Archive for the ‘Isaiah 33’ Tag

Devotion for December 22, Year A (ELCA Daily Lectionary)   2 comments

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Above:  The New Jerusalem

Good News and Bad News

DECEMBER 22, 2019

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The Collect:

Stir up your power, Lord Christ, and come!

With your abundant grace and might,

free us from the sin that hinders our faith,

that eagerly we may receive your promises,

for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever.  Amen.

Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006), page 19

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The Assigned Readings:

Isaiah 33:17-22

Luke 1:46b-55

Revelation 22:6-7, 18-20

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The readings today contain good news and bad news.  God will scatter the Assyrians who would conquer the Kingdom of Israel.  Yet we know that the Chaldeans/Babylonians will defeat this realm in time.  Revelation 22 is no less mixed:  The righteous will rejoice in their deliverance by God, who will build the new world order after having obliterated the old one.  Many people are invested in the world order God will destroy; woe to those who mourn its passing, Revelation says.  And, in the Magnificat, the lowly and the hungry have good reason to rejoice, but the the powerful and the rich have understandable reasons to lament.  Oppressors who refuse to cease oppressing will pay a steep price for their persistent sin.  A familiar hymn tells us:

We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;

He chastens and hastens his will to make known;

The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing:

Sing praises to his name; He forgets not his own.

–Translated by Theodore Baker (1851-1934)

Among the major themes in the Gospel of Luke is reversal of fortune.  There we find the Magnificat.  A few chapters later we find the Beatitudes and Woes.  (Those are just two examples.)  That theme and the other readings for today point to the same reality.  Sometimes divine deliverance of some is judgment upon others who have not ceased from oppressing and distressing.  They had opportunities, which they rejected.  This principle makes sense, for bad news for Herod the Great was good news for many other people, was it not?

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JULY 5, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTHONY MARY ZACCARIA, FOUNDER OF THE BARNABIES AND THE ANGELIC SISTERS OF SAINT PAUL

THE FEAST OF SAINTS ADALBERO AND ULRIC OF AUGSBURG, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS

THE FEAST OF H. RICHARD NIEBUHR, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST THEOLOGIAN

THE FEAST OF WILLEM A. VISSER ‘T HOOFT, ECUMENIST

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http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/good-news-and-bad-news/

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Devotion for December 17 (LCMS Daily Lectionary)   7 comments

Above:  The Great Day of His Wrath, by John Martin

The Violent Origin of Paradise

DECEMBER 17, 2019

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Blessed Lord, who caused all holy scriptures to be written for our learning:

Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,

that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life,

which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ;

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

The Book of Common Prayer (1979), page 236

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The Assigned Readings:

Isaiah 33:1-24

Psalm 122 (Morning)

Psalms 40 and 67 (Evening)

Revelation 5:1-14

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Revelation 5 continues the scene in the previous chapter.  The twenty-four elders are in Heaven, in the immediate presence of God.  Then John of Patmos sees a scroll with seven seals.  Only Jesus, the sacrificial lamb, is worthy to break the seven seals and to judge the earth, notably the Roman Empire.

Scholars of the Bible have interpreted the violent imagery of Revelation in various ways.  Some see a contradiction between the Jesus of the Gospels and the avenging Christ of Revelation.  This, I think, is an overstated case.  In the Bible we read of God establishing the new, holy order on Earth.  The founding of paradise begins with purging violence; the Day of the Lord is bad news for the wicked.  The end of exploitation does not mean comfort for the one exploiting.

If God is gracious to suffering people, the end of their suffering comes frequently via unpleasant fates for those who inflict said suffering.  Let us not embrace an illusion; good news for the death camp survivors was bad news for Nazis.  And we do not weep for Nazis; nor should we.

Judgment and mercy coexist within God; this message emerges from a multitude of Biblical texts.  So be it.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 1, 2012 COMMON ERA

THE EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS

THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS, YEAR B

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http://blogatheologica.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/the-violent-origin-of-paradise/

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