Give ear . . . to my teaching,” says the psalmist. Today we choose to listen. Tomorrow we may choose another voice, but today we listen. The psalmist invites us to listen and to be
attentive to the teachings. Those teachings are the focus of the four scripture passages this week. We will listen, in the words of the psalmist, to things that our ancestors have told us. These topics for remembrance explore the history of salvation, the glorious deeds of the Lord. The entire psalm details the history of God’s mercy for Israel. The psalm also encourages its hearers to tell the next generations about these deeds of God. This portion of Psalm 78 tells us of the establishment of the covenant with the nation. Israel will remember God’s gracious action on behalf of the people. They may also remember their subsequent acts of rebellion against God and the invitation to renew the covenant. Give ear to my teaching and remember.
Why should we give ear to this teaching? Why remember? We remember not simply to allow ego to reign in us as we admire the good old days. Our remembrance points us to new actions of God on behalf of the people, and such remembrance directs us to receive God’s continuing new deeds. Our remembering God’s grace in the past prepares us to live with those promises into the future of God’s reign.
Like you, I have experienced gifted teachers and less accomplished ones. I have learned from all of them. The lessons range from basic life skills to the intricacies of music, algebra, and theology. I invite you to reflect on those who taught you ways of faith and discipleship; offer a prayer of gratitude for teachers.
Give ear to my teaching, and remember. What actions will you remember today that will open you to God’s grace and new creation?
O Holy Spirit, give us courage to endure the difficult times and love for those who do not perceive truth as we do. Amen.
This week’s passages speak of ultimate commitment or of the return of Jesus or they speak in parables that reflect a protagonist who has been delayed in an anticipated appearance. Living so far from the time of the texts makes it difficult to appreciate the urgency with which the issues arose in various communities and the crises they precipitated. Eschatology, however, is not to be thought of merely as a speculative venture in which curious religious people gamble on a time when the world will end. In the Bible, the coming advent of God demands from and warrants for the people of God a distinctive style of life. In Joshua 24, Israel receives an opportunity to de ne itself by identifying its God. First Thessalonians 4 comforts anxious believers who are worried about the fate of their deceased parents. Jesus’ resurrection is not an isolated event, Paul argues, but the beginning of the resurrection of all people. The prospect of Jesus’ return forms the basis for hope.
• Read Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25. When have your ministry activities become so time-consuming that you lost your connection to God? How can you regain that connection?
• Read Psalm 78:1-7. Which of the teachers in your life are you most grateful for? Why?
• Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. How concerned are you with the end of time? What would you say to someone who claimed to know when the “end of the age” would be?
• Read Matthew 25:1-13. What part has fear played in your journey of faith? What does fear have to do with receiving God’s love?
Responda publicando una oración.