Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

"The Garden of Eden" by Lucas Cranac...

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Psalm 138

Ezekiel 36:33-38

Matthew 16:5-12

Restoring the Garden of Eden 082011

Ezekiel today talks about the Lord restoring the Garden of Eden when our sins are forgiven.  It has occurred to me that maybe the scriptures about the Garden of Eden are what we are supposed to do with and not as much a remembrance of what earth was once like. Even now, we can see the effects of destroying the earth, the Garden of Eden that was given to us to care for.

The cedars of Lebanon that were big enough to frame Solomon’s temple are harvested and mostly gone; the wheat fields of Northern Africa (the bread basket of the Roman Empire) are now the Sahara desert; and some scholars suggest that the environmental destruction of Israel is why the peasants in Jesus’ time were so rebellious and ready to revolt.

So, rather than invest in a new church parking lot, maybe churches can park on the street and use the space for a garden for the poor, rather than asphalt. Maybe we can use our yards for gardens and feed the poor and the elderly. Maybe we can follow the words and teachings of Jesus, ask for forgiveness of our iniquities and seek (environmental) justice.

Pray for the forgiveness of the sins of the rich, and that we seek to restore the garden of Eden.

Peace

(brother) Bill

Psalm 138

1I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise;

2I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness; for you have exalted your name and your word above everything.

3On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul.

4All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth.

5They shall sing of the ways of the Lord, for great is the glory of the Lord.

6For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly; but the haughty he perceives from far away.

7Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

8The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Ezekiel 36:33-38

33Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the towns to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. 34The land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. 35And they will say, “This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the waste and desolate and ruined towns are now inhabited and fortified.” 36Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I, the Lord, have rebuilt the ruined places, and replanted that which was desolate; I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it. 37Thus says the Lord God: I will also let the house of Israel ask me to do this for them: to increase their population like a flock. 38Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed festivals, so shall the ruined towns be filled with flocks of people. Then they shall know that I am the Lord.

Matthew 16:5-12

5When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6Jesus said to them, “Watch out, and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7They said to one another, “It is because we have brought no bread.” 8And becoming aware of it, Jesus said, “You of little faith, why are you talking about having no bread? 9Do you still not perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11How could you fail to perceive that I was not speaking about bread? Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!” 12Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

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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Comments on: "Restoring the Garden of Eden 082011" (1)

  1. Thank you for the encouraging word! Our God is truly the God of restoration and mercy. I love the supernatural peace His Kingdom brings, both in our hearts and to the world around us!

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