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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Reflection on the readings for October 28

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
(Psalm 100:1)

Jeremiah 51:54-52:34
A recounting of the failed resistance against Babylon with some additional information.

Titus 3:1-15
The mercy of God saved us, not our righteousness. Even so, we are supposed to display righteousness. Some of the specifics are more difficult than others; e.g., avoiding stupid controversies. Today I am struck by the assessment that the reason we are supposed to avoid quarrels about the law is that they are unprofitable and worthless.

Psalm 100:1-5
I once asked a group of church-goers what scripture they had memorized. Several named Psalm 100. I was not surprised because when I was a child I had been encouraged to learn this psalm either at Sunday School or Vacation Bible School.

I don't know what I made of that phrase "all the earth" (or, in other translations, "all ye lands") when I was trying to memorize Psalm 100. I'm not even sure if I learned it in the NRSV or KJ. I'm not sure what I mean by it when I say it today. Who is being called to make this joyful noise? Am I recognizing Christians in other countries? Am I including Jews? What about Muslims? What about everybody else, those who don't descend from Abraham?

What do I think about "his gates"? Am I restricting the meaning of this phrase to church buildings (and synagogues and mosques)? Can God's gates include somewhere outside the church building? That is, am I restricting worship to a kind of formal space?

Proverbs 26:18-19
Like a maniac who shoots deadly firebrands and arrows,
so is one who deceives a neighbor and says, "I am only joking!"

Prayer for Today: O Lord, guide us into ways of obedience to your commands. Focus us on doing good works and direct us away from unprofitable disputes. Amen.

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