Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven, as in the r...

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Psalm 139:13-18

Genesis 33:1-17

Galatians 4:21—5:1

 

Learning to Welcome 071911

 

What if we all learned to welcome, like Jacob is welcomed by Esau? When people visit a church, are they welcomed and made to feel welcome like Jacob?

 

Genesis reminds us that. like Jacob, visitors to our churches do not know at first if they will be welcomed like Jacob, or attacked violently as a stranger. Instead, one suspects that a middle ground of indifference happens, somewhere less than Esau’s welcome, but better than a violent attack as a welcome.

 

We should learn to welcome the strangers we meet, especially at the door of Jesus’ church—do we have welcoming people and spirits? Or does it fall to some other people to just be nice, if they’re in the mood.

 

In the name of Jesus—let’s do better.

 

Pray for peace today, and forgiveness for the weather we have brought upon ourselves. Plant a tree, and turn off appliances. Also, drink water and eat lightly.

 

Peace

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 139:13-18

13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15   My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end*—I am still with you.

Genesis 33:1-17

Jacob and Esau Meet

33Now Jacob looked up and saw Esau coming, and four hundred men with him. So he divided the children among Leah and Rachel and the two maids. 2He put the maids with their children in front, then Leah with her children, and Rachel and Joseph last of all. 3He himself went on ahead of them, bowing himself to the ground seven times, until he came near his brother.

4 But Esau ran to meet him, and embraced him, and fell on his neck and kissed him, and they wept. 5When Esau looked up and saw the women and children, he said, ‘Who are these with you?’ Jacob said, ‘The children whom God has graciously given your servant.’ 6Then the maids drew near, they and their children, and bowed down; 7Leah likewise and her children drew near and bowed down; and finally Joseph and Rachel drew near, and they bowed down. 8Esau said, ‘What do you mean by all this company that I met?’ Jacob answered, ‘To find favour with my lord.’ 9But Esau said, ‘I have enough, my brother; keep what you have for yourself.’ 10Jacob said, ‘No, please; if I find favour with you, then accept my present from my hand; for truly to see your face is like seeing the face of God—since you have received me with such favour. 11Please accept my gift that is brought to you, because God has dealt graciously with me, and because I have everything I want.’ So he urged him, and he took it.

12 Then Esau said, ‘Let us journey on our way, and I will go alongside you.’ 13But Jacob said to him, ‘My lord knows that the children are frail and that the flocks and herds, which are nursing, are a care to me; and if they are overdriven for one day, all the flocks will die. 14Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will lead on slowly, according to the pace of the cattle that are before me and according to the pace of the children, until I come to my lord in Seir.’

15 So Esau said, ‘Let me leave with you some of the people who are with me.’ But he said, ‘Why should my lord be so kind to me?’ 16So Esau returned that day on his way to Seir. 17But Jacob journeyed to Succoth,* and built himself a house, and made booths for his cattle; therefore the place is called Succoth.

Galatians 4:21—5:1

The Allegory of Hagar and Sarah

21 Tell me, you who desire to be subject to the law, will you not listen to the law? 22For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and the other by a free woman. 23One, the child of the slave, was born according to the flesh; the other, the child of the free woman, was born through the promise. 24Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One woman, in fact, is Hagar, from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery. 25Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia* and corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26But the other woman corresponds to the Jerusalem above; she is free, and she is our mother. 27For it is written,
‘Rejoice, you childless one, you who bear no children,
burst into song and shout, you who endure no birth pangs;
for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous
than the children of the one who is married.’
28Now you,* my friends,* are children of the promise, like Isaac. 29But just as at that time the child who was born according to the flesh persecuted the child who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30But what does the scripture say? ‘Drive out the slave and her child; for the child of the slave will not share the inheritance with the child of the free woman.’ 31So then, friends,* we are children, not of the slave but of the free woman. 51For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.

The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 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.

Related articles are provided without comment or opinion, so that readers may expand their reading to include all kinds of writers and traditions.

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