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.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Reflection on the readings for November 10

I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples,
and I will sing praises to you, among the nations.
For your steadfast love is higher than the heavens,
and your faithfulness to the clouds.
(Psalm 108:3-4)

Ezekiel 21:1-22:31
Ezekiel speaks the word of the Lord: You deserve the punishment that you are getting. You have treated the elderly with contempt; you have oppressed immigrants; you have not protected children or widows. You have been violent. You have taken bribes. You have neglected worship. Now, you will be held accountable.

Hebrews 10:1-17
Worship doesn't make us perfect. That's why we need to keep doing it.

The words spoken by Christ in the verses from Hebrews refer to Psalm 40:6-8. What God desires is not empty worship, but true worship filled with following the will of God. And it is by God's will that we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all (10).

And through this sanctification, we too can respond to God's desire to offering our total lives. Showing up at church once or twice a month and putting something in the offering plate that won't affect any fun we're planning to have is not the lesson that the epistle to the Hebrews is teaching.

Christ's death made his life understandable to us. A life of love and sacrifice. Let us too be able to say, as Christ said, "See, I have come to do your will (9)."

In 10:12-13, by quoting Psalm 110:1, the assurance of the victory of King David, the author of Hebrews is telling us something about David's descendent, our King the Christ.

When comparing the daily sacrifice of priests with the one-time sacrifice of Christ, he writes that after offering "for all time a single sacrifice for sins, 'he sat down at the right hand of God,' and since then has been waiting 'until his enemies would be made a footstool for his feet.'"

Further, in 10:16-17, he quotes from Jeremiah 31:31-34, as he did in 8:8-12. When Jeremiah spoke, he was talking to Israel and Judah.

The message in Hebrews is intended for a broader audience. What God had promised for them then is now true for all of us:

"I have forgiven you."

Psalm 108:1-13
Thanks for past help and pleas for more help.

Proverbs 27:12
The clever see danger and hide;
but the simple go on, and suffer for it.

Prayer for Today: When you are in a place where you can recognize your gratitude, pray the first four verses of Psalm 108. In times when you are in despair, pray the last three verses.

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