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.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Reflection on the One-Year-Bible readings for November 15

Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord;
praise the name of the Lord.
(Psalm 113:1)

Ezekiel 31:1-32:32

Hebrews 12:14-29
The preacher is describing what the community ruled by God is like. He uses the metaphor of two mountains. He describes the first as a place where some things can be seen and heard and touched. The other mountain, Mount Zion, is not like this.

Another important difference is that people had been terrified to approach the first mountain. At Mount Zion is a city whose residents are having a celebration.

"You have not come to something that can be touched," the preacher had said, "a blazing fire, darkness, gloom, and a tempest." He continued on, describing how terrifying that mountain was then contrasted that experience with the approach to the new mountain.

There, at this new mountain, are assembled a congregation before God who is the judge of all and Jesus, the mediator.

And, since Jesus is there, also present is the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.

We are cautioned not to refuse the one who is speaking.

Remember. Pay attention. Listen.

Refusal to listen has consequences.

Life here on earth is temporary, but the life promised to us is unshakable.

We are cautioned not to refuse the one who is speaking.

Psalm 113:1-114:8
Psalm 113 begins with a call to praise, a call for all the servants of the Lord -- that means all of us, surely?-- to praise the name of the Lord.

All to praise and for all time.

For all time and all day long.

The psalm recognizes that the Lord is supreme, high above all nations, with glory above the heavens. When we pray this psalm, we are saying, "Our Lord, you are so high you have to stoop down to look at the heavens."

The time we are to spend praising the Lord can't be measured any more than the Lord's glory can be measured.

Our Lord is unique, says this psalm. Then, what might seem like a surprising reason is given--This Lord is willing to come down from a high throne to lift up the weak and the poor.

I'm thinking about the content of my usual prayers and wondering how much gratitude I express that God cares so much for the poor and the lowly.

Proverbs 27:18-20
Anyone who tends a fig tree will eat its fruit,
and anyone who takes care of a master will be honored.
Just as water reflects the face,
so one human heart reflects another.
Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
and human eyes are never satisfied.

Prayer for Today: O Lord, open our ears to hear your message; help us to pay attention to your will; and remind us of your word when we get distracted by everything else that is going on around us. Amen.

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