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Sunday, October 27, 2019

Lectionary

Joel 2:23-32  •  Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22  •  Psalm 65; 84:1-7  •  2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18  •  Luke 18:9-14

Backstory

Joel 2:23-3  Joel is a welcome word to the Israelites who have heard little to nothing from God during their exile.  Joel begins with the people repenting and returning to God and therefore adverting the destruction of their fields by locusts. We then see the outpouring of rain on the land to nourish and grow the crops with an abundance of produce being the result.  There is also an outpouring of God’s spirit on the people resulting in the sons and daughters, the old and young men, and even the male and female slaves prophesying God’s truth.  This is a radical prophecy in respect to who is included (for some it is radical and outrageous even thousands of years later).  Joel is calling the people to turn and follow God.

Jeremiah 14:7-22 We return to the beginning of the exile (before Joel) and Jeremiah’s warning of the coming consequences of turning away from God.  Not only a confrontation of their sinful actions but also of the fact that they have chosen to listen to false prophets.  However pleasant and affirming the false messages may be, the people have put themselves in a place of peril and hopelessness as they set their hearts, and their ears, on rejecting truth.

Psalm 65  Our responsive reading comes from Psalm 65, a thanksgiving Psalm (song) focusing on the harvest..  The Psalm, in usual fashion, begins with praise, however this praise is very unusual, it is a call to silence.  Much like the Selahs, the crowds are given a chance to breath, to recognize and grasp all that God has done, an opportunity to pour themselves out before him.  The Psalm has a strong emphasis on one element of God’s provision – water.

II Timothy 4:6-18  The second letter to Timothy is Paul’s final writing.  This particular correspondence is very personal and intimate.  Paul reflects back on the good and the bad, a self evaluation of his life and ministry, and a request for Timothy to bring him his coat, books, and writings. We also see the struggle in Paul to forgive.  This goodbye gives Paul’s conceptional analysis of what is going on in his final days – ‘As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation…’

Luke 18:9-14  In this parable, Jesus presents two men, both of whom need forgiveness, peace, and hope.  One man enters with an attitude of repentance while the other enters comparing himself to others.  Both men enter the temple, one enters with self justification but the other leaves with true justification.

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