Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Reading the Book 110811

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Psalm 63

Nehemiah 8:1-12

1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

 

Reading the Book 110811

Reading today’s verses from Nehemiah, we are reminded of the Jewish tradition of the ‘book’. Historically, it is said that they were the ‘people of the book’, since their religion, unlike other religions of the time did not depend on a certain place, or on a certain altar. Instead, they carried the ‘book’ with them.

We are also reminded of the importance of the ‘book’ when we commemorate ‘Reformation Sunday’, as remembered by many churches. It is the day on which the beginning of the European Reformation began almost 500 years ago.

That reformation began, in many people’s minds, with the publication of the Bible in languages other than Latin and Greek. German Bibles, English Bibles, French Bibles were translated and published in quick succession (and often, their publishers executed).

It is important they we once again realize the importance of the book. We can daily, directly share in the traditions and history of the book, by daily reading our Bible, online and in print. Keep you Bible on the diner table, carry it in your truck or car, carry it in your briefcase and purse.

Read the Bible today, and pray for God’s wisdom in our humble learning. Pray for peace.

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 63

1O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

2So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

3Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

4So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on your name.

5My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast, and my mouth praises you with joyful lips

6when I think of you on my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;

7for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.

8My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

9But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth;

10they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be prey for jackals.

11But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

Nehemiah 8:1-12

8all the people gathered together into the square before the Water Gate. They told the scribe Ezra to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. 2Accordingly, the priest Ezra brought the law before the assembly, both men and women and all who could hear with understanding. This was on the first day of the seventh month. 3He read from it facing the square before the Water Gate from early morning until midday, in the presence of the men and the women and those who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the book of the law. 4The scribe Ezra stood on a wooden platform that had been made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hash-baddanah, Zechariah, and Meshullam on his left hand. 5And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6Then Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with their faces to the ground. 7Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah, the Levites, helped the people to understand the law, while the people remained in their places. 8So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.

9And Nehemiah, who was the governor, and Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who taught the people said to all the people, “This day is holy to the Lord your God; do not mourn or weep.” For all the people wept when they heard the words of the law. 10Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” 11So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, “Be quiet, for this day is holy; do not be grieved.” 12And all the people went their way to eat and drink and to send portions and to make great rejoicing, because they had understood the words that were declared to them.

1 Thessalonians 3:6-13

6But Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love. He has told us also that you always remember us kindly and long to see us—just as we long to see you. 7For this reason, brothers and sisters, during all our distress and persecution we have been encouraged about you through your faith. 8For we now live, if you continue to stand firm in the Lord. 9How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before our God because of you? 10Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

11Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. 12And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you. 13And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.

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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