February 6 – Day 37
The two messengers entered Sodom in the evening. Lot, who was sitting at the gate of Sodom, saw them, got up to greet them, and bowed low. 2 He said, “Come to your servant’s house, spend the night, and wash your feet. Then you can get up early and go on your way.”
But they said, “No, we will spend the night in the town square.” 3 He pleaded earnestly with them, so they went with him and entered his house. He made a big meal for them, even baking unleavened bread, and they ate.
4 Before they went to bed, the men of the city of Sodom—everyone from the youngest to the oldest—surrounded the house 5 and called to Lot, “Where are the men who arrived tonight? Bring them out to us so that we may have sex with them.”
6 Lot went out toward the entrance, closed the door behind him, 7 and said, “My brothers, don’t do such an evil thing. 8 I’ve got two daughters who are virgins. Let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them whatever you wish. But don’t do anything to these men because they are now under the protection of my roof.”
9 They said, “Get out of the way!” And they continued, “Does this immigrant want to judge us? Now we will hurt you more than we will hurt them.” They pushed Lot back and came close to breaking down the door. 10 The men inside reached out and pulled Lot back into the house with them and slammed the door. 11 Then the messengers blinded the men near the entrance of the house, from the youngest to the oldest, so that they groped around trying to find the entrance.
12 The men said to Lot, “Who’s still with you here? Take away from this place your sons-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and everyone else you have in the city 13 because we are about to destroy this place. The Lord has found the cries of injustice so serious that the Lord sent us to destroy it.”
14 Lot went to speak to his sons-in-law, married to his daughters, and said, “Get up and get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy the city.” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking.
Comment: this is such an ugly story, however tradition has made it uglier by assuming the sins of the men. The real sin is the total disregard for basic humans: seeing humanity as possessions to fight for (male or female) rather than relationships to be treasured. When love is stripped away only hate remains.
The Gospel of John 12:12-19 (NIV)
12 The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
14 Jesus found a young donkey and sat on it, as it is written: 15 “Do not be afraid, Daughter Zion; see, your king is coming, seated on a donkey’s colt.” 16 At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
17 Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. 18 Many people, because they had heard that he had performed this sign, went out to meet him. 19 So the Pharisees said to one another, “See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!”
Comment: compare the two readings: hate verses praise. Some still chose hate over praise. Like Abraham, we can pray for God to changed hearts.
Psalm 25:1- 11 (New American Standard)
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
4 Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
8 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are loving kindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
Comment: God’s lovingkindness endures forever, and pardon for any sin is assured.
Prayer:“I am God’s child, deserving of love and respect, and God will use me to change the world.”