Welcome, or welcome back, to the 21-day Scripture reading challenge. For 21 days I’ll be posting a daily scripture reading along with a short reflection and prayer. Of course, you are welcome to read on your own as well!
As we begin this week I’ll post the four lectionary readings for the upcoming Sunday. What is the lectionary? Good question. The lectionary is a table of readings from Scripture to be read at public worship. Churches around the world who follow the lectionary will be reading many of the same passages each week. It is a way that ties us together as the Church universal. The lectionary normally contains a Psalm, Old Testament lesson, Gospel lesson, and an Epistle reading each week. There is a three-year cycle of readings which covers a large portion of the Bible.
FYI…If you attend Downtown, we preach from one of the lectionary readings each week and normally use the psalter as our Call to Worship. We recently finished up preaching the lectionary passages from the Gospel of John and now we will be in the books of James and Hebrews until Advent.
The readings for Sunday August 29th are:
Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Psalm 45:1–2, 6-9 (NRSV)
1 My heart overflows with a goodly theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
2 You are the most handsome of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
6 Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever.
Your royal scepter is a scepter of equity;
7 you love righteousness and hate wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you
with the oil of gladness beyond your companions;
8 your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.
From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad;
9 daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor;
at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.
Notice that this psalm bounces back and forth between talking about an earthly king and the heavenly One. It is even difficult to tell who is being addressed without paying close attention. The earthly king stands as a witness of the heavenly One. Not an exact replica mind you, but a close proximity in some ways that help us understand what the King in heaven is like. The exactly replica is promised. That promise is fulfilled in Jesus who scripture says is the exact image of the invisible God [Col 1:15]. To look upon Jesus is to look upon God.
Isn’t it helpful to have examples that point us toward the truth of God? I think so too. Who in your life points you toward God by their example? And now, the pointed and difficult question. Who are you the example for? May we live in such a way that our lives point toward the truth of God.
Lord, I thank you for all of the people you place in my life that point me to your truth. May you so mold my life that your light may shine through me in that same way.