Sunday, October 6, 2013: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Lamentations (1:1-6)


How lonely sits the city that once was full of people! How like a widow she has become, she that was great among the nations! She that was a princess among the provinces has become a vassal. She weeps bitterly in the night, with tears on her cheeks; among all her lovers she has no one to comfort her; all her friends have dealt treacherously with her, they have become her enemies. Judah has gone into exile with suffering and hard servitude; she lives now among the nations, and finds no resting place; her pursuers have all overtaken her in the midst of her distress. The roads to Zion mourn, for no one comes to the festivals; all her gates are desolate, her priests groan; her young girls grieve, and her lot is bitter. Her foes have become the masters, her enemies prosper, because the Lord has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe. From daughter Zion has departed all her majesty. Her princes have become like stags that find no pasture; they fled without strength before the pursuer.


> Background…

    > Five poems

    > Acrostic A-B-C  (8 lines each)  — Hebrew

    > During the time of exile

    > The Old Testament is divided into… Torah / Prophets / Writings

    > Lamentations is in the Writings section

> Fighting a losing cause.

> Judah was a nation apart.

> God brought about their destruction because of their transgressions.



A Song of Waiting

(Lamentations 3:19-26)


The thought of my trouble and my homelessness *

is as bitter as wormwood and gall.

My mind dwells on it continually; *

my soul is weighed down within me.

When I remember this I have hope: *

by God’s kindness, we are not  destroyed;

For God’s mercies are never-ending *

and are new every morning.

How great is your faithfulness, O God! *

“You are my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I hope in you.”

You are good with those who wait with patience, *

to every soul that seeks you.

It is good to wait, even in silence, *

for the salvation of the Lord.


> Hopelessness of the situation.

> However, there is a sense of hope, even among the devastation.

> God is still faithful in the end.



A Reading from the Second Letter of Paul to Timothy (1:1-14)


Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. I am grateful to God—whom I worship with a clear conscience, as my ancestors did—when I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. Recalling your tears, I long to see you so that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline. Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.


> Written late 1st century but not by Paul himself.

> Transitional period.

> Laying on of hands was normally for healing.

> Here it is used for confirmation.

> Faith, rather than works, can save you.

> Part of funeral liturgy.

> “Until that day” = second coming.

> Transition to a later sense of faith.

> Faith means to hold on a piece of doctrine rather than direct relationship to God. 



The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (17:5-10)


The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”


> The first ten verses encompass sin / forgiveness / faith / duty.

> The last five address faith and duty.

> Speaking to his own community.

> Mulberry tree is an example of faith.

> Do not expect a great reward – do what you are supposed to do.