Lectionary Readings for February 24
Gen. 15:1-12, 17-18, Psalm 27, Phil 3:17-4:1, Luke 13:13-35, Luke 9:28-36
I'm at home by myself this morning, so I read Psalm 27 out loud. (Neat experience! I encourage you to try it). Reading aloud, the words become more than little black marks on nice paper. The feelings of the text, and my responses to it added an experience of texture and depth, leaving the meanings ringing in my head. I look forward to wlaking with these words today. Verse 1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid?" This passage is so encouraging, helping to drain away anxiety and refocus thoughts on God. Our work, our calling, our reason for being doesn't depend on us, it is about Diving purpose and intention for the world. What a gift of comfort!
The Philippians passage is challenging, especially to readers who are living a comfortable life. When the writer, Paul, says that many live as enemies of the cross of Christ, with their god being their stomach and with their minds on earthly things, I am challenged. I wonder if I pay too much attention to my desires and not enough to the needs of others. That phrase "enemies of the cross of Christ" might not be only referring to people who have taken a stand against Christianity. It might also be understood as referring to believers who are adverse to sacrifice-unwilling to pay the price of their beliefs when they are challenged. I don't think Christian are called to seek out suffering, but if we truly follow Christ, there are times when we will be called to sacrifice. To give of ourselves when it is not convienient, to give our time, our resources, and maybe to take "heat" sometimes for being disciples in word and deed.
What verses, ideas, comforts, and challenges come out of these scriptures for you?