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, December 4, 2014

Reflection on the One-Year-Bible readings for December 4

To you, I lift up my eyes,
O you, who are enthroned in the heavens!
(Psalm 123:1)

Daniel 11:36-12:13

1 John 4:1-21
If the author of this epistle were writing to your congregation today, would he need to include this section? Does your congregation need to be reminded to love? to love each other? to love our brothers and sisters? to love people we don't even know? And which is harder for us, anyway, to love people we have to be around all the time or people that we don't?

Consider for a while today what verse 7 means to you. How does loving someone help you to know God? Or, how does knowing God help you to love someone?

The Father has sent his Son to save the world, verse 14. The world. God hasn't sent the Son to take us away from the world, to live separately from it, but to save it.

Psalm 123:1-4
Psalm 123 gives words to people who are being held in contempt by the richer people in their community.

Think about who it is that you owe first allegiance to--and who it is who is likely to give us help and support. The psalm begins, "To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens!"

We may be living in very difficult situations, but we can expect solace and mercy from the Lord.

But, what if we are the ones who are living in comfortable conditions? What is our prayer then? How comfortable are we praying verse 4, "Our soul has had more than its fill of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud"?

Proverbs 29:2-4
When the righteous are in authority,
the people rejoice;
but when the wicked rule,
the people groan.
a child who loves wisdom
   makes a parent glad,
but to keep company with prostitutes 
    is to squander one's substance.
By justice a king gives stability to the land,
but one who makes heavy exactions ruins it.

Prayer for Today: If the words of Psalm 123 are true for you today, use them in your prayer. But, if you have displayed scorn or contempt for someone today, pray that their prayer be answered. Amen.

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