Up to My Neck in It All
Own work (Creative Commons).-
Today's Readings in One Post from the NRSV)
We are up to our necks in
* Contradictory Realities
* Compassionate Welcome
* Contrasting Fruits
* Confounding Glory
We are up to our necks in Contradictory Realities.
"O God, you know my foolishness,
and my faults are not hidden from you ... But as for me, this is my prayer to you..."
Salvum me fac
Save me, O God, *
for the waters have risen up to my neck.
I am sinking in deep mire, *
and there is no firm ground for my feet.
I have come into deep waters, *
and the torrent washes over me.
I have grown weary with my crying;
my throat is inflamed; *
my eyes have failed from looking for my God.
Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head;
my lying foes who would destroy me are mighty. *
Must I then give back what I never stole?
O God, you know my foolishness, *
and my faults are not hidden from you.
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, Lord God of hosts; *
let not those who seek you be disgraced because of me, O God of Israel.
Surely, for your sake have I suffered reproach, *
and shame has covered my face.
I have become a stranger to my own kindred, *
an alien to my mother’s children.
Zeal for your house has eaten me up; *
the scorn of those who scorn you has fallen upon me.
I humbled myself with fasting, *
but that was turned to my reproach.
I put on sack-cloth also, *
and became a byword among them.
Those who sit at the gate murmur against me, *
and the drunkards make songs about me.
But as for me, this is my prayer to you, *
at the time you have set, O Lord:
“In your great mercy, O God, *
answer me with your unfailing help.
Save me from the mire; do not let me sink; *
let me be rescued from those who hate me
and out of the deep waters.
Let not the torrent of waters wash over me,
neither let the deep swallow me up; *
do not let the Pit shut its mouth upon me.
Answer me, O Lord, for your love is kind; *
in your great compassion, turn to me.”
“Hide not your face from your servant; *
be swift and answer me, for I am in distress.
Draw near to me and redeem me; *
because of my enemies deliver me.
You know my reproach, my shame, and my dishonor; *
my adversaries are all in your sight.”
Reproach has broken my heart, and it cannot be healed; *
I looked for sympathy, but there was none,
for comforters, but I could find no one.
They gave me gall to eat, *
and when I was thirsty, they gave me vinegar to drink.
[Let the table before them be a trap *
and their sacred feasts a snare.
Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, *
and give them continual trembling in their loins.
Pour out your indignation upon them, *
and let the fierceness of your anger overtake them.
Let their camp be desolate, *
and let there be none to dwell in their tents.
For they persecute him whom you have stricken *
and add to the pain of those whom you have pierced.
Lay to their charge guilt upon guilt, *
and let them not receive your vindication.
Let them be wiped out of the book of the living *
and not be written among the righteous.]
As for me, I am afflicted and in pain; *
your help, O God, will lift me up on high.
I will praise the Name of God in song; *
I will proclaim his greatness with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an offering of oxen, *
more than bullocks with horns and hoofs.
The afflicted shall see and be glad; *
you who seek God, your heart shall live.
For the Lord listens to the needy, *
and his prisoners he does not despise.
Let the heavens and the earth praise him, *
the seas and all that moves in them;
For God will save Zion and rebuild the cities of Judah; *
they shall live there and have it in possession.
The children of his servants will inherit it, *
and those who love his Name will dwell therein.
We are up to our necks in Compassionate Welcome.
" ... these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer ... I will gather the outcasts..."
Thus says the Lord:
and do what is right,
for soon my salvation will come,
and my deliverance be revealed.
Happy is the mortal who does this, the one who holds it fast, who keeps the sabbath, not profaning it, and refrains from doing any evil. Do not let the foreigner joined to the Lord say, "The Lord will surely separate me from his people" and do not let the eunuch say, "I am just a dry tree."
For thus says the Lord:
To the eunuchs who keep my sabbaths,
who choose the things that please me and hold fast my covenant, I will give, in my house and within my walls, a monument and a name better than sons and daughters;
I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off.
And the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the sabbath, and do not profane it, and hold fast my covenant--
--- these I will bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house shall be called a house of prayer for all peoples.
Thus says the Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, I will gather others to them besides those already gathered.
We are up to our necks in Contrasting Fruits
"By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit..."
Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh.
For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want.
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these.
I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
We are up to our necks in Confounding Glory
"Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice,..."
Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves.
And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.
And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, "Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah."
He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.
Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, "This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!"
Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean.
Then they asked him, "Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?"
He said to them, "Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him."