January 15 – Noah series begins
32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth. When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2 the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose. 3 Then theLord said, “My Spirit will not contend withhumans forever, for they are mortal; their days will be a hundred and twenty years.”
4 The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.
5 The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. 6 The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. 7 So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.” 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
Comment: Noah’s story is not a children’s story. It shows a time, at the very beginning when God was tempted to give up Creation, but in the end resolved instead (or all along?) to redeem rather than destroy.
The Gospel of John 6:1-15
After this Jesus went across the Galilee Sea (that is, the Tiberias Sea). 2 A large crowd followed him, because they had seen the miraculous signs he had done among the sick. 3 Jesus went up a mountain and sat there with his disciples. 4 It was nearly time for Passover, the Jewish festival.
5 Jesus looked up and saw the large crowd coming toward him. He asked Philip, “Where will we buy food to feed these people?” 6 Jesus said this to test him, for he already knew what he was going to do.7 Philip replied, “More than a half year’s salary[a] worth of food wouldn’t be enough for each person to have even a little bit.”
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said, 9 “A youth here has five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that for a crowd like this?”10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass there. They sat down, about five thousand of them. 11 Then Jesus took the bread. When he had given thanks, he distributed it to those who were sitting there. He did the same with the fish, each getting as much as they wanted. 12 When they had plenty to eat, he said to his disciples,“Gather up the leftover pieces, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves that had been left over by those who had eaten.
14 When the people saw that he had done a miraculous sign, they said, “This is truly the prophet who is coming into the world.” 15 Jesus understood that they were about to come and force him to be their king, so he took refuge again, alone on a mountain.
Comment: read alongside the beginning of the Noah series, the miracle of feeding over 5000 shows God’s extravagant and generous grace! Praise God for Jesus!
Why do you stand so far away, Lord,
hiding yourself in troubling times?
2 Meanwhile, the wicked are proudly
in hot pursuit of those who suffer.
Let them get caught
in the very same schemes they’ve thought up!
3 The wicked brag about their body’scravings;
the greedy reject the Lord, cursing.
4 At the peak of their wrath,
the wicked don’t seek God:
There’s no God—
that’s what they are always thinking.
5 Their ways are always twisted.
Your rules are too lofty for them.
They snort at all their foes.
6 They think to themselves,
We’ll never stumble.
We’ll never encounter any resistance.
7 Their mouths are filled
with curses, dishonesty, violence.
Under their tongues lie
troublemaking and wrongdoing.
8 They wait in a place perfect for ambush;
from their hiding places
they kill innocent people;
their eyes spot those who are helpless.
9 They lie in ambush
in secret places,
like a lion in its lair.
They lie in ambush
so they can seize those who suffer!
They seize the poor, all right,
dragging them off in their nets.
10 Their helpless victims are crushed;
they collapse, falling prey to the strength of the wicked.
11 The wicked think to themselves:
God has forgotten.
God has hidden his face.
God never sees anything!
Comment: sometimes we are given the perspective of rampant evil in scripture where the helpless are crushed, the innocent are killed, and God’s face seems hidden forever.
Prayer: Lord, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Amen.