Today’s Reading

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On glory

[And this brings me to] the other sense of glory—glory as brightness, splendor, luminosity. We are to shine as the sun, we are to be given the Morning Star. I think I begin to see what it means. In one way, of course, God has given us the Morning Star already: you can go and enjoy the gift on many fine mornings if you get up early enough. What more, you may ask, do we want? Ah, but we want so much more—something the books on aesthetics take little notice of. But the poets and the mythologies know all about it. We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves—that, though we cannot, yet these projections can enjoy in themselves that beauty, grace, and power of which Nature is the image. That is why the poets tell us such lovely falsehoods. They talk as if the west wind could really sweep into a human soul, but it can’t. They tell us that “beauty born of murmuring sound” will pass into a human face, but it won’t. Or not yet. For if we take the imagery of Scripture seriously, if we believe that God will one day give us the Morning Star and cause us to put on the splendour of the sun, then we may surmise that both the ancient myths and the modern poetry, so false as history, may be very near the truth as prophecy. At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendors we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumor that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in. When human souls have become as perfect in voluntary obedience as the inanimate creation is in its lifeless obedience, then they will put on its glory, or rather that greater glory of which Nature is only the first sketch.

From The Weight of Glory
Compiled in Words to Live By

The Weight of Glory: And Other Addresses. Copyright © 1949, C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. Copyright renewed © 1976, revised 1980 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Words to Live By: A Guide for the Merely Christian. Copyright © 2007 by C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved. Used with permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

 

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Deuteronomy 16-17

Passover celebration

16 Wait for the month of Abib, at which time you must perform the Passover for the Lord your God, because the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt at nighttime during the month of Abib. Offer a Passover sacrifice from the flock or herd to the Lord your God at the location the Lord selects for his name to reside. You must not eat anything containing yeast along with it. Instead, for seven days you must eat unleavened bread, bread symbolizing misery, along with it because you fled Egypt in a great hurry. Do this so you remember the day you fled Egypt for as long as you live. No dough with yeast should appear in any of your territory for seven days. Furthermore, none of the meat that you sacrificed on the first night should remain until morning. You are not permitted to offer the Passover sacrifice in any of the cities that the Lord your God is giving you. Instead, you must offer the Passover sacrifice at the location the Lord your God selects for his name to reside, at evening time, when the sun sets, which was the time you fled Egypt. Cook it and eat it in the location that the Lord your God selects. The next morning you can return to your tents. For six days you will eat unleavened bread. The seventh day will be a celebration for the Lord your God. Don’t do any work.

Festival of Weeks

Count out seven weeks, starting the count from the beginning of the grain harvest. 10 At that point, perform the Festival of Weeks for the Lord your God. Offer a spontaneous gift in precise measure with the blessing the Lord your God gives you. 11 Then celebrate in the presence of the Lord your God—you, your sons, your daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites who live in your cities, the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows who are among you—in the location the Lord your God selects for his name to reside. 12 Remember how each of you was a slave in Egypt, so follow these regulations most carefully.

Festival of Booths

13 Once you have collected the food and drink you need, perform the Festival of Booths for seven days. 14 Celebrate your festival: you, your sons, your daughters, your male and female servants, the Levites, the immigrants, the orphans, and the widows who live in your cities. 15 Seven days you must perform the festival for the Lord your God in the location the Lord selects because the Lord your God will bless you in all you do and in all your work. You will be overjoyed.

16 Three times a year every male among you must appear before the presence of the Lord your God in the location he will select: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths. They must not appear before the Lord’s presence empty-handed. 17 Each one should have his gift in hand, in precise measure with the blessing the Lord your God gives you.

Judges and officials

18 Appoint judges and officials for each of your tribes in every city that the Lord your God gives you. They must judge the people fairly. 19 Don’t delay justice; don’t show favoritism. Don’t take bribes because bribery blinds the vision of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 Righteousness! Pursue righteousness so that you live long and take possession of the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Rules for worship

21 Don’t plant any tree to serve as a sacred pole next to the altar you make for the Lord your God. 22 Don’t set up any sacred stone either, because the Lord your God hates such things.

17 Don’t sacrifice to the Lord your God any oxen or sheep that have defects of any kind, because that is detestable to the Lord your God.

Capital punishment

If someone, whether male or female, is found in your community—in one of the cities the Lord your God is giving you—who does evil in the Lord your God’s eyes, by breaking God’s covenant, by following and serving other gods, and by bowing down to them, to the sun or the moon or any of the heavenly bodies that I haven’t permitted— and you hear news about it, then you must look into this situation very carefully. And if it’s definitely true that this detestable thing was done in Israel, then you must bring out the man or woman who has done this evil thing to the gates of the city. Stone that person until he or she is dead.

Capital punishment must be decided by two or three witnesses. No one may be executed on the basis of only one testimony. In the execution, the hands of the witnesses must be against the guilty person from the start; the hand of all the people will be involved at the end. Remove such evil from your community!

Legal disputes

If some legal dispute in your cities is too difficult for you to decide—say, between different kinds of bloodshed, different kinds of legal ruling, or different kinds of injury—then take it to the location the Lord your God selects. Go to the levitical priests and to the head judge in office at that time and look into things there. They will announce to you the correct ruling. 10 You must then act according to the ruling they announced to you from that location, the one the Lord selects. You must follow very carefully everything they instruct you to do. 11 Act precisely according to the instruction they give you and the ruling they announce to you. Don’t deviate even a bit from the word they announce. 12 And whoever acts rashly by not listening to the priest who is in office serving the Lord your God or to the head judge will die. Remove such evil from Israel! 13 All the people will hear about this and be afraid. They won’t act arrogantly anymore.

Law of the king

14 Once you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you and you have taken possession of it and settled down in it, you might say: “Let’s appoint a king over us, as all our neighboring nations have done.” 15 You can indeed appoint over you a king that the Lord your God selects. You can appoint over you a king who is one of your fellow Israelites. You are not allowed to appoint over you a foreigner who is not one of your fellow Israelites. 16 That granted, the king must not acquire too many horses, and he must not return the people to Egypt in order to acquire more horses, because the Lord told you: “You will never go back by that road again.” 17 The king must not take numerous wives so that his heart doesn’t go astray. Nor can the king acquire too much silver and gold. 18 Instead, when he sits on his royal throne, he himself must write a copy of this Instruction on a scroll in the presence of the levitical priests. 19 That Instruction must remain with him, and he must read in it every day of his life so that he learns to revere the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this Instruction and these regulations, by doing them, 20 by not being overbearing toward his fellow Israelites, and by not deviating even a bit from the commandment. If the king does all that, he will ensure lasting rule in Israel for himself and for his successors.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Luke 9:7-27

Herod’s confusion

Herod the ruler heard about everything that was happening. He was confused because some people were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. Herod said, “I beheaded John, so now who am I hearing about?” Herod wanted to see him.

Jesus feeds the five thousand

10 When the apostles returned, they described for Jesus what they had done. Taking them with him, Jesus withdrew privately to a city called Bethsaida. 11 When the crowds figured it out, they followed him. He welcomed them, spoke to them about God’s kingdom, and healed those who were sick.

12 When the day was almost over, the Twelve came to him and said, “Send the crowd away so that they can go to the nearby villages and countryside and find lodging and food, because we are in a deserted place.”

13 He replied, “You give them something to eat.”

But they said, “We have no more than five loaves of bread and two fish—unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 (They said this because about five thousand men were present.)

Jesus said to his disciples, “Seat them in groups of about fifty.” 15 They did so, and everyone was seated. 16 He took the five loaves and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them, and broke them and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. 17 Everyone ate until they were full, and the disciples filled twelve baskets with the leftovers.

Following Christ

18 Once when Jesus was praying by himself, the disciples joined him, and he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?”

19 They answered, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others that one of the ancient prophets has come back to life.”

20 He asked them, “And what about you? Who do you say that I am?”

Peter answered, “The Christ sent from God.”

21 Jesus gave them strict orders not to tell this to anyone. 22 He said, “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected—by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts—and be killed and be raised on the third day.”

23 Jesus said to everyone, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me. 24  All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me will save them. 25  What advantage do people have if they gain the whole world for themselves yet perish or lose their lives? 26  Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. 27  I assure you that some standing here won’t die before they see God’s kingdom.”

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Psalm 72

Psalm 72

Of Solomon.

72 God, give your judgments to the king.
Give your righteousness to the king’s son.
Let him judge your people with righteousness
and your poor ones with justice.
Let the mountains bring peace to the people;
let the hills bring righteousness.
Let the king bring justice to people who are poor;
let him save the children of those who are needy,
but let him crush oppressors!
Let the king live as long as the sun,
as long as the moon,
generation to generation.
Let him fall like rain upon fresh-cut grass,
like showers that water the earth.
Let the righteous flourish throughout their lives,
and let peace prosper until the moon is no more.
Let the king rule from sea to sea,
from the river to the ends of the earth.
Let the desert dwellers bow low before him;
let his enemies lick the dust.
10 Let the kings of Tarshish and the islands bring tribute;
let the kings of Sheba and Seba present gifts.
11 Let all the kings bow down before him;
let all the nations serve him.

12 Let it be so, because he delivers the needy who cry out,
the poor, and those who have no helper.
13 He has compassion on the weak and the needy;
he saves the lives of those who are in need.
14 He redeems their lives from oppression and violence;
their blood is precious in his eyes.

15 Let the king live long!
Let Sheba’s gold be given to him!
Let him be prayed for always!
Let him be blessed all day long!
16  Let there be abundant grain in the land.
Let it wave on the mountaintops.
Let its fruit flourish like Lebanon.
Let it thrive like grass on the land.
17  Let the king’s name last forever.
Let his name endure as long as the sun.
Let all the nations be blessed through him and call him happy.

18 Bless the Lord God, the God of Israel—
the only one who does wondrous things!
19 Bless God’s glorious name forever;
let his glory fill all the earth!
Amen and Amen!

20 The prayers of David, Jesse’s son, are ended.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Proverbs 12:8-9

A person is praised for his insight,
but a warped mind leads to contempt.
Better to be held in low regard and have a servant
than to be conceited and lack food.

Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

 

 
 
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