Day 245 – September 2
15 Therefore, the LORD God,
the holy one of Israel, says:
In return and rest you will be saved;
quietness and trust will be your strength—
but you refused.
16 You said,
“No! We’ll flee on horses”—
therefore, you will indeed flee—
“and we’ll ride off; on swift steeds we will ride”—
therefore, your pursuers will be swift.
17 One thousand will flee at the threat of one,
and at the threat of five you will flee,
until you are left like a flagstaff on a mountaintop,
like a flag on a hill.
18 Nonetheless, the LORD is waiting to be merciful to you,
and will rise up to show you compassion.
The LORD is a God of justice;
happy are all who wait for him.
19 People in Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no longer. God will certainly be merciful to you. Hearing the sound of your outcry, God will answer you. 20 Though the Lord gives you the bread of distress and the water of oppression, your teacher will no longer hide, but you will see your teacher. 21 If you stray to the right or the left, you will hear a word that comes from behind you: “This is the way; walk in it.” 22 You will defile your silver-plated idols and your gold-covered priestly vest, and you will scatter them like menstrual rags. “Get out,” you will say to them.
23 God will provide rain for the seed you sow in the ground, and the food the ground produces will be rich and abundant. On that day, your cattle will graze in large pastures. 24 The oxen and donkeys that are working the ground will eat tasty feed spread for them with shovel and fork.
25 On every lofty mountain, and on every high hill, streams will run with water on the day of the great massacre, when the towers fall. 26 The light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be seven times brighter—like the light of seven days—on the day that the LORD bandages the people’s brokenness and heals the wounds inflicted by his blows.
40 Jesus spoke up and said to him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Yes, Teacher,” he said, “tell me.”
41 “There were two men who owed money to a moneylender,” Jesus began. “One owed him five hundred silver coins, and the other owed him fifty. 42 Neither of them could pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Which one, then, will love him more?” 43 “I suppose,” answered Simon, “that it would be the one who was forgiven more.”
“You are right,” said Jesus. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I came into your home, and you gave me no water for my feet, but she has washed my feet with her tears and dried them with her hair. 45 You did not welcome me with a kiss, but she has not stopped kissing my feet since I came. 46 You provided no olive oil for my head, but she has covered my feet with perfume. 47 I tell you, then, the great love she has shown proves that her many sins have been forgiven. But whoever has been forgiven little shows only a little love.”
48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 The others sitting at the table began to say to themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” 50 But Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
Comment: do you see a connection between this story and yesterday’s reading from Ephesians 1?
13 You heard about my previous life in Judaism, how severely I harassed God’s church and tried to destroy it. 14 I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my peers, because I was much more militant about the traditions of my ancestors. 15 But God had set me apart from birth and called me through his grace. He was pleased 16 to reveal his Son to me, so that I might preach about him to the Gentiles. I didn’t immediately consult with any human being. 17 I didn’t go up to Jerusalem to see the men who were apostles before me either, but I went away into Arabia and I returned again to Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. 19 But I didn’t see any other of the apostles except James the brother of the Lord. 20 Before God, I’m not lying about the things that I’m writing to you! 21 Then I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia, 22 but I wasn’t known personally by the Christian churches in Judea. 23 They only heard a report about me: “The man who used to harass us now preaches the faith that he once tried to destroy.” 24 So they were glorifying God because of me.
Comment: Paul is trying to shift focus from himself to the power of God at work within him, through him. At the same time he is connecting his ministry (the mission journeys) with the leadership in Jerusalem.
Prayer: to you be all glory, honor, and praise, O Lord our God. Amen.