Daily Readings Reflection for 1/14/11

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Scripture: January 14. Lectionary # 309. Hebrews 4:1-5,11. Psalm
789:3-4,6-7,8. Mark 2:1-12

Today’s Readings

We all like the word “rest.”  One brother from India uses the expression
“take rest” by which he means a long afternoon nap!  Today our author of
the essay called the Epistle to the Hebrews dwells on the word “rest” that
is found at the end of his commentary on Psalm 95.  For the Israelites to
enter the “rest” promised by God means to enter their promised land of
Palestine (now Israel).  It thus is associated with the Exodus and with
Joshua, the Hebrew equvalent of the name “Jesus” who leads the people into
the land chosen for them by God.  Our author does not remain with that
interpretation but extends it to a more final type of “rest” or gives it an
eschatological meaning–entering into the abode of God. There Jesus is our
highpriest and is in his glorified state.  We as pilgrims are to seek that
“rest.”  Though this word is used also by the Gnostic believers it is not
the same nor is the theology of Hebrews in anyway Gnostic where salvation
means knowing yourself well and so to speak saving yourselves.  This is not
the revelation of the New Testament which demands the presence of Christ
crucified and then resurrected for our redemption.  The theology of the New
Testament on salvation is not a “do it yourself” workshop that leads one to
have instantaneous salvation through wisdom and knowledge of one’s self.

Again the point being made by Hebrews is that we must stay on track on the
pilgrimage with Christ Jesus as our Scout who leads us to the “rest”, that
is the abode of God. Hebrews continually prods us on with strong
encouragement and with the command to “never give up.”

Psalm 95 thus is a fine way to begin the day. In fact, it is the chosen
invitatory for the Office of the Readings (the start of each day is begun
by the people and priests in the Readings followed by Lauds or Morning
Prayer). This Psalm is one of praise and challenge not to do as our
ancestor did.  It may serve as our morning wake up with a spiritual cup of
coffee brewed to perfection and oh, so good, to the last drop. Amen.

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