Daily Office Readings of Thursday of the Last Week of Epiphany: Year 1
AM Psalm 37:1to18; PM Psalm 37:19to42;
Deuteronomy 7:6 to11; Titus 1:1 to 16; John 1:29 to 34;
“For you are a people holy to the Lord your God; the Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” (Deuteronomy 7:6)
What an honor, to be chosen by God to be God’s chosen out of all the people of the earth! However, this “chosen” status does not make them superior. It is a calling to spread the word about the One, Loving God, to the entire world.
Moses is continuing the call of God that was first started in Abraham when God called him from his father’s house to the land promised to be the starting place for true religion (Genesis 12:1). From this place the Word of God spreads over the earth-globe through the Incarnate Word, Jesus our Lord. The invitation to be “chosen” now extends to the whole of humanity. Much care is required for True Religion. It was easy for the people following Moses to get it wrong, and it has been easy for us who follow our Lord Jesus to get it wrong also. We, too often, inevitably add structures to religion that have nothing to do with God’s call. Today we remember Martin Luther, (Theologian, 1546).
Martin Luther was an Augustinian Roman Catholic monastic. “His lectures on the Bible were popular, and within a few years he made the university a center for biblical humanism. As a result of his theological and biblical studies, he called into question the practice of selling indulgences. On the eve of All Saints’ Day, October 31, 1517, he posted on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg the notice of an academic debate on indulgences, listing 95 theses for discussion. As the effects of the theses became evident, the Pope called upon the Augustinian order to discipline their member. After a series of meetings, political maneuvers, and attempts at reconciliation, Luther, at a meeting with the papal legate in 1518, refused to recant.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for February 18)
Life gets tough for the Church due to Martin Luther’s questioning, as it does for all who spiral down the path of manipulating the worship of God into something that has more to do with pleasing worship leaders than pleasing God. It’s hard being a “Chosen” people, a holy people to the Lord, God’s treasured possession, FOR ALL, the people of the earth.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John