The Faith Needed to Fail (Study for Sun, Nov 8, 2013)

Bible Cliff’s Notes (My dog ate my Bible!)
First Reading
Haggai 1:15b-2:9
Haggai is trying to rally the Jewish faithful to restore the temple to its former glory. At the moment they are very discouraged by the fact that it is sitting in utter ruin from the previous siege. The prophet assures them that prosperity and honor will return to them as a people soon enough, and he reminds them that the state of the Temple is symbolic of their relationship with God.

Job 19:23-27a
Job is making a proclamation of his enduring faith, despite the dire present circumstances of his life. He believes, as all of his earthly being fades away and dies, he will come face-to-face with God.

Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98
A song of praise to God for honoring God’s covenant with the people of Israel. There is a longing for the time in the future when God will come and judge the earth with equity and righteousness. Those who have been wronged will be vindicated and all will be restored to its proper order.

Psalm 17:1-9
King David is feeling threatened from all sides. He cries out to God for protection and vindication, and claims openly that he has done all that God has asked of him. He even urges God to search his life over thoroughly, but that he will find no transgression.

Second reading
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17
The members of the early church in Thessalonica are clearly discouraged. They are being persecuted for their faith, and some of them may be straying from the practices that Paul has taught them. He reminds them both that they are lucky to have been chosen to carry God’s word to the world, and also that he warned them from the outset that this journey would not be easy. Paul encourages them to stay the course despite present circumstances.

Luke 20:27-38
The Sadducees, trying once again to make Jesus look like an idiot, pose a question about resurrection to him. It’s important to note, though, that the Sadducees do not believe in resurrection after death. So they asked Jesus about a hypothetical woman who marries seven brothers, one after another, after the previous one dies. If she has no children with any of them, none of them seems to have special standing with her in the afterlife, so they ask which of the brothers will be married to her in heaven. Jesus basically blows them off, suggesting that the very question is senseless since such earthly covenants do not compare to the covenant that God makes with God’s people. All are children of God, and all will be reconciled to God.

The rest of this content is available only to subscribers.  Patheos is no longer accepting new subscriptions for Heretic’s Guide as of December 7, 2013.

If you are already a subscriber, click here to LOG IN: