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

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Inclusive Bible, summaries and links for this week's readings, Christ's discussion of humility, and more about the Book of Job.

More information about the complementary and semi-continuous series is here: Which Series?

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Former Prophets: 1 Samuel 8:1-18

When Samuel became old, he made his sons judges over Israel. The name of his firstborn son was Joel, and the name of his second, Abijah; they were judges in Beer-sheba. Yet his sons did not follow in his ways, but turned aside after gain; they took bribes and perverted justice.

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “You are old and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” Samuel prayed to the Lord, and the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. Just as they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so also they are doing to you. Now then, listen to their voice; only—you shall solemnly warn them, and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.”

So Samuel reported all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking him for a king. He said, “These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his courtiers. He will take one-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and his courtiers. He will take your male and female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take one-tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture from the Writings: Job 40

And the Lord said to Job:
 “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?
Anyone who argues with God must respond.”

Then Job answered the Lord:
 “See, I am of small account;
what shall I answer you?
 I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
 twice, but will proceed no further.”

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
“Gird up your loins like a man;
 I will question you, and you declare to me.
Will you even put me in the wrong?
 Will you condemn me that you may be justified?
Have you an arm like God,
 and can you thunder with a voice like his?

“Deck yourself with majesty and dignity;
 clothe yourself with glory and splendor.
Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
 and look on all who are proud, and abase them.
Look on all who are proud, and bring them low;
 tread down the wicked where they stand.
Hide them all in the dust together;
 bind their faces in the world below.
Then I will also acknowledge to you
 that your own right hand can give you victory.

“Look at Behemoth,
 which I made just as I made you;
 it eats grass like an ox.
Its strength is in its loins,
 and its power in the muscles of its belly.
It makes its tail stiff like a cedar;
 the sinews of its thighs are knit together.
Its bones are tubes of bronze,
 its limbs like bars of iron.

“It is the first of the great acts of God—
 only its Maker can approach it with the sword.
For the mountains yield food
 for it where all the wild animals play.
Under the lotus plants it lies,
 in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.
The lotus trees cover it for shade;
 the willows of the wadi surround it.
Even if the river is turbulent,
 it is not frightened;
it is confident though Jordan rushes against its mouth.
Can one take it with hooks
 or pierce its nose with a snare?”

Complementary Psalm 37:23-40

Our steps are made firm by the Lord,
 when he delights in our way;
though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
 for the Lord holds us by the hand.

I have been young, and now am old,
 yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
 or their children begging bread.
They are ever giving liberally and lending,
 and their children become a blessing.

Depart from evil, and do good;
 so you shall abide forever.
For the Lord loves justice;
 he will not forsake his faithful ones.

The righteous shall be kept safe forever,
 but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
The righteous shall inherit the land,
 and live in it forever.

The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
 and their tongues speak justice.
The law of their God is in their hearts;
 their steps do not slip.

The wicked watch for the righteous,
 and seek to kill them.
The Lord will not abandon them to their power,
 or let them be condemned when they are brought to trial.

Wait for the Lord, and keep to his way,
 and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
 you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

I have seen the wicked oppressing,
 and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
Again I passed by, and they were no more;
 though I sought them, they could not be found.

Mark the blameless, and behold the upright,
 for there is posterity for the peaceable.
But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
 the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.

The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
 he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
The Lord helps them and rescues them;
 he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
 because they take refuge in him.

Semi-continuous Psalm 75

We give thanks to you, O God;
 we give thanks; your name is near.
People tell of your wondrous deeds.

At the set time that I appoint
 I will judge with equity.
When the earth totters, with all its inhabitants,
 it is I who keep its pillars steady. Selah
I say to the boastful, “Do not boast,”
 and to the wicked, “Do not lift up your horn;
do not lift up your horn on high,
 or speak with insolent neck.”

For not from the east or from the west
 and not from the wilderness comes lifting up;
but it is God who executes judgment,
 putting down one and lifting up another.
For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
 with foaming wine, well mixed;
he will pour a draught from it,
 and all the wicked of the earth
 shall drain it down to the dregs.
But I will rejoice forever;
 I will sing praises to the God of Jacob.

All the horns of the wicked I will cut off,
 but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted.

New Testament Epistle Lesson: Hebrews 6:1-12

A Useful Crop

Therefore let us go on toward perfection, leaving behind the basic teaching about Christ, and not laying again the foundation: repentance from dead works and faith toward God, instruction about baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And we will do this, if God permits. For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding him up to contempt. Ground that drinks up the rain falling on it repeatedly, and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it produces thorns and thistles, it is worthless and on the verge of being cursed; its end is to be burned over.

Even though we speak in this way, beloved, we are confident of better things in your case, things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust; he will not overlook your work and the love that you showed for his sake in serving the saints, as you still do. And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end, so that you may not become sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Year B Ordinary 29 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.

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Image credit: A Useful Crop by an unidentified photographer via This is a public domain image.

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