Tuesday: 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: Obadiah 10-16

For the slaughter and violence done to your brother Jacob,
 shame shall cover you,
 and you shall be cut off forever.
On the day that you stood aside,
 on the day that strangers carried off his wealth,
and foreigners entered his gates
 and cast lots for Jerusalem,
you too were like one of them.
But you should not have gloated
 over your brother on the day of his misfortune;
you should not have rejoiced
 over the people of Judah
 on the day of their ruin;
you should not have boasted
 on the day of distress.
You should not have entered the gate of my people
 on the day of their calamity;
you should not have joined in the gloating over Judah's disaster
 on the day of his calamity;
you should not have looted his goods
 on the day of his calamity.
You should not have stood at the crossings
 to cut off his fugitives;
you should not have handed over his survivors
 on the day of distress.

For the day of the Lord is near against all the nations.
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
 your deeds shall return on your own head.
For as you have drunk on my holy mountain,
 all the nations around you shall drink;
they shall drink and gulp down,
 and shall be as though they had never been.

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 28:12-29:10

[Job again took up his discourse and said {Job 27:1}]

“But where shall wisdom be found?
 And where is the place of understanding?
Mortals do not know the way to it,
 and it is not found in the land of the living.
The deep says, ‘It is not in me,’
 and the sea says, ‘It is not with me.’
It cannot be gotten for gold,
 and silver cannot be weighed out as its price.
It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
 in precious onyx or sapphire.
Gold and glass cannot equal it,
 nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
 the price of wisdom is above pearls.
The chrysolite of Ethiopia cannot compare with it,
 nor can it be valued in pure gold.

“Where then does wisdom come from?
 And where is the place of understanding?
It is hidden from the eyes of all living,
 and concealed from the birds of the air.
Abaddon and Death say,
 ‘We have heard a rumour of it with our ears.’

“God understands the way to it,
 and he knows its place.
For he looks to the ends of the earth,
 and sees everything under the heavens.
When he gave to the wind its weight,
 and apportioned out the waters by measure;
when he made a decree for the rain,
 and a way for the thunderbolt;
then he saw it and declared it;
 he established it, and searched it out.
And he said to humankind,
‘Truly, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom;
 and to depart from evil is understanding.’”

Job again took up his discourse and said:
“O that I were as in the months of old,
 as in the days when God watched over me;
when his lamp shone over my head,
 and by his light I walked through darkness;
when I was in my prime,
 when the friendship of God was upon my tent;
when the Almighty was still with me,
 when my children were around me;
when my steps were washed with milk,
 and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
When I went out to the gate of the city,
 when I took my seat in the square,
the young men saw me and withdrew,
 and the aged rose up and stood;
the nobles refrained from talking,
 and laid their hands on their mouths;
the voices of princes were hushed,
 and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.”

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 8:1-5

John’s Vision of Heaven

When the Lamb opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and seven trumpets were given to them.

Another angel with a golden censer came and stood at the altar; he was given a great quantity of incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar that is before the throne. And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, rose before God from the hand of the angel. Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth; and there were peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning, and an earthquake.

Year B Ordinary 28 Tuesday

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 Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) that show where the passage is used in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament) from the Complete Jewish Bible (Updated) (CJB) by David H. Stern, Copyright © 1998 and 2006 by David H. Stern, used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, www.messianicjewish.net. All rights reserved worldwide. When text is taken from the CJB, the passage ends with (CJB) and the foregoing copyright notice applies.

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Image credit: John's Vision of Heaven by Matthias Gerung, from the Ottheinrich-Bibel, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek via Wikimedia Commons. This is a public domain image.

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