Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

English: Marcus Borg speaking in Mansfield Col...

English: Marcus Borg speaking in Mansfield College chapel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

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 111 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20111&version=MSG

 

Numbers 4:34—5:4 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%204:34%E2%80%945:4&version=MSG

 

2 Timothy 2:1-7 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Timothy%202:1-7&version=MSG

 

 

Reza Aslan, Jesus and Josephus 100913

I’ve been reading the latest ‘historical Jesus’ booklist hit: Reza Aslan’s Zealot.

It is well written and enjoyably dense, and uses the highest level vocabulary of any popular, non-academic text on Jesus I’ve encountered. It is substantial.

Initially I was concerned that the text had to duplicate the work and writing of John Dominic Crossnan, Marcus Borg or others. While the subject matter and method are similar, it is not a repetition. Aslan’s book in many ways reads like a modern restatement of Josephus’ historical narratives. For instance, Aslan places Jesus’ ministry, message and execution in the middle of a steady progression of apocalyptic Palestinian preachers, each of whom was proclaimed by themselves or others to be the messiah, and all of whom were executed by the Romans by crucifixion or beheading.

The effect of this is that I have to ask—what makes Jesus special? He was (just) another in a reactionary line of revolutionary leaders who lost their revolution and their lives before they even got a serious start on threatening the Romans.

In answer to my question, I’ve gotten answers, and good ones. There are many things that make Jesus different than any other revolutionary or rebel. There are many answers to my question.

But, in light of this, what makes Jesus special to you? In the middle of the alleged class-war we find ourselves in, in the US at least, what makes you and I follow and love Jesus for reasons other than his zealotry?

Pray for peace,

Pastor 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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Psalm 111

The Message (MSG)

111 1-10 Hallelujah!
I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got—
Wherever good people gather, and in the congregation.
God’s works are so great, worth
A lifetime of study—endless enjoyment!
Splendor and beauty mark his craft;
His generosity never gives out.
His miracles are his memorial—
This God of Grace, this God of Love.
He gave food to those who fear him,
He remembered to keep his ancient promise.
He proved to his people that he could do what he said:
Hand them the nations on a platter—a gift!
He manufactures truth and justice;
All his products are guaranteed to last—
Never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof.
All that he makes and does is honest and true:
He paid the ransom for his people,
He ordered his Covenant kept forever.
He’s so personal and holy, worthy of our respect.
The good life begins in the fear of God—
Do that and you’ll know the blessing of God.
His Hallelujah lasts forever!

Numbers 4:34-5:4

The Message (MSG)

34-37 Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of the congregation counted the Kohathites by clan and family. All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work in the Tent of Meeting, counted by clans, were 2,750. This was the total from the Kohathite clans who served in the Tent of Meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them just as God had commanded through Moses.

38-41 The Gershonites were counted by clan and family. All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work in the Tent of Meeting, counted by clan and family, were 2,630. This was the total from the Gershonite clans who served in the Tent of Meeting. Moses and Aaron counted them just as God had commanded.

42-45 The Merarites were counted by clan and family. All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to serve in the work in the Tent of Meeting, counted by clan, were 3,200. This was the total from the Merarite clans. Moses and Aaron counted them just as God had commanded through Moses.

46-49 So Moses and Aaron and the leaders of Israel counted all the Levites by clan and family. All the men from thirty to fifty years of age who came to do the work of serving and carrying the Tent of Meeting numbered 8,580. At God’s command through Moses, each man was assigned his work and told what to carry.

And that’s the story of their numbering, as God commanded Moses.

Some Camp Rules

5 1-3 God spoke to Moses: “Command the People of Israel to ban from the camp anyone who has an infectious skin disease, anyone who has a discharge, and anyone who is ritually unclean from contact with a dead body. Ban male and female alike; send them outside the camp so that they won’t defile their camp, the place I live among them.”

4 The People of Israel did this, banning them from the camp. They did exactly what God had commanded through Moses.

2 Timothy 2:1-7

The Message (MSG)

Doing Your Best for God

2 1-7 So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me—the whole congregation saying Amen!—to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain.

 

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic (Photo credit: jakebouma)

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Comments on: "Reza Aslan, Jesus and Josephus 100913" (1)

  1. Maureen Doyle said:

    Pastor Bill, I just finished reading “Zealot” and was very taken with it, although I don’t bring formal theological education to it as you do. By the way, whenever you would like to do a service for us at St. Francis House we will be very glad to have you. Peace and blessings, Maureen

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