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Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

Archive for Join the Conversation

January 5

Luke 7:18-50    Genesis 11    Psalm 5

The 2010 postings began on January 6. A reflection on this day’s readings — and an entry for each of the first five days —  will be added at a later date . . . all other entries for this month’s scripture texts may be found in the January archives.

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January 4

Luke 7:1-17    Genesis 8-10    Psalm 4

The 2010 postings began on January 6. A reflection on this day’s readings — and an entry for each of the first five days —  will be added at a later date . . . all other entries for this month’s scripture texts may be found in the January archives.

January 3

Luke 6:27-49    Genesis 6-7    Psalm 3

The 2010 postings began on January 6. A reflection on this day’s readings — and an entry for each of the first five days —  will be added at a later date . . . all other entries for this month’s scripture texts may be found in the January archives.

January 2

Luke 6:1-26    Genesis 3-5    Psalm 2

The 2010 postings began on January 6. A reflection on this day’s readings — and an entry for each of the first five days —  will be added at a later date . . .

January 1

Luke 5:27-39    Genesis 1-2    Psalm 1

The 2010 postings began on January 6. A reflection on this day’s readings — and an entry for each of the first five days —  will be added at a later date . . .

Are We Reverently Responsive?

Luke 5:1-26    Ezekiel 48    Isaiah 66

Thank you for journeying with us through the Bible this year! I trust that this daily blog has been helpful to you. I would love to know who our fellow travelers have been, so I invite you to use the comment option today to leave your name. Peace to you, beloved of God! May you forever stay in the story and keep singing the song! Now on to our final reflection . . .

“And the name of that city from that time on shall be, The Lord is There” (Ezekiel 48:35). This is the final vision of Ezekiel: the New Jerusalem shall be known as the place where God is. Isaiah, likewise, concludes with an expectation of a new heaven and earth, and envisions “all flesh” coming to Jerusalem to worship before the Lord (Isaiah 66:23). And the year’s final reading from the gospel of Luke leaves us with a picture of  people glorifying God and filled with awe as they come in contact with Jesus (Luke 5:26). What might we learn from these texts as we complete our read through the Bible project and move into a new year?

“And they glorified God” (Luke 5:26). When? Most immediately, as they witness a paralyzed man stand up, take his bed, and go home, “glorifying God” (v.25). But this wasn’t the only “strange” and awe-inspiring thing they had seen . . . Others had been healed. And they had witnessed Jesus forgiving sin. And there was the following (v.11). And the evidence (v.14). And the faith (v.20) . . . What led the people to glorify God? It was a response to seeing Jesus doing the work of God in and through . . . people. Which leads back to a question concerning the prophets and their final word: How will “all flesh” know that “The Lord is There?”  Well.

“This is the one to whom I will look, to the humble and contrite in spirit, who trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). The last phrase is translated in this way in The Message: “reverently responsive to what I say.” Is not this the way folks know that God is present? As people humbly and obediently prove to be “reverently responsive” to God’s word? Observe, by way of example, the man healed of leprosy. Jesus is quite specific: his testimony will be his cleansed and obedient life, not his words (Luke 5:14). And what, then, of us? It is one thing to read God’s word, but it is quite another to be reverently responsive to that word. Are we? Will we be? This much is certain: As we are, people will know that the Lord is present, and they will glorify God! Have you completed the journey through the word? Well done! Have you entered the story and joined the song? Well. The answer to that lies in the testimony of life — yours and mine. May we forever be people of the story and singers of the song. May we be reverently responsive to God’s living word. And may all flesh glorify God! Amen. And Amen.

“For as the new heavens
and the new earth,

which I will make,
shall remain before me, says the Lord;
so shall your descendants
and your name remain.

From new moon to new moon,
and from sabbath to sabbath,
all flesh shall come to worship before me,
says the Lord.”
— Isaiah 66:22,23

Have You Seen This?

Luke 4:31-44    Ezekiel 46-47    Isaiah 65

“Mortal, have you seen this?” (Ezekiel 47:6). Have you, in your reading of God’s word, had a good look at where the story is heading? Do you see it in Jesus, as he cures the sick and commands unclean spirits “with authority and power” (Luke 4:36)? How about in Ezekiel’s vision of the river flowing from the throne of God, giving life wherever it flows (Ezekiel 47:9)? Or Isaiah’s prophecy of wolf and lamb eating together in peace (Isaiah 65:25)? Do you see the trajectory of the story? Hear the consistent theme of the song? Son of Adam . . . Daughter of Eve . . . Child of God  . . . have you seen this?

“For I am about to create a new heavens and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17). And, while we aren’t there yet, we’re closer than we were. And it will happen. The coming of Jesus guarantees it, demonstrating God’s authority and power to accomplish what the prophets envisioned: Evil vanquished! Weeping replaced by rejoicing! Death gives way to life, as stagnant waters teem with life and deserts blossom and bear fruit! Healing! Wholeness! Peace! And all are invited (Ezekiel 47:21-23)! “Everything will live where the river goes” (Ezekiel 47:9). The dwelling of God will be among mortals (Revelation 21:3; Ezekiel 37:27) and death will be no more in God’s new creation (Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 35:10). This is where we are headed. This is the direction toward which the story flows; every rivulet, every stream. And it will be so. This is why:

“Here I am, here I am” (Isaiah 65:1). God is here. Now. Always available. Always “ready to be sought out.” With hand extended, offering to touch and heal (Luke 4:40). Always. And this, too, is seen throughout the story, is it not? “Here I am,” says God. And “the wolf and the lamb shall feed together.” Guaranteed! May you see it. May you believe it. May you expect it. And may you forever live the story and sing the song. Amen.

“The wolf and the lamb shall feed together,
the lion shall eat straw like the ox;
but the serpent — its food shall be dust!
They shall not hurt or destroy
on all my holy mountain,
says the Lord.”
— Isaiah 65:25

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