March 11 Lent 1
35 God said to Jacob, “Get up, go to Bethel, and live there. Build an altar there to the God who appeared to you when you ran away from your brother Esau.”
2 Jacob said to his household and to everyone who was with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you. Clean yourselves and change your clothes. 3 Then let’s rise and go up to Bethel so that I can build an altar there to the God who answered me when I was in trouble and who has been with me wherever I’ve gone.” 4 So they gave Jacob all of the foreign gods they had, as well as the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the terebinth at Shechem. 5 When they set out, God made all of the surrounding cities fearful so that they didn’t pursue Jacob’s sons. 6 Jacob and all of the people with him arrived in Luz, otherwise known as Bethel, in the land of Canaan. 7 He built an altar there and named the place El-bethel,[a] because God had revealed himself to him there when he ran away from his brother. 8 Rebekah’s nurse Deborah died and was buried at Bethel under the oak, and Jacob named it Allon-bacuth.[b]
9 God appeared to Jacob again, while he was on his way back from Paddan-aram, and blessed him. 10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but your name will be Jacob no longer. No, your name will be Israel.” And he named him Israel. 11 God said to him, “I am El Shaddai.[c] Be fertile and multiply. A nation, even a large group of nations, will come from you; kings will descend from your own children. 12 The land I gave to Abraham and to Isaac, I give to you; and I will give the land to your descendants after you.” 13 Then God ascended, leaving him alone in the place where he spoke to him. 14 So Jacob set up a sacred pillar, a stone pillar, at the place God spoke to him. He poured an offering of wine on it and then poured oil over it. 15 Jacob named the place Bethel where God spoke to him.
31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
Comment: some see Jesus rejecting his family, others, and I am one of them, see Jesus including a worldwide family, rather than just a nuclear family.
12 People, despite their wealth, do not endure;
they are like the beasts that perish.
13 This is the fate of those who trust in themselves,
and of their followers, who approve their sayings.[j]
14 They are like sheep and are destined to die;
death will be their shepherd
(but the upright will prevail over them in the morning).
Their forms will decay in the grave,
far from their princely mansions.
15 But God will redeem me from the realm of the dead;
he will surely take me to himself.
16 Do not be overawed when others grow rich,
when the splendor of their houses increases;
17 for they will take nothing with them when they die,
their splendor will not descend with them.
18 Though while they live they count themselves blessed—
and people praise you when you prosper—
19 they will join those who have gone before them,
who will never again see the light of life.
20 People who have wealth but lack understanding
are like the beasts that perish.
Prayer: God of all joy, fill our souls to overflowing with the fullness of your grace. Amen. Common Book of Worship.