Sunday, October 20, 2013: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Jeremiah (31:27-34)


The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days they shall no longer say: “The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge. The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt—a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.


> Build up and plant stage.

> The first part highlights the new beginnings.

> Our parents have messed up the world and the children must pay for it.

> Jeremiah explains there is hope for a new beginning.

> He does not spell out the new covenant.

> Includes the House of Judah and the House of Israel (North and South).

> “House” implies a variety of Jewish communities scattered all over.

> Christians interpret this as Jesus being the new covenant.



Psalm (119:97-104)


97   Oh, how I love your law! *

       all the day long it is in my mind.

98   Your commandment has made me wiser than my enemies, *

        and it is always with me.

99    I have more understanding than all my teachers, *

        for your decrees are my study.

100  I am wiser than the elders, *

        because I observe your commandments.

101  I restrain my feet from every evil way, *

         that I may keep your word.

102  I do not shrink from your judgments, *

         because you yourself have taught me.

103  How sweet are your words to my taste! *

         they are sweeter than honey to my mouth.

104  Through your commandments I gain understanding; *

        therefore I hate every lying way.


>  Focus on the Torah (first five books of Moses).

> Torah – instruction of God’s words to enable you to lead a broad and proper life.

> Extended acrostic:  Each 8-verse stanza starts with the same Hebrew letter of the alphabet.

> This one is “mem.”



 A Reading from the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy (3:14-4:5)


As for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I solemnly urge you: proclaim the message; be persistent whether the time is favorable or unfavorable; convince, rebuke, and encourage, with the utmost patience in teaching. For the time is coming when people will not put up with sound doctrine, but having itching ears, they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander away to myths. As for you, always be sober, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, carry out your ministry fully.


> Late 1st century – 3rd generation – disputes in the church on how to carry on the faith.

> Paul “hands the baton” to Timothy.

> Timothy you carry on and do what I do.

> Scripture – Old Testament scripture – not sure which books were included at that time.



The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (18:1-8)


Jesus told [the disciples] a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.’” And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”


> First of two parables – vindication or justice of God.

> “Go and do.”  vs. “Sit and listen.”

> In these verses the saints are righteous.  Next week the sinners are righteous.

> Very explicit context and purpose of Jesus’ parable.

> God is not an unjust judge.

> So if this unjust judge granted justice, unquestionably, so will God.

> God is faithful, but will we be faithful?