Sunday, September 22, 2013: “Today’s Scripture Readings”

 

A Reading from the Book of Jeremiah (4:11-12, 22-28)

 

At that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem: A hot wind comes from me out of the bare heights in the desert toward my poor people, not to winnow or cleanse— a wind too strong for that. Now it is I who speak in judgment against them. “For my people are foolish, they do not know me; they are stupid children, they have no understanding. They are skilled in doing evil, but do not know how to do good.” I looked on the earth, and lo, it was waste and void; and to the heavens, and they had no light. I looked on the mountains, and lo, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro. I looked, and lo, there was no one at all, and all the birds of the air had fled. I looked, and lo, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the Lord, before his fierce anger. For thus says the Lord: The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end. Because of this the earth shall mourn, and the heavens above grow black; for I have spoken, I have purposed; I have not relented nor will I turn back.

 

> Straightforward message of Jeremiah.

> Jerusalem is doomed – it is inevitable.

> Written before Babylon destroyed Jerusalem in 587 BC.

> However, many probably thought this event was most likely going to happen.

 

 

Psalm 14

 

1   The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” *

    All are corrupt and commit abominable acts;

    there is none who does any good.

2   The Lord looks down from heaven upon us all, *

     to see if there is any who is wise,

     if there is one who seeks after God.

3   Every one has proved faithless;

     all alike have turned bad; *

     there is none who does good; no, not one.

4   Have they no knowledge, all those evildoers *

     who eat up my people like bread

     and do not call upon the Lord?

5   See how they tremble with fear, *

     because God is in the company of the righteous.

6   Their aim is to confound the plans of the afflicted, *

     but the Lord is their refuge.

7   Oh, that Israel’s deliverance would come out of Zion! *

     when the Lord restores the fortunes of his people,

     Jacob will rejoice and Israel be glad.

 

> A “fool” is someone who does not think there are consequences for not obeying God.

> Concludes with a “wish” prayer.

> Deal with all of the people of Israel. 

 

 

A Reading from First Letter of Timothy (1:12-17)

 

 I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the foremost. But for that very reason I received mercy, so that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display the utmost patience, making me an example to those who would come to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

> A pastoral letter for the care of God’s people.

> Probably written by a successor of Paul, but writing in Paul’s name.

> Timothy was a third generation Christian.

 

 

The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (15:1-10)

 

Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. “Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’  Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

 

> Jesus calls all of the people to hear him.

> Tax collectors and sinners came to hear Jesus.

> At this time, shepherds were looked down upon.

> Discusses the idea of losing and finding — three parables tied together.
> A common theme is that one has a party after the lost item is found.

> We tend to look at the negative side.

> This also represented the growing conflict between Christians and the Pharisees.