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Psalm 83:1-4, 9-10, 17-18
Responsible Christians 111611
The book of Matthew brings us the gospel, the good news, but in today’s verses, we should be feeling the weight of our mission on our shoulders. As Christians, Jesus us asks us to care for others, (even non-Christians!). And if Christians ever appear somber and serious, it is because we have felt the trust and love Jesus has put in us to carry forward the kingdom.
This might be in conflict with the modern institutional church, that directs young Christians to be called to a career as ministers and clergy. But it’s not like a regular career, I think. First, it often does not pay money, and all Christians are called to care for Jesus’ people, not just a select few. We are a ‘priesthood of all believers’ as Martin Luther said.
Instead of expecting a few called men and women to lead us as Christians, maybe all Christians should reappraise their belief, as Matthew 24 calls us. Maybe we all should see ourselves as called to be monks, and live out our Christianity (perhaps in the spirit of Shane Claiborne’s New Monaticism.
Meanwhile, while considering this and considering what should be the mission of Christians in this world, today, it occurs to me (and to many others) that unless we all take environmental damage seriously, quickly! the fatal crush of too many people, not enough food and water and weather uncertainty and alarm, too many wars and conflicts may bring the end of time, or be the end of time. What should be a Christian’s response to all this?
Pray for peace, and keep praying,
1O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!
2Even now your enemies are in tumult; those who hate you have raised their heads.
3They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against those you protect.
4They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more.”
9Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera and Jabin at the Wadi Kishon,
10who were destroyed at En-dor, who became dung for the ground.
17Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace.
18Let them know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.
16Then Job answered: 2“I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all. 3Have windy words no limit? Or what provokes you that you keep on talking? 4I also could talk as you do, if you were in my place; I could join words together against you, and shake my head at you. 5I could encourage you with my mouth, and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.
6“If I speak, my pain is not assuaged, and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me? 7Surely now God has worn me out; he has made desolate all my company. 8And he has shriveled me up, which is a witness against me; my leanness has risen up against me, and it testifies to my face. 9He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me; he has gnashed his teeth at me; my adversary sharpens his eyes against me. 10They have gaped at me with their mouths; they have struck me insolently on the cheek; they mass themselves together against me. 11God gives me up to the ungodly, and casts me into the hands of the wicked. 12I was at ease, and he broke me in two; he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces; he set me up as his target; 13his archers surround me. He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy; he pours out my gall on the ground. 14He bursts upon me again and again; he rushes at me like a warrior. 15I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and have laid my strength in the dust. 16My face is red with weeping, and deep darkness is on my eyelids,
17though there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure. 18“O earth, do not cover my blood; let my outcry find no resting place. 19Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven, and he that vouches for me is on high. 20My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God, 21that he would maintain the right of a mortal with God, as one does for a neighbor.
45“Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 47Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 48But if that wicked slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. 51He will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
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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