Friday: Preparation for the Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

This week's blog post is here. It has a review of The Amplified Bible, a chance to think about our own blindness, and summaries and links for the lessons through Wednesday.

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

Complementary Hebrew Scripture from the Latter Prophets: Jeremiah 26:12-24

Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “It is the Lord who sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. Now therefore amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will change his mind about the disaster that he has pronounced against you. But as for me, here I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will be bringing innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.”

Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God.” And some of the elders of the land arose and said to all the assembled people, “Micah of Moresheth, who prophesied during the days of King Hezekiah of Judah, said to all the people of Judah: ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts,

Zion shall be plowed as a field;
 Jerusalem shall become a heap of ruins,
and the mountain of the house a wooded height.¹’

Did King Hezekiah of Judah and all Judah actually put him to death? Did he not fear the Lord and entreat the favor of the Lord, and did not the Lord change his mind about the disaster that he had pronounced against them? But we are about to bring great disaster on ourselves!”

There was another man prophesying in the name of the Lord, Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim. He prophesied against this city and against this land in words exactly like those of Jeremiah. And when King Jehoiakim, with all his warriors and all the officials, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Uriah heard of it, he was afraid and fled and escaped to Egypt. Then King Jehoiakim sent Elnathan son of Achbor and men with him to Egypt, and they took Uriah from Egypt and brought him to King Jehoiakim, who struck him down with the sword and threw his dead body into the burial place of the common people.

But the hand of Ahikam son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over into the hands of the people to be put to death.

¹Micah 3:12

Semi-continuous Hebrew Scripture: Nehemiah 1:1-11

The words of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah. In the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, while I was in Susa the capital, one of my brothers, Hanani, came with certain men from Judah; and I asked them about the Jews that survived, those who had escaped the captivity, and about Jerusalem. They replied, “The survivors there in the province who escaped captivity are in great trouble and shame; the wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been destroyed by fire.”

When I heard these words I sat down and wept, and mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God of heaven. I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments; let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Both I and my family have sinned. We have offended you deeply, failing to keep the commandments, the statutes, and the ordinances that you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples; but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are under the farthest skies, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place at which I have chosen to establish my name.’ They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great power and your strong hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man!”

At the time, I was cupbearer to the king.

Complementary Psalm 126

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
 we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
 and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then it was said among the nations,
 “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
 and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
 like the watercourses in the Negeb.
May those who sow in tears
 reap with shouts of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
 bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
 carrying their sheaves.

Semi-continuous Psalm 34:1-8, 19-22

I will bless the Lord at all times;
 his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
 let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
 and let us exalt his name together.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
 and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
 so your faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
 and was saved from every trouble.
The angel of the Lord encamps
 around those who fear him, and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;¹
 happy are those who take refuge in him.

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
 but the Lord rescues them from them all.
He keeps all their bones;
 not one of them will be broken.²
Evil brings death to the wicked,
 and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
The Lord redeems the life of his servants;
 none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

¹Peter uses this phrase in his instructions to believers in 1 Peter 2:1-10, which is our Monday Epistle Lesson.
²In
John 19:31-37 (part of the recounting of the crucifixion), this scripture is fulfilled. Ordinarily, when the soldiers grew weary of watching their crucified victims, they would break their femurs, which hastened death. Jesus died before this was done.

New Testament Lesson: Hebrews 7:11-22

Christ the Eternal High Priest

Now if perfection had been attainable through the levitical priesthood—for the people received the law under this priesthood—what further need would there have been to speak of another priest arising according to the order of Melchizedek, rather than one according to the order of Aaron? For when there is a change in the priesthood, there is necessarily a change in the law as well. Now the one of whom these things are spoken belonged to another tribe, from which no one has ever served at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests.

It is even more obvious when another priest arises, resembling Melchizedek, one who has become a priest, not through a legal requirement concerning physical descent, but through the power of an indestructible life. For it is attested of him,

“You are a priest forever,
 according to the order of Melchizedek.”¹

There is, on the one hand, the abrogation of an earlier commandment because it was weak and ineffectual (for the law made nothing perfect); there is, on the other hand, the introduction of a better hope, through which we approach God.

This was confirmed with an oath; for others who became priests took their office without an oath, but this one became a priest with an oath, because of the one who said to him,

“The Lord has sworn
 and will not change his mind,
‘You are a priest forever’”—¹

accordingly Jesus has also become the guarantee of a better covenant.

Both of these quotations are from Psalm 110:4. Here is the complete Psalm 110.

Year B Ordinary 30 Friday

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 that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture 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.

Footnotes in the Christian Scriptures that show where a passage from the Hebrew Scripture 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.

Note: The links in the titles above take you to Amazon, where you can purchase them and benefit The Lectionary Company.

Image credit: Christ the Eternal High Priest, image by Fr. Lawrence, OP of a stained-glass window from St Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, CA, via flickr.com. This image is licensed under the Creative Commons 2.0 Attribution, No Derivatives, No Commercial Use license.

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