Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

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Icon of the Pentecost (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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Columbia, MO





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


104:24-34, 35b








for a Day? 052313



you have been faithfully reading these Bible verses each, this may
have occurred to you already. It may have come to you that although
the Bible verses are ‘sufficient unto the day’, when you read the
Bible day to dau it sometimes seems overwhelming.



a way, I take daily refuge in the Psalms, because they are poetry and
carry a deep daily beauty. I need the daily Psalm many days just to
be able to read and consider the gospel verses and the Old Testament



the gospel is the gospel, we might say. The gospel is, after all, the
good news, and that’s cause for the most jubilant of celebrations.
Still, it fills me with a sense of dread.



have to carefully consider what I’m feeling here, and even more
careful about whether this dread might cause me to ignore the gospel
message. I don’t know how to do that by the way. How do you once
listen to Jesus and then quit listening to Jesus?



feeling of dread I’m feeling at reading the gospel is the shock of
seeing it speak so perfectly to the world as it now is. It seems
we’ve lost the Holy Spirit somewhere, and we’re living exactly the
opposite of what the gospels gently ask of us. I can’t look at the
greed, the violence, the hatred that guides the world, and when we
see goodness and charity they are the margin of modern life. Even
worse, the disappearance of spirituality from common life leaves us
in a darkness, a darkness more dark than the dark ages of humanity,
if we begin to see it. It’s ironic, but a life built upon money and
wealth becomes bankrupt and empty.



for peace,






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Psalm 104:24-35


The Message (MSG)


24-30 What a wildly wonderful
world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom
at your side,
made earth overflow with
your wonderful creations.
Oh, look—the deep, wide
brimming with fish past
sardines and sharks and
Ships plow those waters,
Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.
All the creatures look
expectantly to you
to give them their
meals on time.
You come, and they gather around;
open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your
they’d die in a minute—
back your Spirit and they die,
revert to
original mud;
Send out your Spirit and they spring to
the whole countryside in bloom and


31-32 The glory of God—let it
last forever!
Let God enjoy his
He takes one look at earth and triggers an
points a finger at the
mountains, and volcanoes erupt.


33-35 Oh, let me sing to God all my
life long,
sing hymns to my God as long as
I live!
Oh, let my song please him;
so pleased to be singing to God.
But clear the ground of
no more godless men and women!


O my soul, bless God!


Isaiah 32:11-20


The Message (MSG)


9-14 Take your stand, indolent
Listen to me!
indolent women,
listen closely to what I
have to say.
In just a little over a year from now,
be shaken out of your lazy lives.
The grape harvest will
and there’ll be no fruit on the
Oh tremble, you indolent women.
serious, you pampered dolls!
Strip down and discard your silk
Put on funeral clothes.
honest tears for the lost harvest,
failed vintage.
Weep for my people’s gardens and farms
grow nothing but thistles and thornbushes.
Cry tears, real tears,
for the happy homes no longer happy,
merry city no longer merry.
The royal palace is deserted,
bustling city quiet as a morgue,
The emptied parks and
taken over by wild
delighted with their new home.


15-20 Yes, weep and grieve until
the Spirit is poured
down on us from
And the badlands desert grows crops
the fertile fields become forests.
Justice will move into the
badlands desert.
Right will build a home
in the fertile field.
And where there’s Right, there’ll be
and the progeny of Right: quiet
lives and endless trust.
My people will live in a peaceful
in safe houses, in quiet
The forest of your pride will be clear-cut,
city showing off your power leveled.
But you will enjoy a blessed
planting well-watered fields and
with your farm animals grazing


Galatians 5:16-26


The Message (MSG)


16-18 My counsel is this: Live
freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t
feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful
self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the
free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life
are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at
times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why
don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic
compulsions of a law-dominated existence?


19-21 It is obvious what kind of
life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time:
repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental
and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness;
trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat
competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal
temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided
lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of
depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and
uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.


This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you
use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.


22-23 But what happens when we
live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way
that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others,
exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick
with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction
that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves
involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life,
able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.


23-24 Legalism is helpless in
bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong
to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and
mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is
killed off for good—crucified.


25-26 Since this is the kind of
life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we
do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our
hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.
That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of
us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things
to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.



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