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, October 30, 2014

Reflection on the readings for October 30

Hear my prayer, O Lord;
let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress.
Incline your ear to me;
answer me speedily in the day
when I call.
(Psalm 102:1-2)

Lamentations 3:1-66
Despair. Hope. Yet.

Help me. Pay them back.

Hebrews 1:1-14
Here are some excerpts from the commentary of Hebrews and James written by Frances Taylor Gench:
"Hebrews addresses believers who have grown weary in the Christian way and who are in danger of abandoning their Christian vocation: "fading enthusiasm, waning commitment, dwindling church attendance, and arrested development in the Christian faith," and "God has spoken; indeed, God has never been silent. God has spoken through prophets throughout our history, and now has spoken to us by a Son"

Gench focuses on the high Christology in Hebrews: The Son was at the beginning. Through him, the world was created and continues to be sustained:
Moreover, contemplation of Hebrews' panorama will guard against a restricted vision and limited appreciation of the story of Jesus Christ....Christians who do not attend church regularly, making an appearance only at Christmas and Easter, may envision Christ only in diapers or nailed to a cross! Hebrews, however, encourages a broader perspective. It fills out the big picture, thereby laying the groundwork for a more mature understanding of the one who stands at the beginning and end of God's purposes for the world, and who makes available to us God's own life.
How limited is the vision and appreciation of the story of Jesus Christ? I go to church two or three times a week but surely I realize that a lot, a whole lot, of people go only two or three times a year if that many. What do they think about Jesus if they really do go only on Christmas and Easter? How do we get across to them that God's purpose includes our lives? How do we learn that ourselves?

How do we view Christ today? Are we focusing on an infant? Do we see him only on a cross? This passage from Hebrews reminds us of other themes.

Psalm 102:1-28
Words of despair and words of confidence in God.

Proverbs 26:21-22
As charcoal is to hot embers and wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome person for kindling strife.
The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels;
they go down into the inner parts of the body.

Prayer for Today: O Lord, in in times of despair, comfort us. In painful times, support us. When our enthusiasm for your gospel fades, wake us up to your presence. Strengthen our commitment to your church. Give us the words that would be helpful to tell to those that need to hear about you. Amen.

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