Readings and Reflections for Friday 11 January 2019: Epiphany

AM Psalm 148, 150; PM Psalm 91, 92 Isa. 65:13-16; Rev. 3:7-13; John 6:15-27

From Psalm 148:1,2 and 10

1 Hallelujah!
Praise the Lord from the heavens; *
praise him in the heights.

2 Praise him, all you angels of his; *
praise him, all his host.

10 Wild beasts and all cattle, *
creeping things and winged birds;

We have a parishioner in our parish who is in touch with the natural order of life all around us.  She cares about all kinds of insects and other creatures that too many of us ignore but she cares about.  Once when some of us were discussing times when we were “ridding” ourselves of pesky snakes, she boldly interrupted and declared “Don’t Kill Snakes!” She spoke with such authority that I, for one, decided maybe our minds have been poisoned by the stories of the serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Our parishioner and people like the late Steve Erwin (Crocodile Hunter) cared about all God’s creatures especially reptiles.  And of course, God cares for them as I have come to realize.  So Psalm 148 also reminds us that all creatures great and small praise God.  And, except for the necessary use as a food source, all animals should go on living if only for that reason. For the Psalmist says that all praise the Lord, wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things [even snakes] and winged birds.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s people.

From Isaiah:

“Then whoever invokes a blessing in the land shall bless by the God of faithfulness, and whoever takes an oath in the land shall swear by the God of faithfulness; because the former troubles are forgotten and are hidden from my sight.” (Isaiah 65:16)

In this verse in Isaiah 65 God is mentioned twice as “the God of faithfulness.”  It only stands to reason then that if we are created in God’s Image, then we are intended, by God, to be people of faith.  This particularly applies to blessings and oaths.

Often when I gather with family or friends around a meal I get anxious about saying the blessing.  It is always my hope that someone will at least suggest a blessing.  The reality is that when I see the first person reach for his or her fork I interrupt with “Let us pray.” And so it is a blessing in the land (albeit at the table) and I do bless the food by the God of faithfulness.  We often, maybe too often, think of faith as something we are suppose to have, not God. 

God does have faith, faith in us.  And even though we fail God often, God never gives up on us.  I’m glad that God is always faithful and forgiving.  I need forgiveness all the time.  I wish my faith was more like God’s faith.  I now think that in order to have faith like God’s faith I too must be more forgiving.  God always “restarts” with us.  May I can learn to restart with others, even when they forget to say their prayers.  As we say in the South, “God bless ‘em.”  

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s people.

From John 6

“Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land towards which they were going.” (John 6:21 NRSV)

I think it is perhaps only in the NSRV translation and maybe a few others, that if we read closely we see that it was the desire of the people in the boat that got them through the storm. We never read that Jesus actually got into the boat.  It is assumed that he did (and I believe he did) and then they all got to where they were going.

Also, unlike the other Gospels, the storm is not made to stop, but their desire, or will, for Jesus to be with them got them through their troubled situation.  This is very important.  Our storms may not end.  But our desire for the presence of Jesus is what gets us through the storms of our lives.  We just need to “want” to take Jesus into our boat, and we get there. I love it!

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through God’s people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s