Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Readings for September 11 2001

Hello Everyone,

The story of the salvation of Israel continues with a meal; Paul begins to wrap up his letter to the Romans; and Jesus teaches us about internal relationships.

Exodus 12:1-14 – Prior to this passage Moses went to Egypt and confronted the Pharaoh. There has be 9 plagues in Egypt but the Pharaoh’s heart has been hardened. What is the purpose of the lambs? What is the purpose of their blood? What is coming that night? How do you reconcile our God as revealed in Jesus and the God who takes the life of the eldest male humans and animals indiscriminately? This is a troubling passage for those of us who believe in a non-violent God, but we have to wrestle with it.

Psalm 149 – A psalm of praise. How is Israel to praise God? Do we Protestants praise God like this? Why or why not?

Ezekiel 33:7-11 – What is God’s instructions to the prophet? What are the consequences of not following God’s instructions? Why does God warn the wicked? In this short passage, does God cause the death of the wicked? What does God really desire from his peoples (including us)?

Psalm 119:33-40 – The fifth stanza of this acrostic poem. Each line of the stanza, in Hebrew, starts with the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. What does the psalmist want in this stanza? How will his life be changed? Will yours?

Romans 13:8-14 – How are we to best follow the commandments of God? Who does Paul sound like in verses 8-10? What does Paul anticipate and why does he seem so excited about it? What should we do as a result?

Matthew 18:15-20 – What is the purpose of this teaching of Jesus’? What are the people to do when the “sinner” doesn’t confess and return to the fold? What does it mean to treat them as Gentiles and tax collectors? Outside of this passage, how did Jesus treat sinners, tax collectors and Gentiles? What does it mean to “bind and loose”?

Have a great week reading God’s word and living God’s life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Readings for August 28 2011

I apologize for not having posted in a month. I won't post the missing entries but resolve to post each week.

This week we continue reading Romans, though we are nearing the end, Exodus and the salvation of Israel, and the Gospel of Matthew. I am trying a new way of bring attention to the texts so I will not be telling what you can read for yourselves but asking questions that, God willing, stimulates your thinking about these texts.

Exodus 3:1-15 – Where was Moses and what was he doing when he saw the bush? What was happening to the bush and what was not happening? Who spoke to Moses? What was Moses instructed to do? What was his response? When Moses asked for a name, what name was given? Note, the name given is the verb “be” and translated “I Am Who I Am”, or “I Am What I Am”, or “I Will Be What I Will Be.” Ancient Hebrew had no vowels and the consonances used transliterate to YHWH (“Yah-way'”). Many Jews believe that this sacred name of God should never be spoken lest you take it in vain. Thus, most Bibles use “LORD” in all caps to indicate this name.

Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26 – Skim through the entire Psalm. What is this Psalm about? What is verses 23-26 about? Does it relate to the Exodus text above?

Jeremiah 15:15-21 – How many speakers are in this passage and who are they? What does the first speaker complain about? Who is the second speaker? What is offered?

Psalm 26:1-8 – What does it mean to “Walk in Integrity”? How does the psalmist live this out? How do you and I live it out?

Romans 12:9-21 – What does it mean to live as a follower of Christ? How do we “heap coals” on our enemy’s head? What are we supposed to do when someone hurts us? Note once again that in verse 19 the words “of God” are not in the Greek writing of Paul. What does it mean to “leave room for the wrath of God” verses “leave room for the wrath”? If the wrath is not God’s whose is it?

Matthew 16:21-28 – I believe that these verses are part of the Gospel verses we read this past week. Peter said that Jesus was the Messiah. What does Jesus believe this means? What must Jesus do to be the Messiah? What is Peter’s response? What does Peter want Jesus to be? How is that a “stumbling block” or “scandal”?

May the Lord bless you in your reading that you may grow in love and faith.