Sunday, July 6, 2014: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Genesis (24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67)


[The man said to Rebekah and her household,] “I am Abraham’s servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys.  And Sarah my master’s wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. My master made me swear, saying, ‘You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; but you shall go to my father’s house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.’ I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, “Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,” and who will say to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also”—let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master’s son.’ Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels. Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She said, ‘The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor’s son, whom Milcah bore to him.’ So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. Then I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master’s kinsman for his son. Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left.” And they called Rebekah, and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will.” So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, “May you, our sister, become thousands of myriads; may your offspring gain possession of the gates of their foes.” Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took  Rebekah, and went his way. Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb.  Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, “Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?” The servant said, “It is my master.” So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.


> Abraham has negotiated for a burial place.

> Also known as the Tomb of the Patriarchs.

> Looking for a proper wife for son Isaac.

> Takes place in modern-day Syria.

> Rebekah is Abraham’s great niece (daughter of his brother, Nahor).

> Uncle Leban lets her go to marry Isaac after he hears of his wealth.

> As promised, Abraham received prosperity from God.

> There are not many stories in the Bible about Isaac.  Many more about Abraham and Jacob.



The Song of My Beloved


Hear the he voice of my belovèd! *

      Over the mountains he comes leaping,

bounding over the hills *

      like a young stag or a gazelle.

See where he stands behind our wall, *

      gazing in at the windows,

      peeking through the lattice.


My belovèd calls to me: *

      Rise up, my beloved, my beauty, come away;

for now the winter is past, *

      the rains are over and gone.


Flowers appear on the earth *

      and the time of singing has come;

the voice of the turtle-dove *

      is heard throughout our land.


The fig trees bend with scented fruit; *

      and all the squash-vines blossom,

sending forth their sweet perfume. *

      Rise up, my love, my beauty, come away.


> This is a love song – reminiscent of Isaac and Rebekah meeting for the first time.

> Takes place in the springtime. 



A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans (7:15-25a)  


 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!


> Paul keeps repeating the same theme over and over.

> One tries to keep the laws of the Torah, but it seems to be impossible to do.

> He notes that it is sin that is the problem.

> Who will save him?   Thank God that Jesus Christ is our Lord.



The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (11:16-19, 25-30)


Jesus said, “But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon’; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds.” At that time Jesus said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


> Continuation of a series of saying.

> “Son of Man” refers to an “ordinary guy.”

> Both John the Baptist and Jesus are rejected because people do not listen.

> Infants are those who are simple, ordinary, and faithful.

> Jesus is shown as the great teacher and one who best knows the Father.

> Torah and Wisdom are God’s yoke, which Jesus picks up on that image.