23 June 2012
The judgement of God – Extracted from Isaiah, Chapter 35:
1 Let the desert and the dry lands be glad, let the wasteland rejoice and bloom; like the asphodel,
2 let it burst into flower, let it rejoice and sing for joy. The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it, the splendour of Carmel and Sharon; then they will see the glory of Yahweh, the splendour of our God.
3 Strengthen all weary hands, steady all trembling knees
4 and say to the faint-hearted, 'Be strong! Do not be afraid. Here is your God, vengeance is coming, divine retribution; he is coming to save you.'
5 Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unsealed,
6 then the lame will leap like a deer and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy; for water will gush in the desert and streams in the wastelands,
7 the parched ground will become a marsh and the thirsty land springs of water; the lairs where the jackals used to live will become plots of reed and papyrus.
8 And through it will run a road for them and a highway which will be called the Sacred Way; the unclean will not be allowed to use it; He will be the one to use this road, the fool will not stray along it.
9 No lion will be there, no ferocious beast set foot on it, nothing of the sort be found; it will be used by the redeemed.
10 For those whom Yahweh has ransomed will return, they will come to Zion shouting for joy, their heads crowned with joy unending; rejoicing and gladness will escort them and sorrow and sighing will take flight.
The God of Justice – Extracted from Psalm 94:
1 God of vengeance, Yahweh, God of vengeance, shine forth!
2 Arise, judge of the world, give back the proud what they deserve!
3 How long are the wicked, Yahweh, how long are the wicked to triumph?
4 They bluster and boast, they flaunt themselves, all the evil-doers.
5 They crush your people, Yahweh, they oppress your heritage,
6 they murder the widow and the stranger, bring the orphan to a violent death.
7 They say, 'Yahweh is not looking, the God of Jacob is taking no notice.'
8 Take notice yourselves, you coarsest of people! Fools, when will you learn some sense?
9 Shall he who implanted the ear not hear, he who fashioned the eye not see?
10 Shall he who instructs nations not punish? Yahweh, the teacher of all people,
11 knows human plans and how insipid they are.
12 How blessed are those you instruct, Yahweh, whom you teach by means of your law,
13 to give them respite in evil times, till a pit is dug for the wicked.
14 Yahweh will not abandon his people, he will not desert his heritage;
15 for judgement will again become saving justice, and in its wake all upright hearts will follow.
16 Who rises up on my side against the wicked? Who stands firm on my side against all evil-doers?
17 If Yahweh did not come to my help, I should soon find myself dwelling in the silence.
18 I need only say, 'I am slipping,' for your faithful love, Yahweh, to support me;
19 however great the anxiety of my heart, your consolations soothe me.
20 Are you partner to a destructive court, that gives disorder the status of law?
21 They make an attack on the life of the upright, and condemn innocent blood.
22 No! Yahweh is a stronghold to me, my God is my rock of refuge.
23 He turns back their guilt on themselves, annihilates them for their wickedness, he annihilates them, Yahweh our God.
Hidden Things -Extracted from Matthew, Chapter 11: 25-27
Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
23 June 2012
The Parable of the Sower -Extracted from Matthew, Chapter 13:
1 That same day, Jesus left the house and sat by the lakeside,
2 but such large crowds gathered round him that he got into a boat and sat there. The people all stood on the shore,
3 and he told them many things in parables. He said, 'Listen, a sower went out to sow.
4 As he sowed, some seeds fell on the edge of the path, and the birds came and ate them up.
5 Others fell on patches of rock where they found little soil and sprang up at once, because there was no depth of earth;
6 but as soon as the sun came up they were scorched and, not having any roots, they withered away.
7 Others fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
8 Others fell on rich soil and produced their crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 Anyone who has ears should listen!'
10 Then the disciples went up to him and asked, 'Why do you talk to them in parables?'
11 In answer, he said, 'Because to you is granted to understand the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not granted.
12 Anyone who has will be given more and will have more than enough; but anyone who has not will be deprived even of what he has.
13 The reason I talk to them in parables is that they look without seeing and listen without hearing or understanding.
14 So in their case what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah is being fulfilled: Listen and listen, but never understand! Look and look, but never perceive!
15 This people's heart has grown coarse, their ears dulled, they have shut their eyes tight to avoid using their eyes to see, their ears to hear, their heart to understand, changing their ways and being healed by me.
16 'But blessed are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear!
17 In truth I tell you, many prophets and upright people longed to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.
18 'So pay attention to the parable of the sower.
19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom without understanding, the Evil One comes and carries off what was sown in his heart: this is the seed sown on the edge of the path.
20 The seed sown on patches of rock is someone who hears the word and welcomes it at once with joy.
21 But such a person has no root deep down and does not last; should some trial come, or some persecution on account of the word, at once he falls away.
22 The seed sown in thorns is someone who hears the word, but the worry of the world and the lure of riches choke the word and so it produces nothing.
23 And the seed sown in rich soil is someone who hears the word and understands it; this is the one who yields a harvest and produces now a hundredfold, now sixty, now thirty.'