Sunday, March 25, 2012: “Today’s Scripture Readings”

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


“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.”


> Judah and Jerusalem in their last days – the Babylonians are the predominant power of the day.

> Looking beyond the upcoming destruction at the historic Israel

> The people will be lead away, but God will start a new covenant with his people.



PSALM 51:1-13


1   Have mercy on me, O God, according to your loving-kindness; *
    in your great compassion blot out my offenses.

2  Wash me through and through from my wickedness *
    and cleanse me from my sin.

3  For I know my transgressions, *

    and my sin is ever before me.

4  Against you only have I sinned *

    and done what is evil in your sight.

5  And so you are justified when you speak *

    and upright in your judgment.

6  Indeed, I have been wicked from my birth, *

    a sinner from my mother’s womb.

7  For behold, you look for truth deep within me, *

    and will make me understand wisdom secretly.

8  Purge me from my sin, and I shall be pure; *

    wash me, and I shall be clean indeed.

9  Make me hear of joy and gladness, *

    that the body you have broken may rejoice.

10  Hide your face from my sins *

      and blot out all my iniquities.

11  Create in me a clean heart, O God, *

      and renew a right spirit within me.

12  Cast me not away from your presence *

      and take not your holy Spirit from me.

13  Give me the joy of your saving help again *

      and sustain me with your bountiful Spirit.


 > Plea for forgiveness and healing and a new creation

> Acknowledges his own sin

> God understands the thorough simpleness of the man.

> Looking towards a new beginning and a new creation with the breath of God



A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Hebrews (5:5-10)


Christ did not glorify himself in becoming a high priest, but was appointed by the one who said to him, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”; as he says also in another place, “You are a priest forever, according to the order of Melchizedek.” In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him, having been designated by God a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek.


> Hebrews often refers to Jewish legends.

> Quotes from Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 – comes up in New Testament writings

> Jesus is seen in those writings.

> Melchizedek – Canaanite priest found in Genesis.

> He offers gifts to God of bread and wine.

> He became an “eternal” priest.



The Holy Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ according to John (12:20-33)


Now among those who went up to worship at the festival were some Greeks. They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and said to him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Philip went and told Andrew; then Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor. Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.


> Already into Jesus’ final days

> “My time has not yet come.” is repeated by Jesus.

> (The hour when Jesus is raised up to his Father)

> The hour has arrived…

> “Prostelites” are Greeks practicing Jewish traditions.

> God has incorporated Jews and non-Jews into his church.

> Jesus sees what is coming.

> Jesus cannot save himself because this is what the Father sent him to do.

> The Son of Man being “lifted up” – universal effect – all the world will be drawn to him.