This is the first time I’ve done anything like this…so, it will probably be trial and error as I go along. Just to get this straight, I will be using the lectionary (which makes it easier all around).
The three readings (not including the Psalms) for the upcoming Sunday are from Isaiah, Romans, and Matthew.
We will start with Isaiah 51:1-6 (I won’t be putting down the scriptures, just my thoughts using the four fold method, and at least two different translations). I’m not sure when Isaiah penned this, or whoever copied it down when it was prophesied, but it is clearly talking about obedience towards God, and that all is not lost. In verse 3 it’s clearly mentioned that the desert will become like the garden of Eden if we obey. That’s the hard part. We prefer to do out own thing. We want to be in control: ie: what I have may be crappy, but by golly it’s mine! We don’t want to admit that we need help, and things can be so much better if we swallowed our pride and did what we know to be right.
In this section of Romans Paul is beseeching all to constantly offer ourselves as a sacrifice. It almost seems like he’s telling us to live as if God is standing over your shoulder. It’s amazing that people will do the right then when they know they could get caught, or ratted out. It makes me think of when I’m driving. I think I’m the only one out there that’s actually obeying the speed limit. That number on that white sign is not a suggestion, but a rule to be followed. It’s not relative, though almost 99% of the drivers seem to think so. Only when a police cruiser shows up do everyone suddenly slow down, and if they get caught, they’re angry because they got caught, not because they were given a ticket. This all goes back to pride and people wanting to do things their own way.
Most, if not all modern translations remove the archaic forms of the language from scriptures, but sometimes it sounds much better. Who wouldn’t want to hear “Thou art the Christ” instead of “You are the Christ” or “You are the Messiah”. It’s grandiose instead of plane. God through Christ revealed himself to the disciples, but at this time He did not want the information to spread. He’s keeping things private because the disciples still had a lot to learn at this point in time, at least Peter understood the ramifications of who Jesus was. Then he turns around and shows how impulsive he is. I call it the foot-in-mouth syndrome. We all know people like that in our lives, and maybe even that person is ourselves.