Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

The Message of Love 092711

Philippi

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Psalm 28

Judges 16:1-22

Philippians 1:15-21

 

The Message of Love 092711

 

As I was reading this scripture from Philipians, I was struck by Paul’s response to his brothers proclaiming the word fearlessly.  When he said that some act out of love and some out of selfish ambition, it reminded me of all the religious “rivalries” that exist today.  It seems like there are so many different reasons that people preach Jesus’ word today.  In his letter to the Philippians, Paul rejoices in the fact that whether in pretense or truth, Christ is being proclaimed.  There is often times animosity between different Christian religions because of differing beliefs.  We can sometimes be quick to judge each other, assuming that only our intentions are pure.  The message that I get from this scripture is: As long as Jesus’ love is being shared with others, why does it matter?  We’re human and we do our best.  Instead of trying to figure out who’s intentions are better (or whose religion is better) why not focus on Jesus’ message of love?

 

Claire

 

Psalm 28

1To you, O Lord, I call; my rock, do not refuse to hear me, for if you are silent to me, I shall be like those who go down to the Pit.

2Hear the voice of my supplication, as I cry to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.

3Do not drag me away with the wicked, with those who are workers of evil, who speak peace with their neighbors, while mischief is in their hearts.

4Repay them according to their work, and according to the evil of their deeds; repay them according to the work of their hands; render them their due reward.

5Because they do not regard the works of the Lord, or the work of his hands, he will break them down and build them up no more.

6Blessed be the Lord, for he has heard the sound of my pleadings.

7The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.

8The Lord is the strength of his people; he is the saving refuge of his anointed.

9O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them forever.

Judges 16:1-22

16Once Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute and went in to her. 2The Gazites were told, “Samson has come here.” So they circled around and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They kept quiet all night, thinking, “Let us wait until the light of the morning; then we will kill him.” 3But Samson lay only until midnight. Then at midnight he rose up, took hold of the doors of the city gate and the two posts, pulled them up, bar and all, put them on his shoulders, and carried them to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron.

4After this he fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah. 5The lords of the Philistines came to her and said to her, “Coax him, and find out what makes his strength so great, and how we may overpower him, so that we may bind him in order to subdue him; and we will each give you eleven hundred pieces of silver.” 6So Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me what makes your strength so great, and how you could be bound, so that one could subdue you.” 7Samson said to her, “If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that are not dried out, then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else.” 8Then the lords of the Philistines brought her seven fresh bowstrings that had not dried out, and she bound him with them. 9While men were lying in wait in an inner chamber, she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he snapped the bowstrings, as a strand of fiber snaps when it touches the fire. So the secret of his strength was not known. 10Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have mocked me and told me lies; please tell me how you could be bound.” 11He said to her, “If they bind me with new ropes that have not been used, then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else.” 12So Delilah took new ropes and bound him with them, and said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” (The men lying in wait were in an inner chamber.) But he snapped the ropes off his arms like a thread. 13Then Delilah said to Samson, “Until now you have mocked me and told me lies; tell me how you could be bound.” He said to her, “If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and make it tight with the pin, then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else.” 14So while he slept, Delilah took the seven locks of his head and wove them into the web, and made them tight with the pin. Then she said to him, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” But he awoke from his sleep, and pulled away the pin, the loom, and the web. 15Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me three times now and have not told me what makes your strength so great.” 16Finally, after she had nagged him with her words day after day, and pestered him, he was tired to death. 17So he told her his whole secret, and said to her, “A razor has never come upon my head; for I have been a nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If my head were shaved, then my strength would leave me; I would become weak, and be like anyone else.”

18When Delilah realized that he had told her his whole secret, she sent and called the lords of the Philistines, saying, “This time come up, for he has told his whole secret to me.” Then the lords of the Philistines came up to her, and brought the money in their hands. 19She let him fall asleep on her lap; and she called a man, and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. He began to weaken, and his strength left him. 20Then she said, “The Philistines are upon you, Samson!” When he awoke from his sleep, he thought, “I will go out as at other times, and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the Lord had left him. 21So the Philistines seized him and gouged out his eyes. They brought him down to Gaza and bound him with bronze shackles; and he ground at the mill in the prison.

22But the hair of his head began to grow again after it had been shaved.

Philippians 1:15-21

15Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defense of the gospel; 17the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. 18What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance. 20It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death.

21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain.

 

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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