Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Do not be afraid 042711

Mary Magdalene. Lime tree wood and polychromy,...

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Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Joshua 3:1-17

Matthew 28:1-10

Do not be afraid 042711

“Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” Matthew 28: 10 quotes Jesus, and his words comfort us still.

Fear and apprehension are part of our sinning human nature, and maybe there are few sins as serious—to not live in joy and in the assurances of Jesus Christ. I, in particular, am very slow to believe. I’m slow to believe even Jesus and God when I am assured to not be afraid, and I persist in trying to control everything so that my life is smooth, safe and free of apprehension.

But trying to be in control, trying not to be fearful and trying to foresee the future both near and far cause me even more fear, more apprehension.

Instead, may we all listen to Christ’s simple words: ‘Do not be afraid…’

Peace,

(brother) Bill

Billd@Peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Psalm 118

1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!

2Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

14The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.

15There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;

16the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”

17I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.

18The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.

19Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

20This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

21I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

22The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

23This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

24This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Joshua 3:1-17

3Early in the morning Joshua rose and set out from Shittim with all the Israelites, and they came to the Jordan. They camped there before crossing over. 2At the end of three days the officers went through the camp 3and commanded the people, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God being carried by the levitical priests, then you shall set out from your place. Follow it, 4so that you may know the way you should go, for you have not passed this way before. Yet there shall be a space between you and it, a distance of about two thousand cubits; do not come any nearer to it.” 5Then Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves; for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” 6To the priests Joshua said, “Take up the ark of the covenant, and pass on in front of the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went in front of the people.

7The Lord said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they may know that I will be with you as I was with Moses. 8You are the one who shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.’” 9Joshua then said to the Israelites, “Draw near and hear the words of the Lord your God.” 10Joshua said, “By this you shall know that among you is the living God who without fail will drive out from before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites: 11the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth is going to pass before you into the Jordan. 12So now select twelve men from the tribes of Israel, one from each tribe. 13When the soles of the feet of the priests who bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan flowing from above shall be cut off; they shall stand in a single heap.”

14When the people set out from their tents to cross over the Jordan, the priests bearing the ark of the covenant were in front of the people. 15Now the Jordan overflows all its banks throughout the time of harvest. So when those who bore the ark had come to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests bearing the ark were dipped in the edge of the water, 16the waters flowing from above stood still, rising up in a single heap far off at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan, while those flowing toward the sea of the Arabah, the Dead Sea, were wholly cut off. Then the people crossed over opposite Jericho. 17While all Israel were crossing over on dry ground, the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood on dry ground in the middle of the Jordan, until the entire nation finished crossing over the Jordan.

Matthew 28:1-10

28After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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