Sunday, October 26, 2014: “Today’s Scripture Readings”

 

A Reading from the Book of Deuteronomy (34:1-12)

 

Then Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, which is opposite Jericho, and the Lord showed him the whole land: Gilead as far as Dan, all Naphtali, the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Western Sea, the Negeb, and the Plain—that is, the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees—as far as Zoar. The Lord said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.” Then Moses, the servant of the Lord, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command. He was buried in a valley in the land of Moab, opposite Beth-peor, but no one knows his burial place to this day. Moses was one hundred twenty years old when he died; his sight was unimpaired and his vigor had not abated. The Israelites wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; then the period of mourning for Moses was ended. Joshua son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom, because Moses had laid his hands on him; and the Israelites obeyed him, doing as the Lord had commanded Moses. Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face. He was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the Lord sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

 

> Moses gets to see the Promised Land, but never gets to go there.

> Perhaps it was because he doubted God one time or perhaps because of the Israelite s’ behaviors.

> Later Jewish tradition has Moses taken to heaven like Elijah.

> Joshua was Moses’ successor, but never his equal.

 

 

Psalm 90

 

1   Lord, you have been our refuge *

     from one generation to another.

2   Before the mountains were brought forth,

     or the land and the earth were born, *

     from age to age you are God.

3   You turn us back to the dust and say, *

     “Go back, O child of earth.”

4   For a thousand years in your sight

      are like yesterday when it is past *

     and like a watch in the night.

5   You sweep us away like a dream; *

     we fade away suddenly like the grass.

6   In the morning it is green and flourishes; *

     in the evening it is dried up and withered.

7   For we consume away in your displeasure; *

     we are afraid because of your wrathful

     indignation.

8   Our iniquities you have set before you, *

     and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.

9   When you are angry, all our days are gone; *

     we bring our years to an end like a sigh.

10 The span of our life is seventy years,

     perhaps in strength even eighty; *

      yet the sum of them is but labor and sorrow,

     for they pass away quickly and we are gone.

11 Who regards the power of your wrath? *

      who rightly fears your indignation?

12  So teach us to number our days *

       that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

13 Return, O Lord; how long will you tarry? *

      be gracious to your servants.

14 Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning; *

      so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

15 Make us glad by the measure of

     the days that you afflicted us *

     and the years in which we suffered adversity.

16 Show your servants your works *

     and your splendor to their children.

17 May the graciousness of the Lord our God be upon us; *

     prosper the work of our hands;

     prosper our handiwork.

 

> Fourth book of the Psalms.

> The first two verses are about praising God.

> Verses three through twelve discuss the shortness and uncertainty of human life.

> God give us the wisdom to live within the confines of human life.

> Verses thirteen through seventeen are a series of petitions for restoration.

> We do not know the actual condition of Israel at that time.

> Verses three and thirteen both use “go back”:  God-to-people;  People-to-God.

> God be faithful to us now and in the future as you have in the past.

 

 

A Reading from the First Letter of Paul to the Thessalonians (2:1-8)

 

You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition. For our appeal does not spring from deceit or impure motives or trickery, but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the message of the gospel, even so we speak, not to please mortals, but to please God who tests our hearts.  As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children. So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.

 

> Paul came from Philippi first where he was most likely rejected.

> This is the first time the word “apostles” appears in the New Testament.

> This story is similar to the one about Moses.

> Paul probably meant to come back again to the people there.

 

 

The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (22:34-46)

 

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”  He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them this question: “What do you think of the Messiah?  Whose son is he?” They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David by the Spirit calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet”’? If David thus calls him Lord, how can he be his son?” No one was able to give him an answer, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

 

> Jesus has been tested by his opponents and shuts them down.

> Unlike in Mark, in the Book of Matthew, Jesus’ opponents are always trying to trap him.

> The use of “love” here can mean to act in someone else’s best interest.

> Both of the commandments used here were in the Old Testament.

> Jesus was the fulfillment of the Torah.

> These verses highlight the superiority of Jesus to David.

> Living by these two great commandments had been linked together before.