We are back on our regular Lectionary Readings this week.
1 Samuel 1:4-20 – A man named Elkanah had two wives, Penninah and Hannah. (There is a joke here somewhere.) Elkanah loved Hannah more than Penninah but Hannah bore no children and Penninah had many (verses 1-3, 5). So Hannah prayed and wept at the Tabernacle in Shiloh promising God that her first son would be dedicated to God’s service. Eli, the priest, saw her but did not hear her. Thinking she was drunk he chastised her for her spectacle. When she explained her situation to Eli, he blessed her saying that God has heard her. After they returned home, Elkanah performed his husbandly duty, Hannah became pregnant, and she gave birth to Samuel.
1 Samuel 2:1-10 – Hannah’s prayer of thanksgiving to a gracious God who healed her barrenness.
OR Daniel 12:1-3 – This is the last part of Daniel apocalyptic visions that is recorded in Chapters 7-12. In these three verses Daniel reports a vision of the end of days. Michael will come to save his people who are written in the book. The dead shall arise some to everlasting life and some to everlasting contempt. Those who are wise and those who lead others to righteousness will shine.
Psalm 16 – The psalmist sings the praises of God who is his counselor and protector and who shows the psalmist the way of life.
Hebrews 10:11-25 – As we have seen over the last few weeks, Jesus Christ is the Great High Priest who offered himself as the sacrifice that ends the need for sacrifice. Because of this we can have confidence to enter into the new way of life. We are urged to keep faith without wavering. Finally, we need to provoke one another to love and to do good deeds and meet together regularly. Think about the word “provoke”. What other word could we use? Incite. Spur. Spark. Help. Stir. Motivate. Encourage and help. All of these alternate words were found in the different versions of the English Bible. How do we incite others to love and good works?
Mark 13:1-8 – The temple will be coming down says Jesus. When? asks the disciples. I don’t know, but when you see war coming run for your lives. You must still proclaim the good news in all the nations (verse 10) even in Todd and Stearns County of Minnesota. Be alert (verse 23) and keep proclaiming. How many times over the centuries and in how many places has the end come? How do you survive the conflagration so that the Kingdom of God may be proclaimed?
Keep the faith, have confidence in God’s Way, incite each other to love, and when the times get tough proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ!
Peace in Christ,
Pastor Gary Taylor