Sunday, August 3, 2014: “Today’s Scripture Readings”

A Reading from the Book of Genesis (2:22-31)


[Jacob got up at night] and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he struck him on the hip socket; and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day is breaking.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go, unless you bless me.” So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then the man said, “You shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with humans, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is preserved.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.


> Jacob has been away from home for twenty years.

> He is married to Leah and Rachel.

> He also has children with their hand maidens.

> Do spirits exist at borders?  (Is that why the groom carries the bride across the threshold?)

> Israel means one who struggles with God.

> God refuses to give Jacob his name.

> Peniel means “my face and God.”



Psalm (17:1-7, 16)


1   Hear my plea of innocence, O Lord;

     give heed to my cry; *

     listen to my prayer, which does not come from lying lips.

2   Let my vindication come forth from  your presence; *

     let your eyes be fixed on justice.

3  Weigh my heart, summon me by night, *

     melt me down; you will find no   impurity in me.

4   I give no offense with my mouth as others do; *

     I have heeded the words of your lips.

5   My footsteps hold fast to the ways of your law; *

     in your paths my feet shall not stumble.

6   I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me; *

     incline your ear to me and hear my words.

7   Show me your marvelous loving-kindness, *

     O Savior of those who take refuge at your right hand

     from those who rise up against them.

16  But at my vindication I shall see your face; *

      when I awake, I shall be satisfied, beholding  your likeness.


> These verses are a set of petitions.

> God, you should answer my prayers because I am innocent!

> The reading ties in with the face of God in the Genesis verses.



A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans (9:1-5)


 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.


> God has called the Gentiles to be the people of God.

> The Jewish people have not been rejected.

> All of Israel is to be brought into God’s kingdom of Jesus Christ.



The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (14:13-21)


Jesus withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Jesus said to them, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They replied, “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.


> This is not a desert, but the Sea of Galilee.

> These verses tie into the Exodus, Chapter 16 wilderness story.

> Jesus is portrayed as the new Moses.

> There is no explanation for why there were five loaves and two fish.

> Some people try to tie these verses into a parallel with the Eucharist.

> The twelve wicker baskets are related to the twelve Jewish tribes.

> This is the only miracle story that appears in all four Gospels.

> In the second Barack text, at the coming of the end of time and Messianic age, God will feed his people.