Week of Proper 11: Saturday, Year 2   3 comments

Above:  The Earth

Source:  NASA

God is Watching Us

JULY 28, 2018

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Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), of The Episcopal Church, contains an adapted two-years weekday lectionary for the Epiphany and Ordinary Time seasons from the Anglican Church of Canada.  I invite you to follow it with me.

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Jeremiah 7:1-11 (TANAKH:  The Holy Scriptures):

The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD:

Stand at the gate of the House of the LORD, and there proclaim this word:  Hear the word of the LORD, all you of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD!

Thus said the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel:

Mend your ways and your actions, and I will let you dwell in this place.  Don’t put your trust in illusions and say, “The Temple of the LORD, the Temple of the LORD are these [buildings].”  No, if you really mend your ways and your actions; if you execute justice between one man and another; if you do not oppress the stranger, the orphan, and the widow; if you do not shed the blood of the innocent in this place; if you do not follow other gods, to your own hurt–then only will I let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers for all time.  See, you are relying on illusions that are of no avail.  Will you steal and murder and commit adultery and swear falsely, and sacrifice to Baal, and follow other gods whom you have not experienced, and then come and stand before Me in this House which bears My name and say, “We are safe”?–[Safe] to do all these abhorrent things!  Do you consider this House, which bears My name, to be a den of thieves?  As for Me, I have been watching

–declares the LORD.

Psalm 84 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

How dear to me is your dwelling, O LORD of hosts!

My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the LORD;

my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.

The sparrow has found her a house

and the swallow a nest where she may lay her young;

by the side of your altars, O LORD of hosts,

my King and my God.

3 Happy are they who dwell in your house!

they will always be praising you.

4 Happy are the people whose strength is in you!

whose hearts are set on the pilgrims’ way.

5 Those who go through the desolate valley will find it a place of springs,

for the early rains have covered it with pools of water.

6 They will climb from height to height,

and the God of gods will reveal himself in Zion.

LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;

hearken, O God of Jacob.

8 Behold our defender, O God;

and look upon the face of your Anointed.

For one day in your courts is better than a thousand in my own room,

and to stand in the threshold of the house of my God

than to dwell in the tents of the wicked.

10 For the LORD is both sun and shield;

he will give grace and glory;

11 No good thing will the LORD withhold

from those who walk with integrity.

12 O LORD of hosts,

happy are they who put their trust in you!

Matthew 13:24-30 (J. B. Phillips, 1972):

Then he put another parable before them,

The kingdom of Heaven,

he said,

is like a man who sowed good seed in his field.  But while his men were asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away.  When the crop came up and began to ripen, the weeds appeared as well.  Then the owner’s servants came up to him and said, “Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field?  Where did all these weeds come from?”

He replied,

Some enemy of mine has done this.

The servants said,

Do you want us then to go out and pull them all up?

He returned,

No, if you pull up the weeds now, you would pull up the wheat with them.  Let them both grow together till the harvest.  And at harvest-time I shall tell the reapers, “Collect all the weeds first and tie them up in bundles ready to burn, but collect the wheat and store it in my barn.”

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The Collect:

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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A Related Post:

Week of Proper 11:  Saturday, Year 1:

https://ordinarytimedevotions.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/week-of-proper-11-saturday-year-1/

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Once more I arrive at a familiar issue:  I have been following a certain lectionary for a while now, and it has come around to another passage reiterating a theme which said lectionary has carried me to already–and recently.  So I have had occasions, of which I have availed myself, to write about the divine commandment to execute justice.  Yet I do not feel like saying the same old thing yet again.

So I feel free to be brief today, and to focus on one verse:

As for Me, I have been watching

-declares the LORD.

(Jeremiah 7:11, TANAKH)

This is a warning; God is quite displeased.  This is far worse than “Wait until your father comes home.”

The Prayer Book tradition offers a prayer with a sobering opening:

Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid:  Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 355

That says it all, does it not?  So I conclude my thoughts.

KRT

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