My normal posting rhythm is to read and pray through the passages for the given week and then post a key concluding reflection. I want to keep doing this but also want to start posting a preview. I’m doing this as an encouragement for my family to read Scripture together. They’ve told me it’s been hard to get into the lectionary because they don’t have enough orientation. So this is my attempt to be the intrepid tour guide. Yet I thought I’d post the previews here in case others want to join in with us.
(Regarding the schedule, I’m always one week ahead of the calendar because I want to post my concluding reflections the Sunday prior, so that they are available for the week leading up to the actual Sunday).
1 Samuel 1 & 2
This is the story Hannah, the mother of the prophet Samuel. Hannah wasn’t able to conceive for a long time. That’s painful enough. But on top of that her husband’s other wife Peninnah would deride her for it. What a dysfunctional family! (The way things are going culturally we may be heading back toward polygamy so it’s nice to know the Bible already has that covered. The story of Hannah is one of grief turned to joy and providence unfolding into legacy, for Samuel would lead to Saul, Saul to David, David to Jesus, and Jesus to us.
This is a story about Jesus’s core disciples (Peter, James, and John, with Andrew the fourth man) marveling at the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus predicts its destruction. The disciples have the same reaction we all would: “Ooh, when’s that going to happen?” Jesus response is curious. He could have simply said, “Within your lifetimes” and he would have been quite correct. Yet instead he warns them not to be led astray. Why is this? In short, because there is much more in play than the mere destruction of some buildings, albeit some marvelously grand ones.
Ah, Hebrews again. Oh how I love this book. I believe it was written by the great Jewish orator and apologist Apollos as an Apologia to Jewish Christians not to abandon their new-found faith, as well as to Jews to see the fulfillment of God’s promised Messiah in Jesus. In this chapter he’s explaining the significance of the sacrifice Jesus made, his ongoing ministry as our high priest, and the impact all of this has on both our relationship with God and with each other. Can you imagine the excitement a Jew would have hearing that the place their priest could only enter once a year, the Holy of Holies, was now a place that God was inviting themselves into on a daily basis? Wow, wow, wow!!!