Tagged: provision

Genesis 22:1-14

This text is used for the Lectionary Year A on July 2, 2017.

“God Will Provide”
Life is a promising and dangerous adventure. The stakes are high. Participation is not optional. Everyone has to decide and act on the decisions made. We all have to figure it out. So we ask, “God, how can we successfully live out this adventure of life on earth?”. And it is as though God says, “Glad you asked. Because I will provide what you need when you need it.” Patience is trusting in God’s timing. And a life well lived requires well-placed trust.

The drama of Abraham & Isaac at Mt. Moriah revealed this drama in a troubling fashion. Why would God, whom we believe is loving, good, and trustworthy – ask for the human sacrifice of Abraham’s beloved son? Or for that matter any human sacrifice? What we find is that nowhere else in Scripture does God ask anyone else to offer a human sacrifice.  So the bigness of this passage includes a major teaching that shaped the rest of Scripture and informs our life today. God’s goodness is what we can trust in when the options of our circumstances don’t indicate that we have any good options.  Let’s pay attention to the story and let the meaning show us the way forward.

Spiritual Map Making
Abraham & Sarah and Isaac were spiritual mapmakers. That is, they followed God’s leadership into faith territory not previously understood or traveled. By their obedience to God’s call, and by God’s grace which forgave their failures –  they became the leaders in God’s faith movement. (Known as   Patriarchs and Matriarch of faith.) Their story is frequently referred to in the Old and New Testaments. They define how to live the meaning of faith as defined in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.’

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Haggai 1:15b-2:9

This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on November 6th, 2016.

haggaiWhat happens when our reality does not live up to our expectations? For the returned exiles of Israel, this was the question. During the reign of King Darius, the people of Israel returned to their land and started to rebuild the temple. Pretty soon they noticed that their new temple did not live up to the picture of the temple they had from the past. One can sympathize with them. During the long exile no doubt the stories of the temple were told. The thought of returning home and seeing that former glory must have helped ease their pain during the nights they spent in a land that was not their own. Yet, they stood before a new temple that was under construction and it could not live up the first, no matter what they did.

The question of the exiles is one often asked by churches. Most churches can remember a sort of golden age. The time when the budget was better and more people were in the pews. Or maybe just a time when things seemed easier or when the world made more sense. It can be easy to look at the congregation, budget, connection with the community, or a whole series of measures and think “this is not what I expected it to be.” The question does not even have to stop at the church. It can extend wider to denominations or even take root at a personal level in one’s life. This question has relevance to us today in many ways.

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Isaiah 55:1-9

This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on February 28, 2016.

Still Life - Cezanne
Still Life – Cezanne

The “gold standard,” among other things, refers to a type of economy. Every economy rests on some foundation. The bold promise of a new economic order can be underwritten only through the very distinctive nature of God. Only God could give rise to a new economy of redemption for the community of want. The other texts for the third Sunday in Lent are Psalm 63:1-8, which picks up on themes of thirst and satisfaction similar to Isaiah 55:1-9, and Luke 13:1-9, where the themes of repentance echoes Isaiah 55:1-9.

The passage contains a five part argument: First part (verse one); Second part (verses 2-3); Third part, the behold section (verses four and five); fourth section, a call to repentance (verses six through nine); and fifth section the statement of God’s otherness (verses eight and nine).

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