all that is disappointing, in the face of the fact that all we do achieve and value is passing away and will surely be forgotten....Yet, he tells us to do whatever we do with everything we got.
2 Corinthians 7:8-16
Hear criticism of what you have done and be sorry that you did wrong. After regret comes repentance. With repentance comes a change in the way you live your life.

Paul expresses joy at the way that they had received Titus. Boring and Craddock speculate, "The (re)conversion of the Corinthians may owe as much to Titus's pastoral skills as to Paul's theology and harsh letter." Leaders of fractious congregations may consider enlisting a Titus.

Psalm 48:1-14
This psalm begins with a call to praise the Lord. To praise the Lord who resides in this city on top of his holy mountain. This mountain, Mount Zion is beautiful to look at and is beneficial as a place of protection. Just looking at it scares enemy kings.

What scares the powerful now? Where do they, or the rest of us, become aware of the presence of God?

Mount Zion, as a mountain, is visible, permanent, and defensible from enemy onslaught. So is the steadfast love of God.

I'm looking at verses 8 and 9. They knew about Mount Zion and the love of the Lord residing there  because somebody had bothered to tell them. How did we find out? Have we told anybody else? Read verses 12-14.

Proverbs 22:17-19
The words of the wise: Incline your ear and hear my words,
and apply your mind to my teaching;
for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on our lips.
So that your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today--yes, to you.

Prayer for Today: O Lord our God, we give you thanks today for what you have provided us. Inspire us now to distribute our gifts as you intend. Amen.

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