Sunday, November 4, 2012: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Wisdom (3:1-9)


The souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,

        and no torment will ever touch them.

In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,

        and their departure was thought to be a disaster,

        and their going from us to be their destruction;

but they are at peace.

For though in the sight of others they were punished,

their hope is full of immortality.

Having been disciplined a little, they will receive great good,

because God tested them and found them worthy of himself;

like gold in the furnace he tried them,

and like a sacrificial burnt offering he accepted them.

In the time of their visitation they will shine forth,

and will run like sparks through the stubble.

They will govern nations and rule over peoples,

and the Lord will reign over them forever.

Those who trust in him will understand truth,

and the faithful will abide with him in love,

because grace and mercy are upon his holy ones,

and he watches over his elect.


> Written in the first century BCE – the latest of the OT books

> Employs Greek philosophy and way of thinking

> May have been associated with Alexandria

> Defined the separate body and soul

> Idea of the soul being freed from the body at last

> The souls will live with the Lord who will watch and protect them. 



Psalm 24


1 The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, *

    the world and all who dwell therein.

2 For it is he who founded it upon the seas *

    and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.

3 “Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? *

    and who can stand in his holy place?”

4 “Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, *

    who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,

    nor sworn by what is a fraud.

5 They shall receive a blessing from the Lord *

   and a just reward from the God of their salvation.”

6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, *

   of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.

7 Lift up your heads, O gates;

   lift them high, O everlasting doors; *

   and the King of glory shall come in.

8 “Who is this King of glory?” *

   “The Lord, strong and mighty,

   the Lord, mighty in battle.”

9 Lift up your heads, O gates;

    lift them high, O everlasting doors; *

    and the King of glory shall come in.

10 “Who is he, this King of glory?” *

     “The Lord of hosts,

     he is the King of glory.”


> Emphasizes that everything is the Lord’s

> Question – Answer – Promise – Confirmation

> The last four verses may refer to a feast honoring Yahweh.

> This may be the context of God coming to the temple.

> The words “King of Glory” appears five time — no other place in the OT.

> The Lord of Hosts was clearly associated with the Arc of the Covenant.

> If your side won the battle and won then the Lord was on your side. 



A Reading from the Book of Revelation (21:1-6a)


I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,

“See, the home of God is among mortals.

He will dwell with them;

they will be his peoples,

and God himself will be with them;

he will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more;

mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

for the first things have passed away.”

And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.”  Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.


> Uses many images – many other books were written like this during times of Roman persecution.

> At the conclusion of the book a new Jerusalem is coming. 

> In contrast to the Book of Wisdom, God’s kingdom is this world.

> The alpha and omega (beginning and end) — God is both.

> God is with God’s people.



The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John (11:32-44)


When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”  When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved.  He said, “Where have you laid him?”  They said to him, “Lord, come and see.”  Jesus began to weep.  So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”  But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?” Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it.  Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”  Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days.”  Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?”  So they took away the stone.  And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for having heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.”  When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” 4The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth.  Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”


> Part of the story of the raising of Lazarus.

> Jesus is in Galilee and hears about his friend, Lazarus.

> Jesus stays in Galilee four days to make sure Lazarus is really dead.

> (The belief was that you could survive three days and not be dead.)

> Jesus is disturbed and angry that Satan brings on death.

> Christians are the people that Jesus loves is noted multiple times.

> If you believe, you will see the glory of God.

> This story may have been added to on of the later editions of John.