17 March 2012
The Kingdom of God will be given to a people who will produce its fruit
- Extracted from Matthew, Chapter 21:
Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people:
33 'Listen to another parable. There was a man, a landowner, who planted a vineyard; he fenced it round, dug a winepress in it and built a tower; then he leased it to tenants and went abroad.
34 When vintage time drew near he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his produce.
35 But the tenants seized his servants, thrashed one, killed another and stoned a third.
36 Next he sent some more servants, this time a larger number, and they dealt with them in the same way.
37 Finally he sent his son to them thinking, "They will respect my son."
38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, "This is the heir. Come on, let us kill him and take over his inheritance."
39 So they seized him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.
40 Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?'
41 They answered, 'He will bring those wretches to a wretched end and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will deliver the produce to him at the proper time.'
42 Jesus said to them, 'Have you never read in the scriptures: The stone which the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this is the Lord's doing and we marvel at it?
43 'I tell you, then, that the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.'
45 When they heard his parables, the chief priests and the scribes realized he was speaking about them,
46 but though they would have liked to arrest him they were afraid of the crowds, who looked on him as a prophet.
17 March 2012
24 March 2012
Tread down our faults to the bottom of the sea
– Extracted from the prophet Micah, Chapter 7:
14 With shepherd's crook lead your people to pasture, the flock that is your heritage, living confined in a forest with meadow land all round. Let them graze in Bashan and Gilead as in the days of old!
15 As in the days when you came out of Egypt, grant us to see wonders!
16 The nations will see and be confounded in spite of all their power; they will put their hands over their mouths, their ears will be deafened.
17 They will lick the dust like snakes, like reptiles that crawl on the earth. They will creep trembling out of their lairs, in terror before you.
18 What god can compare with you for pardoning guilt and for overlooking crime? He does not harbour anger for ever, since he delights in showing faithful love.
19 Once more have pity on us, tread down our faults; throw all our sins to the bottom of the sea.
20 Grant Jacob your faithfulness, and Abraham your faithful love, as you swore to our ancestors from the days of long ago.
God loves your fathers and have chosen you- Extracted from Deuteronomy, Chapter 4:
Moses said to the people:
1 'And now, Israel, listen to the laws and customs which I am teaching you today, so that, by observing them, you may survive to enter and take possession of the country which Yahweh, God of your ancestors, is giving you.
2 You must add nothing to what I command you, and take nothing from it, but keep the commandments of Yahweh your God just as I lay them down for you.
3 You can see for yourselves what Yahweh has done about the Baal of Peor; Yahweh your God has destroyed all those of you who followed the Baal of Peor;
4 but those of you who stayed faithful to Yahweh your God are all alive today.
5 Look: as Yahweh my God commanded me, I have taught you laws and customs, for you to observe in the country of which you are going to take possession.
6 Keep them, put them into practice, and other peoples will admire your wisdom and prudence. Once they know what all these laws are, they will exclaim, "No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation!"
7 And indeed, what great nation has its gods as near as Yahweh our God is to us whenever we call to him?
8 And what great nation has laws and customs as upright as the entirety of this Law which I am laying down for you today?
9 'But take care, as you value your lives! Do not forget the things which you yourselves have seen, or let them slip from your heart as long as you live; teach them, rather, to your children and to your children's children.
31 For Yahweh your God is a merciful God and will not desert or destroy you or forget the covenant which he made on oath with your ancestors.
32 'Put this question, then, to the ages that are past, that have gone before you, from when God created the human race on earth: Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Was anything like it ever heard?
33 Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God speaking from the heart of the fire, as you have heard it, and remain alive?
34 Has it ever been known before that any god took action himself to bring one nation out of another one, by ordeals, signs, wonders, war with mighty hand and outstretched arm, by fearsome terrors - all of which things Yahweh your God has done for you before your eyes in Egypt?
35 'This he showed you, so that you might know that Yahweh is the true God and that there is no other.
36 To instruct you, he made you hear his voice from heaven, and on earth he let you see his great fire, and from the heart of the fire you heard his words.
37 Because he loved your ancestors and, after them, chose their descendants, he has brought you out of Egypt, displaying his presence and mighty power,
38 dispossessing for you nations who were larger and stronger than you, to make way for you and to give you their country as your heritage, as it still is today.
39 'Hence, grasp this today and meditate on it carefully: Yahweh is the true God, in heaven above as on earth beneath, he and no other.
40 Keep his laws and commandments as I give them to you today, so that you and your children after you may prosper and live long in the country that Yahweh your God is giving you for ever.'
Extracted from Deuteronomy, Chapter 5:
32 'Keep them and put them into practice: such is Yahweh's command to you. Stray neither to right nor to left.
33 Follow the whole way that Yahweh has marked for you, and you will survive to prosper and live long in the country which you are going to possess.'
24 March 2012