I am working today, Monday, July 14, despite the fact that Monday is my usual day off, my Sabbath. Tomorrow I will be in Alexandria babysitting this wonder girl, my granddaughter.
Our readings this week continue in Genesis, Romans and Matthew.
Genesis 28:10-19a – In last week’s reading, Jacob cheats Esau, his older twin brother, out of his birthright. In Chapter 27 Jacob cheats his father, Isaac, into giving him the blessing that was intended for Esau. At the beginning of chapter 28, Rebekah, Jacob’s mom and Isaac’s wife, convinces Isaac to send Jacob back to the family homeland to get a wife. This will also keep Jacob safe from Esau’s murderous hatred. In our reading this week, Jacob is on the way and stops for the night using a stone for a pillow (ouch!!). There he has a dream of a ladder to heaven and angels ascending and descending. The LORD (Yahweh) appears in the dream and repeats the promise of offspring and a nation that the LORD gave to Abraham.
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 – A psalm of a God from whom we cannot escape, who is with us wherever we go, and who knows us entirely. In the NRSV, the version of the Bible I use, the second half of verse 8 says, “. . . if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.” So, in your understanding, what is “Sheol”?
OR Wisdom of Solomon 12:13, 16-19 – Pastor Gary, where is this in my Bible as I can’t find it? If you have any Protestant Bible then you will not find it. What you will need is a Bible with the Apocrypha or you have a Catholic Bible or to follow this link: Wisdom.
or Isaiah 44:4-6 – God declares that there is really no other god and we are God’s witnesses.
Psalm 86:11-17 – The psalmist asks God to teach him God’s ways for God’s steadfast love has sustained and protected the psalmist. Verse 15 is a prominent theme of the Old Testament: “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Romans 8:12-25 – Here are a few of the key points of this passage. If we are led by the Spirit (which Paul affirms in verse 9) then we are the children of God. When we cry out to God it is the Spirit witnessing to us that we are God’s children, adopted into the family and heirs to God’s kingdom with our now brother Jesus Christ. Whatever we suffer in this present world will be made up by the glory of God’s revelation. All of creation awaits that revelation so creation will be free of decay and rot. We currently have the first fruits of the Spirit and as we wait for the revelation to come we wait in hope with patience.
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43 – The parable of the weeds. The first section is the telling of the parable and the second section is the explanation. A person sows wheat in a field. At night someone else sows weeds in the same field. In Jesus’s world there was a plant, thought to be darnel, which looked like wheat in the early stages of growth so that you couldn’t tell the difference. To try to weed out the darnel risked pulling out the wheat. It is not until the darnel and wheat mature can the farmer tell the difference (wheat becomes brown and darnel becomes black). Darnel can also be infected with a poisonous fungus, hence the need to separate the darnel from the wheat at harvest time. Now remember, parable are designed to make us think. Setting aside the explanation given in 36-43, what other ideas can this parable generate?
Have a great week serving God by serving others.
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor