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.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Reflection on the One-Year-Bible readings for December 28

Praise the Lord!
How good is it to sing praises to our God.
(Psalm 147:1a)

Zechariah 12:1-13:9
Victory is coming for Jerusalem. The people will remember whose people they are.

Revelation 19:1-21
After the depiction of Jerusalem as a whore, the vision shifts to Jerusalem as a bride for the Lamb of God.

Psalm 147:1-20
This psalm sings of the work that the Lord has done, the work that will continue to be done, and for whom this work is done: the outcasts, the brokenhearted, the downtrodden .

In return, we contemplate just what it is that the Lord wants for us to do, how to be. Well, it not just to be better than the people around us--richer or stronger or whatever: The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love (11).

James Newsome, in Texts for Preaching B, writes:
Power and weakness! It may be observed that the story of humankind is, in large measure, the pursuit of the former and the avoidance of the latter. The person who has no power is one who exercises no control over his or her life. .... Into this terrible arena the psalmist issues a different understanding of the nature of power and weakness and of the relation between the two. There is but a single Power; all other power is illusory and transient. To participate in this Power is to admit one's own weakness, one's own dependence on the Creator and Sustainer of life. And paradoxically, it is only in the admission of one's own finitude and impotence that there emerges hope and joy. For the Power that sets the stars and brings the rains is irrevocably committed to the cause of justice and compassion....
Proverbs 31:1-7
It is not for kings, O Lemuel,
it is not for kings to drink wine,
or for rulers to desire strong drink;
or else they will drink and forget what has been decreed,
and will pervert the rights of all the afflicted.
Give strong drink to one who is perishing; 
and wine to those in bitter distress; 
let them drink and forget their poverty, 
and remember their misery no more.

Prayer for Today: O Lord, help us to remember whose people we are. Help us to remember your care for us in our weakness and distress. Help us to remember to extend that care to those in need around us. Amen.

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