Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

 

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Healing on the Sabbath 061612

Jesus’ mistake this time was healing on the Sabbath. One has to think about this long and hard. What exactly was Jesus saying when he said 24Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24 (below). This is the problem with the law, and with regulations, rules and having any authoritarian legal structure that seems to exercise judgment. But authority never exercises judgment, it exercises the law.

This is also, it seems, that this is the joy and the challenge of Jesus. Exercising judgment is difficult, and it is not necessarily consistent. How do we do this? What about the ministry of Jesus and the life of Jesus teach us how to exercise judgment and to ‘…judge with right judgment’? We all know how tough it is to have this right judgment, but we are committed to keep trying.

it is also easy to fall back upon the letter of the law, and just ask that they be enforced exactly as written. We do it all the time, but it leads to resentment, angry and revenge. It leads to generalizations about people, about groups, and about ideas and it is dangerous to humanity. Instead, by the word of Jesus, we must try to see through appearances and judge by right judgment alone.

What is Jesus calling us to do and to be, with this passage and teaching?

Pray for peace

brother Bill

 

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

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We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

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Psalm 81:1-10

Leviticus 24:5-9

John 7:19-24

Psalm 81

1Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

2Raise a song, sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp.

3Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our festal day.

4For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

5He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known:

6“I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.

7In distress you called, and I rescued you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah

8Hear, O my people, while I admonish you; O Israel, if you would but listen to me!

9There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.

10I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

Leviticus 24:5-9

5You shall take choice flour, and bake twelve loaves of it; two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. 6You shall place them in two rows, six in a row, on the table of pure gold. 7You shall put pure frankincense with each row, to be a token offering for the bread, as an offering by fire to the Lord. 8Every sabbath day Aaron shall set them in order before the Lord regularly as a commitment of the people of Israel, as a covenant forever. 9They shall be for Aaron and his descendants, who shall eat them in a holy place, for they are most holy portions for him from the offerings by fire to the Lord, a perpetual due.

John 7:19-24

19“Did not Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?” 20The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who is trying to kill you?” 21Jesus answered them, “I performed one work, and all of you are astonished. 22Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the sabbath. 23If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man’s whole body on the sabbath? 24Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

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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