Sunday, August 31, 2014: “Today’s Scripture Readings”


A Reading from the Book of Exodus (3:1-15)


Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the Lord saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God. Then the Lord said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.” But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: This is my name forever, and this my title for all generations.”


> The new king did not know about Joseph’s deeds in the past that saved Egypt from famine.

> This led to the Israelite people wanting to flee Egypt.

> Moses fled to Midian after killing an Egyptian task master and being discovered.

> Mt. Horeb was a wasteland.  It is also know as Mt. Sinai.

> At this time there was no sense of angels being separate beings.

> Instead, and angel was the way that God appeared.

> This is a call narrative.  God calls Moses and Moses argues with God.

> There were lots of different names for God up to this point, but he is now known as Yahweh.

> This name was not pronounced in public and only by the high priest once per year.



Psalm (105:1-6, 23-26, 45c)


1  Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name; *

    make known his deeds among the peoples.

2  Sing to him, sing praises to him, *

    and speak of all his marvelous works.

3  Glory in his holy Name; *

    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.

4  Search for the Lord and his strength; *

    continually seek his face.

5  Remember the marvels he has done, *

    his wonders and the judgments of his mouth,

6  O offspring of Abraham his servant, *

    O children of Jacob his chosen.

23  Israel came into Egypt, *

      and Jacob became a sojourner in the land of Ham.

24  The Lord made his people exceedingly fruitful; *

      he made them stronger than their enemies;

25   Whose heart he turned, so that they hated his people, *

      and dealt unjustly with his servants.

26  He sent Moses his servant, *

      and Aaron whom he had chosen.

45  That they might keep his statutes *

       and observe his laws.  Hallelujah!


 > This is the Psalm that praises God and gives promise to Abraham that he will inherit the land.

> The Egyptians were descended from Ham.

> These verses describe the Moses story as noted in the first reading above.

> It concludes with the last verse.



A Reading from the Letter of Paul to the Romans (12:9-21)


Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.  Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  No, “if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.


> Paul is talking to Gentile Jews and telling them how to live their lives.

> He quotes Proverbs (25:22).  It seems strange – many men to embarrass him.

> Paul also quotes a number of Old Testament verses as well. 



The Holy Gospel of Our  Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew (16:21-28)


Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and undergo great suffering at the hands of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “God forbid it, Lord! This must never happen to you.” But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; for you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”


> This is the second part of last week’s reading.

> Jesus explains what type of Messiah he must be.

> This is the first of three predictions of Jesus’ suffering and death.

> This is the only verse that uses “must” because God has decreed it.

> Matthew blames the situation on the Jewish leadership.

> The Rabbis taught that God would resurrect humanity on the third day.

> In these verses Satan means a tempter.

> Teachers always walked in front of their pupils.

> Up to now, it was only about Jesus’ ministry in Galilee.

> Jesus is now preparing his disciples to take over his ministry.