Monday: Reflection on the Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Message Bible translation, the fate of the rich in God's kingdom, background on Lazarus, information on Job's friends, and more.

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Minor Prophets: Obadiah 1-9

The vision of Obadiah.

Thus says the Lord God concerning Edom:
We have heard a report from the Lord,
 and a messenger has been sent among the nations:
“Rise up! Let us rise against it for battle!”
I will surely make you least among the nations;
 you shall be utterly despised.
Your proud heart has deceived you,
 you that live in the clefts of the rock,
 whose dwelling is in the heights.
You say in your heart,
 “Who will bring me down to the ground?”
Though you soar aloft like the eagle,
 though your nest is set among the stars,
 from there I will bring you down,
   says the Lord.

If thieves came to you,
 if plunderers by night
—how you have been destroyed!—
 would they not steal only what they wanted?
If grape-gatherers came to you,
 would they not leave gleanings?
How Esau has been pillaged,
 his treasures searched out!
All your allies have deceived you,
 they have driven you to the border;
your confederates have prevailed against you;
 those who ate your bread have set a trap for you—
 there is no understanding of it.
On that day, says the Lord,
 I will destroy the wise out of Edom,
 and understanding out of Mount Esau.
Your warriors shall be shattered, O Teman,
 so that everyone from Mount Esau
will be cut off.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 26

Then Job answered:
 “How you have helped one who has no power!
How you have assisted the arm that has no strength!
How you have counseled one who has no wisdom,
 and given much good advice!
With whose help have you uttered words,
 and whose spirit has come forth from you?
The shades below tremble,
 the waters and their inhabitants.
Sheol is naked before God,
 and Abaddon has no covering.
He stretches out Zaphon over the void,
 and hangs the earth upon nothing.
He binds up the waters in his thick clouds,
 and the cloud is not torn open by them.
He covers the face of the full moon,
 and spreads over it his cloud.
He has described a circle on the face of the waters,
 at the boundary between light and darkness.
The pillars of heaven tremble,
 and are astounded at his rebuke.
By his power he stilled the Sea;
 by his understanding he struck down Rahab.
By his wind the heavens were made fair;
 his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
These are indeed but the outskirts of his ways;
 and how small a whisper do we hear of him!
 But the thunder of his power who can understand?”

Complementary Psalm 26

Vindicate me, O Lord,
 for I have walked in my integrity,
 and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
 test my heart and mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
 and I walk in faithfulness to you.

I do not sit with the worthless,
 nor do I consort with hypocrites;
I hate the company of evildoers,
 and will not sit with the wicked.

I wash my hands in innocence,
 and go around your altar, O Lord,
singing aloud a song of thanksgiving,
 and telling all your wondrous deeds.

O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell,
 and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners,
 nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
those in whose hands are evil devices,
 and whose right hands are full of bribes.

But as for me, I walk in my integrity;
 redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
 in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

Semi-continuous Psalm 39

I said, “I will guard my ways
 that I may not sin with my tongue;
I will keep a muzzle on my mouth
 as long as the wicked are in my presence.”
I was silent and still;
 I held my peace to no avail;
my distress grew worse,
 my heart became hot within me.
While I mused, the fire burned;
 then I spoke with my tongue:

“Lord, let me know my end,
 and what is the measure of my days;
 let me know how fleeting my life is.
You have made my days a few handbreadths,
 and my lifetime is as nothing in your sight.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath. Selah
 Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
 they heap up, and do not know who will gather.

“And now, O Lord, what do I wait for?
 My hope is in you.
Deliver me from all my transgressions.
 Do not make me the scorn of the fool.
I am silent; I do not open my mouth,
 for it is you who have done it.
Remove your stroke from me;
 I am worn down by the blows of your hand.

“You chastise mortals
 in punishment for sin,
consuming like a moth what is dear to them;
 surely everyone is a mere breath. Selah

“Hear my prayer, O Lord,
 and give ear to my cry;
 do not hold your peace at my tears.
For I am your passing guest, an alien,
 like all my forebears.¹
Turn your gaze away from me, that I may smile again,
 before I depart and am no more.”

¹Peter refers to us as aliens when he discusses the need for us to conduct ourselves appropriately in the presence of non-Christians (1 Peter 2:11-12).

New Testament Lesson: Revelation 7:9-17

Mystic Lamb

After this I looked, and there was a great muthat no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying,

“Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne,
 and to the Lamb!”

And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, singing,

“Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom
 and thanksgiving and honor
and power and might
 be to our God forever and ever!
Amen.”

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

For this reason they are before the throne of God,
 and worship him day and night within his temple,
and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
 the sun will not strike them,
nor any scorching heat;¹
for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
 and he will guide them to springs of the water of life,¹
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.²”

¹Isaiah uses these phrases in speaking of the restoration of Israel at Isaiah 49:8-18.
²This phrase is used when Isaiah speaks of God swallowing up death at
Isaiah 25:6-8.

Year B Ordinary 28 Monday

Selections from Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings copyright © 1995 by the Consultation on Common Texts.

Unless otherwise indicated, Bible text is from Holy Bible New Revised Standard Version with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books (NRSV) copyright © 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All right reserved.

Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament) is used are from The The Holy Bible: New International Version ® (NIV®), copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the NIV, the passage ends with (NIV) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

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Image credit: Mystic Lamb by Jan van Eyck via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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