Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

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Who Are Our Prophets Today? 092212

 

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Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Psalm 54 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2054&version=MSG

2 Kings 17:5-18 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Kings%2017:5-18%20&version=MSG

Matthew 23:29-39 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2023:29-39&version=MSG

Who Are Our Prophets Today? 092212

 In reading 2 Kings 17:5-18 and Matthew 23:29-39, both speaking about prophets and our collective mistreatment of them, I am drawn to ask ‘Who are our prophets today?’ and are we mistreating them now?

But now, ‘we’ are not a single nation and peopkle, like Israel or Judah. ‘We’, meanin gthe community of Christ, are a vastly different group, with people from all nations, we hope and people of all ethnic and racial backgrounds professing Jesus Christ and following him. If there is a prophet now, should I look for him or her on Facebook, or search for their web page?

Unfortunately, I fear that if a prophet appearred they would be quickly defeated by their own truth, and speaking it out. Nothing imflames the people like a truth-teller in their midst. Every conservative would claim this prophet was a liberal, every liberal laugh at them for being conservative, etc until everyone is so confused we give up.

This leads me to remind myself that every conversation about and with God starts and ends with prayer. Until we find a prophet, let’s pray together.

Pray for peace

Bill

Prayer List: 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

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Psalm 54

2 Kings 17:5-18

Matthew 23:29-39

Psalm 54

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm, When the Ziphites Reported to Saul, “David Is Hiding Out with Us”

54 1-2 God, for your sake, help me!
Use your influence to clear me.
Listen, God—I’m desperate.
Don’t be too busy to hear me.

Outlaws are out to get me,
hit men are trying to kill me.
Nothing will stop them;
God means nothing to them.

4-5 Oh, look! God’s right here helping!
God’s on my side,
Evil is looping back on my enemies.
Don’t let up! Finish them off!

6-7 I’m ready now to worship, so ready.
I thank you, God—you’re so good.
You got me out of every scrape,
and I saw my enemies get it.

2 Kings 17:5-18

The Message (MSG)

3-5 Then Shalmaneser king of Assyria attacked. Hoshea was already a puppet of the Assyrian king and regularly sent him tribute, but Shalmaneser discovered that Hoshea had been operating traitorously behind his back—having worked out a deal with King So of Egypt. And, adding insult to injury, Hoshea was way behind on his annual payments of tribute to Assyria. So the king of Assyria arrested him and threw him in prison, then proceeded to invade the entire country. He attacked Samaria and threw up a siege against it. The siege lasted three years.

In the ninth year of Hoshea’s reign the king of Assyria captured Samaria and took the people into exile in Assyria. He relocated them in Halah, in Gozan along the Habor River, and in the towns of the Medes.

7-12 The exile came about because of sin: The children of Israel sinned against God, their God, who had delivered them from Egypt and the brutal oppression of Pharaoh king of Egypt. They took up with other gods, fell in with the ways of life of the pagan nations God had chased off, and went along with whatever their kings did. They did all kinds of things on the sly, things offensive to their God, then openly and shamelessly built local sex-and-religion shrines at every available site. They set up their sex-and-religion symbols at practically every crossroads. Everywhere you looked there was smoke from their pagan offerings to the deities—the identical offerings that had gotten the pagan nations off into exile. They had accumulated a long list of evil actions and God was fed up, fed up with their persistent worship of gods carved out of deadwood or shaped out of clay, even though God had plainly said, “Don’t do this—ever!”

13 God had taken a stand against Israel and Judah, speaking clearly through countless holy prophets and seers time and time again, “Turn away from your evil way of life. Do what I tell you and have been telling you in The Revelation I gave your ancestors and of which I’ve kept reminding you ever since through my servants the prophets.”

14-15 But they wouldn’t listen. If anything, they were even more bullheaded than their stubborn ancestors, if that’s possible. They were contemptuous of his instructions, the solemn and holy covenant he had made with their ancestors, and of his repeated reminders and warnings. They lived a “nothing” life and became “nothings”—just like the pagan peoples all around them. They were well-warned: God said, “Don’t!” but they did it anyway.

16-17 They threw out everything God, their God, had told them, and replaced him with two statue-gods shaped like bull-calves and then a phallic pole for the whore goddess Asherah. They worshiped cosmic forces—sky gods and goddesses—and frequented the sex-and-religion shrines of Baal. They even sank so low as to offer their own sons and daughters as sacrificial burnt offerings! They indulged in all the black arts of magic and sorcery. In short, they prostituted themselves to every kind of evil available to them. And God had had enough.

18-20 God was so thoroughly angry that he got rid of them, got them out of the country for good until only one tribe was left—Judah. (Judah, actually, wasn’t much better, for Judah also failed to keep God’s commands, falling into the same way of life that Israel had adopted.) God rejected everyone connected with Israel, made life hard for them, and permitted anyone with a mind to exploit them to do so. And then this final No as he threw them out of his sight.

Matthew 23:29-39

The Message (MSG)

29-32 “You’re hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You build granite tombs for your prophets and marble monuments for your saints. And you say that if you had lived in the days of your ancestors, no blood would have been on your hands. You protest too much! You’re cut from the same cloth as those murderers, and daily add to the death count.

33-34 “Snakes! Reptilian sneaks! Do you think you can worm your way out of this? Never have to pay the piper? It’s on account of people like you that I send prophets and wise guides and scholars generation after generation—and generation after generation you treat them like dirt, greeting them with lynch mobs, hounding them with abuse.

35-36 “You can’t squirm out of this: Every drop of righteous blood ever spilled on this earth, beginning with the blood of that good man Abel right down to the blood of Zechariah, Barachiah’s son, whom you murdered at his prayers, is on your head. All this, I’m telling you, is coming down on you, on your generation.

37-39 “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God’s news! How often I’ve ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn’t let me. And now you’re so desolate, nothing but a ghost town. What is there left to say? Only this: I’m out of here soon. The next time you see me you’ll say, ‘Oh, God has blessed him! He’s come, bringing God’s rule!’”

 

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