Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Repent, Rebirth, Reconcile, Rejoice, Redemption, Restore
Isaiah 50:4-9a (7-9a)
The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.
To the leader. Of David, for the memorial offering.
Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O Lord, make haste to help me!
Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life.
Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire to hurt me.
Let those who say, ‘Aha, Aha!’ turn back because of their shame.
Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you.
Let those who love your salvation say evermore, ‘God is great!’
But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God!
You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.
Jesus Foretells His Betrayal
After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
The New Commandment
When he had gone out, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.
I believe that appreciation is a holy thing—that when we look for what’s best in a person, we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.
The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God.