Psalm for the Week … And More
We are a little late getting this post of for the week.
Consider reading Psalm 127 and Psalm 146. There seems to be a couple of themes that run through these songs as they are laid beside Ruth, 1 Kings, Mark and Hebrews. On the one had it appears the recurring theme is provision. Naomi's two sons were killed. Her husband died. There would be no continuation of her line. But through Ruth an heir would come. Not just an heir but the father of Jess, the father of David.
A widow gives to the prophet out of her poverty, the widow gave her two mites out of her poverty, and Jesus became poor that we might through him be rich in life. Now that does not mean financial wealth but that in Jesus what is profoundly wrong with us would be set right in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection.
Paralleling provision we cannot escape the reference or description to poverty. Maybe one way to see the stark contrasts is to set the story of the Rich Young Man along side the widow giving in this week's Mark passage.
What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments.
Psalm for the Week … And More
Earlier in the week we posted something of a "false start" regarding the Scriptures for the coming Sunday. We overlooked "All Saints Day." Since we generally get the question, "Why would a Southern Baptist Church participate in such a commemoration?", a quick note would be good.
Rather than follow traditional Roman Catholic theology regarding All Saints Day and All Souls Day, we would find ourselves reflecting on this day as something of a Christian Memorial Day. Historically, Memorial Day gave Americans an occasion to remember those who gave their lives in service to our Country. Over time celebrations were broadened to remember not only soldiers but also family members who died.
In this sense All Saints Day, for our consideration, is a day to remember those in our local congregation and in the wider church who have died. We look at this day with hopefulness as the Scriptures given for the day point to the end of death. We understand the end of death, as John Owen put it, in the death of Christ. We would add that death ended in the resurrection of Jesus.
So when we read Psalm 24 we know it is the King of Glory who defeated our enemies of sin and death. The illustration of the power of Jesus over death shows up in the raising of Lazarus. Isaiah gives an eschatological picture of the "swallowing up of death forever and the feast that accompanies the end of grief and reproach. Revelation 21 signals the fulfillment of the Kingdom of God as "Heaven comes to earth." In the re-created order the prayer of Jesus finds ultimate fulfillment – your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. God's dwelling is with people. Death is no more. It is done.
What are your thoughts around these texts? What memories do you have of someone in our community of faith who has died in Jesus? What thoughts do you have about someone you know in the wider church who died in Jesus? Leave your thoughts for us to share in the comments.