Readings for this Sunday are:
Habakkuk 1:1-4, 2:1-4 - In the first four verses of our reading, Habakkuk wonders why he is seeing all the violence, troubles, wrongdoings, destruction, strife and contention. Sound pretty bleak, perhaps much like our times. In the second four verses Habakkuk say he will stand still and watch. Then God says to him that there will come a time when all will be set right and Habakkuk should write it all down so that everyone will know.
Psalm 119:137-144 - See my comments on Psalm 119 from two weeks ago. In this stanza of eight verses every line begins with "tzadei" or "tz" sound. In this stanza the psalmists praises God for just rulings and righteous decrees which are eternal and true.
OR Isaiah 1:10-18 - The prophet says that the Lord demands a meeting with the rulers of Israel and Judah. They cannot come with sacrifices, offerings, or incense because the Lord will have none of it. The leaders need to wash themselves clean, cease doing evil, learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphans, and plead for the widows. Sounds like something all of our leaders should be doing.
Psalm 32:1-7 - The psalmists states that people whose sins and inequities are forgive are happy people. They have no reason to deceive. When people hide from God's love it seems like a heavy weight. When they confess the guilt of their sin is lifted and they are surrounded with the sound of deliverance.
2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12 - Paul and his traveling companions Silvanus and Timothy write to the church in Thessaloniki. The open the letter by giving thanks for the people of the church, probably a house church, and boast to others of them. In the last two verses, they pray to God that the people will be worthy of God's call so they may glorify Jesus Christ.
Luke 19:1-10 - OK, everyone sing: "Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he! . . . " You know the children's Bible song but do you know the story? This past Sunday we heard Jesus' parable of the Pharisee and tax collector praying in the temple. In between, there is a story of a rich rule who asked Jesus how to inherit eternal life. When Jesus ends up saying "give all you own to the poor and follow me", the man walks away because he cannot do it. Might this be like the Pharisee in the parable? In our story, Zacchaeus is a tax collector who ends up vowing to make things right. Might this be the tax collector in the parable? How do we respond to Jesus' call? Pharisee or tax collector? Rich man or Zaccheaus?
Peace in Christ,