March 12 Lent 1
They left Bethel, and when they were still some distance from Ephrath, Rachel went into hard labor. 17 During her difficult labor, the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid. You have another son.” 18 As her life faded away, just before she died, she named him Ben-oni, but his father named him Benjamin. 19 Rachel died and was buried near the road to Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem. 20 Jacob set up a pillar on her grave. It’s the pillar on Rachel’s tomb that’s still there today. 21 Israel continued his trip and pitched his tent farther on near the tower of Eder.
22 While Israel stayed in that place, Reuben went and slept with Bilhah his father’s secondary wife, and Israel heard about it.
Jacob had twelve sons. 23 The sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s oldest son, and Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun. 24 The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali. 26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher. These were Jacob’s sons born to him in Paddan-aram.
27 Jacob came to his father Isaac at Mamre, that is, Kiriath-arba. This is Hebron, where Abraham and Isaac lived as immigrants. 28 At the age of 180 years, 29 Isaac took his last breath and died. He was buried with his ancestors after a long, satisfying life. His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.
Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2 He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3 “Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8 Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9 And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
1 The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
2 From Zion, perfect in beauty,
God shines forth.
3 Our God comes
and will not be silent;
a fire devours before him,
and around him a tempest rages.
4 He summons the heavens above,
and the earth, that he may judge his people:
5 “Gather to me this consecrated people,
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness,
for he is a God of justice.
7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak;
I will testify against you, Israel:
I am God, your God.
8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices
or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me.
9 I have no need of a bull from your stall
or of goats from your pens,
10 for every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills.
11 I know every bird in the mountains,
and the insects in the fields are mine.
12 If I were hungry I would not tell you,
for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls
or drink the blood of goats?
14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God,
fulfill your vows to the Most High,
15 and call on me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
Comment: What is God hungry for, if not our worship (in the Old Testament that would be a common offering of simply thanksgiving), is it not? How simple but majestic is our God!
Prayer: May we reflect your glory as disciples of Jesus Christ, dear precious Lord. Amen.