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9/7/2017
2 Kings 14
2 Chronicles 25
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Amaziah Reigns over Judah (2 Chr 25.1—26.2)

2 Kings 14:1     In the second year of King Joash son of Joahaz of Israel, King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah, began to reign. 2 He was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddin of Jerusalem. 3 He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like his ancestor David; in all things he did as his father Joash had done. 4 But the high places were not removed; the people still sacrificed and made offerings on the high places. 5 As soon as the royal power was firmly in his hand he killed his servants who had murdered his father the king. 6 But he did not put to death the children of the murderers; according to what is written in the book of the law of Moses, where the Lord commanded, “The parents shall not be put to death for the children, or the children be put to death for the parents; but all shall be put to death for their own sins.”

     7 He killed ten thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt and took Sela by storm; he called it Jokthe-el, which is its name to this day.

     8 Then Amaziah sent messengers to King Jehoash son of Jehoahaz, son of Jehu, of Israel, saying, “Come, let us look one another in the face.” 9 King Jehoash of Israel sent word to King Amaziah of Judah, “A thornbush on Lebanon sent to a cedar on Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son for a wife’; but a wild animal of Lebanon passed by and trampled down the thornbush. 10 You have indeed defeated Edom, and your heart has lifted you up. Be content with your glory, and stay at home; for why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?”

     11 But Amaziah would not listen. So King Jehoash of Israel went up; he and King Amaziah of Judah faced one another in battle at Beth-shemesh, which belongs to Judah. 12 Judah was defeated by Israel; everyone fled home. 13 King Jehoash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah son of Jehoash, son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh; he came to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate, a distance of four hundred cubits. 14 He seized all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of the Lord and in the treasuries of the king’s house, as well as hostages; then he returned to Samaria.

     15 Now the rest of the acts that Jehoash did, his might, and how he fought with King Amaziah of Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel? 16 Jehoash slept with his ancestors, and was buried in Samaria with the kings of Israel; then his son Jeroboam succeeded him.

     17 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah lived fifteen years after the death of King Jehoash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 18 Now the rest of the deeds of Amaziah, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Judah? 19 They made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there. 20 They brought him on horses; he was buried in Jerusalem with his ancestors in the city of David. 21 All the people of Judah took Azariah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king to succeed his father Amaziah. 22 He rebuilt Elath and restored it to Judah, after King Amaziah slept with his ancestors.

Jeroboam II Reigns over Israel

     23 In the fifteenth year of King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah, King Jeroboam son of Joash of Israel began to reign in Samaria; he reigned forty-one years. 24 He did what was evil in the sight of the Lord; he did not depart from all the sins of Jeroboam son of Nebat, which he caused Israel to sin. 25 He restored the border of Israel from Lebo-hamath as far as the Sea of the Arabah, according to the word of the Lord, the God of Israel, which he spoke by his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet, who was from Gath-hepher. 26 For the Lord saw that the distress of Israel was very bitter; there was no one left, bond or free, and no one to help Israel. 27 But the Lord had not said that he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, so he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Joash.

     28 Now the rest of the acts of Jeroboam, and all that he did, and his might, how he fought, and how he recovered for Israel Damascus and Hamath, which had belonged to Judah, are they not written in the Book of the Annals of the Kings of Israel? 29 Jeroboam slept with his ancestors, the kings of Israel; his son Zechariah succeeded him.


Reign of Amaziah (2 Kings 14.1—6)

2 Chronicles 25:1     Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he began to reign, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan of Jerusalem. 2 He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, yet not with a true heart. 3 As soon as the royal power was firmly in his hand he killed his servants who had murdered his father the king. 4 But he did not put their children to death, according to what is written in the law, in the book of Moses, where the Lord commanded, “The parents shall not be put to death for the children, or the children be put to death for the parents; but all shall be put to death for their own sins.”

Slaughter of the Edomites (2 Kings 14.7)

     5 Amaziah assembled the people of Judah, and set them by ancestral houses under commanders of the thousands and of the hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin. He mustered those twenty years old and upward, and found that they were three hundred thousand picked troops fit for war, able to handle spear and shield. 6 He also hired one hundred thousand mighty warriors from Israel for one hundred talents of silver. 7 But a man of God came to him and said, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel—all these Ephraimites. 8 Rather, go by yourself and act; be strong in battle, or God will fling you down before the enemy; for God has power to help or to overthrow.” 9 Amaziah said to the man of God, “But what shall we do about the hundred talents that I have given to the army of Israel?” The man of God answered, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this.” 10 Then Amaziah discharged the army that had come to him from Ephraim, letting them go home again. But they became very angry with Judah, and returned home in fierce anger.

     11 Amaziah took courage, and led out his people; he went to the Valley of Salt, and struck down ten thousand men of Seir. 12 The people of Judah captured another ten thousand alive, took them to the top of Sela, and threw them down from the top of Sela, so that all of them were dashed to pieces. 13 But the men of the army whom Amaziah sent back, not letting them go with him to battle, fell on the cities of Judah from Samaria to Beth-horon; they killed three thousand people in them, and took much booty.

     14 Now after Amaziah came from the slaughter of the Edomites, he brought the gods of the people of Seir, set them up as his gods, and worshiped them, making offerings to them. 15 The Lord was angry with Amaziah and sent to him a prophet, who said to him, “Why have you resorted to a people’s gods who could not deliver their own people from your hand?” 16 But as he was speaking the king said to him, “Have we made you a royal counselor? Stop! Why should you be put to death?” So the prophet stopped, but said, “I know that God has determined to destroy you, because you have done this and have not listened to my advice.”

Israel Defeats Judah (2 Kings 14.8—14)

     17 Then King Amaziah of Judah took counsel and sent to King Joash son of Jehoahaz son of Jehu of Israel, saying, “Come, let us look one another in the face.” 18 King Joash of Israel sent word to King Amaziah of Judah, “A thornbush on Lebanon sent to a cedar on Lebanon, saying, ‘Give your daughter to my son for a wife’; but a wild animal of Lebanon passed by and trampled down the thornbush. 19 You say, ‘See, I have defeated Edom,’ and your heart has lifted you up in boastfulness. Now stay at home; why should you provoke trouble so that you fall, you and Judah with you?”

     20 But Amaziah would not listen—it was God’s doing, in order to hand them over, because they had sought the gods of Edom. 21 So King Joash of Israel went up; he and King Amaziah of Judah faced one another in battle at Beth-shemesh, which belongs to Judah. 22 Judah was defeated by Israel; everyone fled home. 23 King Joash of Israel captured King Amaziah of Judah, son of Joash, son of Ahaziah, at Beth-shemesh; he brought him to Jerusalem, and broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the Ephraim Gate to the Corner Gate, a distance of four hundred cubits. 24 He seized all the gold and silver, and all the vessels that were found in the house of God, and Obed-edom with them; he seized also the treasuries of the king’s house, also hostages; then he returned to Samaria.

Death of Amaziah (2 Kings 14.17—20)

     25 King Amaziah son of Joash of Judah, lived fifteen years after the death of King Joash son of Jehoahaz of Israel. 26 Now the rest of the deeds of Amaziah, from first to last, are they not written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel? 27 From the time that Amaziah turned away from the Lord they made a conspiracy against him in Jerusalem, and he fled to Lachish. But they sent after him to Lachish, and killed him there. 28 They brought him back on horses; he was buried with his ancestors in the city of David.

The Holy Bible: containing the Old and New Testaments with the Apocryphal / Deuterocanonical Books [New Revised Standard Version]



What I'm Reading

Did the Apostles Lie So They Could Die as Martyrs?

By J. Warner Wallace 7/28/2017

     A few years back I spoke with Bobby Conway (the One Minute Apologist) and answered the question, “Did the disciples lie about the resurrection of Jesus?“As a skeptic, I believed that the story of the Resurrection was either a late distortion (a legend) created by Christians well after the fact, or a conspiratorial lie on the part of the original Apostles. It wasn’t until I started working homicides (and homicidal conspiracies in particular) that I decided an Apostolic conspiracy was unreasonable. I’ve written a chapter in Cold Case Christianity describing the five necessary elements of successful conspiracies, and none of these elements were present for the Apostles. But even more importantly, the Apostles lacked the proper motivation to lie about the Resurrection. My case work as a homicide detective taught me something important: there are only three motives behind any murder (or any crime, or sin, for that matter). All crimes are motivated by financial greed, sexual lust (relational desire) or the pursuit of power. If the Apostles committed the crime of fraud on an unsuspecting world, they were motivated by one of these three intentions. Most people will agree that none of the Apostles gained anything financially or sexually from their testimony, but some skeptics have argued the Apostles may have been motivated by the pursuit of power. Didn’t these men become leaders in the Church on the basis of their claims? Couldn’t this pursuit of leadership status have motivated them to lie? Wasn’t it a goal of early martyrs to die for their faith anyway?

     The Apostles Knew the Difference Between Ministry and Martyrdom | The Book of Acts and the letters of Paul provide us with a glimpse into the lives of the Apostles. The Apostles were clearly pursued and mistreated, and the New Testament narratives and letters describe their repeated efforts to avoid capture. The Apostles continually evaded capture in an effort to continue their personal ministries as eyewitnesses. The New Testament accounts describe men who were bold enough to maintain their ministry, but clever enough to avoid apprehension for as long as possible.

     The Apostles Knew the Difference Between a Consequence and a Goal | These early eyewitnesses were fully aware of the fact that their testimony would put them in jeopardy, but they understood this to be the consequence of their role as eyewitnesses rather than the goal. That’s why they attempted to avoid death as long as possible. While it may be true that later generations of believers wanted to emulate the Apostles through an act of martyrdom, this was not the case for the Apostles themselves.

     The Apostles Knew the Difference Between Fame and Infamy | It’s one thing to be famous, but another to be famously despised. Some of us have attained widespread fame based on something noble (like Mother Teresa). Some of us have attained widespread fame because of something sinister (like Jerry Sandusky). The apostles were roundly despised by their Jewish culture as a consequence of their leadership within the fledgling Christian community. If they were lying about their testimony to gain the respect and admiration of the culture they were trying to convert, they were taking the wrong approach. The Apostles only succeeded in gaining the infamy that eventually cost them their lives. This was obvious to them from the onset; they knew their testimony would leave them powerless to stop their own brutal martyrdom.

Click here to read all of the article

J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of:

Lost in Translation How Christianese Hides the Gospel

By Greg Morse 8/23/2017

     The terror of criminals sought somewhere to hide.

     His pursuer was near and he, outmatched. The eerie voice cried out, “So, you think the darkness will hide you?”

     Bane stalked Gotham’s Dark Knight. Shadows refused to assist the hero. Smokescreens could hide him no longer. Before Bane mauled the Batman, he mocked, “Theatricality and deception are powerful agents to the uninitiated . . . but we are initiated, aren’t we, Bruce? Members of the League of Shadows!”

     I’m afraid many of professing Christians have started our own League of Shadows.

     We have mastered the art of theatricality and deception, not in physical combat but in our communication. When we evangelize the unchurched, the uninitiated, the dead, we bruise them with abstract language and distract them with theological jargon. Whereas the early church declared their faith clearly, receiving scoffs, persecution, and souls, we often receive politically correct smiles, dizzied stares, and slow head-nods with a kind, but apathetic “Ah-huh.”

     Telling the world about Christ in foggy terms is the bane of our evangelism.

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     Greg Morse is a content strategist for desiringGod.org and graduate of Bethlehem College & Seminary.

How to Find Strength in the Strength of God

By John Piper 9/2/2014

     How do you do a task in the strength of another? How do you exert your will to do something in such a way that you are relying on the will of another to make it happen?

     Here are some passages from the Bible that press this question on us:

     “By the Spirit . . . put to death the deeds of the body” (Romans 8:13). So, we are to do the sin-killing, but we are to do it by the Spirit. How?

     “Work out your own salvation . . . for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12–13). We are to work. But the willing and the working is God’s willing and God’sworking. How do we experience that?

     “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Corinthians 15:10). Paul did work hard. But his effort was in some way not his. How did he do that?

     “I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” (Colossians 1:29). We toil. We struggle. We expend effort and energy. But there is a way to do it so that it is God’s energy and God’s doing. How do we do that?

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     John Piper is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books.

John Piper Books:

Love Is Not a Secondary Matter

By Steven Lawson 2/22/2017

     It is virtually impossible to exaggerate the importance of love. Nothing is more basic to true spirituality than this singular virtue. Nothing is more central to Christian living. At the very heart of authentic discipleship is love. Without love, we are nothing. When Jesus was asked, “Which is the great commandment in the Law?” (Matt. 22:36), He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (v. 37). Christ then added a second commandment that follows directly from the first: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (v. 39). In this, Jesus asserted that our love for one another is the identifying badge of discipleship (John 13:35). The Apostle Paul further maintained that such love is the fulfillment of the Law (Gal. 5:14). That is to say, love meets every requirement of the divine standard. It is a debt that can never be repaid, so love must be given continually (Rom. 13:8). In Christian living, love is not a secondary matter — it is a primary matter. Love is never incidental. It is fundamental.

     Tragically, this was the very point at which the church in Corinth fell short. By all outward appearances, the Corinthian Christians had everything going for them — strong teaching, lofty knowledge, profound giftedness, dynamic worship. Nevertheless, there was one area in which this early church was glaringly deficient: love. They had everything except love. Thus, in reality, they had nothing.

     This underlying problem in the Corinthian church was due primarily to their pride. They were self-centered, self-focused, and self-absorbed. As such, they gave undue prominence to certain spiritual gifts while, at the same time, they devalued the more important virtue of love. In particular, the Corinthians elevated the public speaking gifts of preaching and teaching, promoted prophecy and speaking in tongues, and prized knowledge and learning. They treasured flashier, showier gifts that pandered to their emotions and catered to their flesh.

     There is certainly nothing inherently wrong with these spiritual gifts. After all, these are gracious gifts given by God Himself. But in the Corinthian church, these gifts no longer served as means of grace to a higher end. Instead, they had become ends in themselves. Addressing this self-consumed arrogance, Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 13, a profound passage of Scripture that emphatically underscores the priority of love. In the Apostle’s view, love is so basic, so fundamental to the Christian faith, that one has absolutely nothing if there is no love.

     As Paul addressed the subject of love, he clearly emphasized that Christian love is the sacrificial self-giving that seeks the highest good in another. In this, the Apostle was stressing that all genuine love requires costly sacrifice. The Bible says, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son” (John 3:16, emphasis mine). Because God loved, He gave what was most costly to Him. In short, there is no love where there is no sacrifice. True love costs.

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     Steven J. Lawson is president of OnePassion Ministries, a ministry designed to bring about biblical reformation in the church today, as well as the Professor of Preaching in the masters and doctoral programs at The Master's Seminary, Sun Valley, California. Steven J. Lawson Books:

What If My Worst Fears Come True?

By Jon Bloom 9/1/2017

     What does it mean that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” so much so that “we will not fear” (Psalm 46:1–2)? More poignantly, what do you believe it means? That’s where the rubber of your faith meets the road of your real life.

     Crises of faith occur where the rubber of our faith — what we believe should be our experience if we trust God — meets the road of an experience that contradicts (or appears to contradict) our belief. Often this happens when some evil befalls us, leaving us disoriented and confused, feeling angry and disillusioned with God, who doesn’t appear to be following through on his promises.

     After all, didn’t Jesus teach us to pray, “Deliver us from evil” (Matthew 6:13)? And when we do, didn’t David teach us to expect this result: “I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4)? Isn’t God supposed to be “a refuge for us” (Psalm 62:8) from the things we most fear?

     Disordered Fears | The answers to those questions are yes — and perhaps no. God does promise to ultimately deliver us from all evil and from the most fearful things, the things that pose the most real danger to our souls. But he does not promise that no evil will ever befall us in this age, nor does he promise to deliver us from what personally strikes the most fear into us.

     All of us have disordered fears, and they pose more trouble and heartache for us than we can often comprehend. We tend to have too little fear for the things most dangerous to our souls, and too much fear over things far less dangerous.

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     Jon Bloom serves as author, board chair, and co-founder of Desiring God. He and his wife live in the Twin Cities with their five children.

Jon Bloom Books:

The Most Dangerous Place to Raise a Child

By Marco Silva 9/3/2017

     Our craving for more has plagued us from the very beginning.

     Our first parents lusted after more when they trusted a talking snake and took forbidden fruit to satisfy their longing to be like God (Genesis 3:5). When God brought his beloved people through the parted sea, Israel’s triumphant song devolved into grumbling over meat and bread in less than two months (Exodus 16:2–3). The prophet Amos decried the northern kingdom of Israel for their gluttonous appetite, which led them to “trample the head of the poor into the dust of the earth” (Amos 2:6–8).

     The Old Testament leaves us with no lack for examples of greed among God’s chosen people.

     And should we think we’re immune, we must realize that this diseased desire for greedy gain doesn’t just infiltrate its way from outside us into the recesses of our minds; it bubbles through the cracks of hearts that exchange “the fountain of living waters” for “broken cisterns that can hold no water” (Jeremiah 2:13).

     The cup of our lives might sparkle with that just-washed sheen on the outside, but inside, the grime of greed has caked itself on in layers too thick to scrub away with mere elbow grease.

Click here to read all of the article

     Marco Silva is a husband, father, seminary student at Bethlehem College & Seminary, and content strategist for desiringGod.org.

True Compassion Will Cost Us Refugees, Widows, Orphans

By Marco Silva 2/1/2017

     Our seam-bursting schedules scream for attention. Work deadlines demand, school assignments summon, and social engagements expand our already overburdened loads. Even if we really wanted to, how could we possibly make time to care for someone in need? Can we really make a difference in that struggling teen’s life? Do we compromise the safety of our own family if we invite that stranger into our home for dinner? Can we make any difference in the lives of refugees, even as they feel the new threat to their sojourning among us?

     Whatever our excuses — and surely we have some good ones — texts like James 1:27 call us as Christians to reassess our priorities:

     Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world

     Good Deeds with Side Effects | Let’s face it: compassion is always costly. And not just in dollars dispensed from our bank accounts. Like the list on a medicine label, compassion has side effects. Common side effects may include:

     
  • discomfort
  • reduced time for recreation
  • increased exposure to awkward situations
  • feelings of helplessness
  • and any number of other inhibitors.

Click here to read all of the article

     Marco Silva is a husband, father, seminary student at Bethlehem College & Seminary, and content strategist for desiringGod.org.



  • Mission for Christ
  • God is Enough
  • Understanding Mormonism

#1 Leon Stevenson  
Gordon College


 

#2 Corey MacPherson   
Gordon College


 

#3 Matthew Schmalz   
Gordon College


 


  Devotionals, notes, poetry and more

American Minute
     by Bill Federer

     As recorded in the Journals of the Continental Congress, at nine o’clock in the Morning, on this day, September 7, 1774, in Carpenter’s Hall, Philadelphia, the very first act of Congress was to open with prayer. John Adams wrote: “[Reverend Duche’]… read several prayers in the established form, and… the thirty-fifth Psalm… I never saw a greater effect upon an audience. It seemed as if heaven had ordained that Psalm to be read on that Morning. After this, Mr. Duche’, unexpectedly to every body, struck out into an extemporary prayer, which filled the bosom of every man present. I must confess, I never heard a better prayer.”

American Minute

Lean Into God
     Compiled by Richard S. Adams


What is truly profound is thought to be stupid and trivial, or worse, boring,
while what is actually stupid and trivial is thought to be profound.
That is what it means to fly upside down.
--- Dallas Willard   The Divine Conspiracy: Rediscovering Our Hidden Life In God


A true Christian is known by a Christian life and not by the name "Christian." He who wishes to be a true Christian must endeavor to let one see Christ in him, in his love, humility, and graciousness, for no one can be a Christian in whom Christ does not live... The spirit of Christ must rule a Christian’s life and make him conformed to Christ.
--- Johann Arndt   Johann Arndt: True Christianity (Classics of Western Spirituality)


My friends, when God’s presence comes into your life full of selfishness with his love, full of power with your anxiety, there’s going to be a clash.
--- Timothy Keller

... from here, there and everywhere

History of the Destruction of Jerusalem
     Thanks to Meir Yona

     4. And now these zealots and Idumeans were quite weary of barely killing men, so they had the impudence of setting up fictitious tribunals and judicatures for that purpose; and as they intended to have Zacharias 9 the son of Baruch, one of the most eminent of the citizens, slain, so what provoked them against him was, that hatred of wickedness and love of liberty which were so eminent in him: he was also a rich man, so that by taking him off, they did not only hope to seize his effects, but also to get rid of a mall that had great power to destroy them. So they called together, by a public proclamation, seventy of the principal men of the populace, for a show, as if they were real judges, while they had no proper authority. Before these was Zacharias accused of a design to betray their polity to the Romans, and having traitorously sent to Vespasian for that purpose. Now there appeared no proof or sign of what he was accused; but they affirmed themselves that they were well persuaded that so it was, and desired that such their affirmation might be taken for sufficient evidence. Now when Zacharias clearly saw that there was no way remaining for his escape from them, as having been treacherously called before them, and then put in prison, but not with any intention of a legal trial, he took great liberty of speech in that despair of his life he was under. Accordingly he stood up, and laughed at their pretended accusation, and in a few words confuted the crimes laid to his charge; after which he turned his speech to his accusers, and went over distinctly all their transgressions of the law, and made heavy lamentation upon the confusion they had brought public affairs to: in the mean time, the zealots grew tumultuous, and had much ado to abstain from drawing their swords, although they designed to preserve the appearance and show of judicature to the end. They were also desirous, on other accounts, to try the judges, whether they would be mindful of what was just at their own peril. Now the seventy judges brought in their verdict that the person accused was not guilty, as choosing rather to die themselves with him, than to have his death laid at their doors; hereupon there arose a great clamor of the zealots upon his acquittal, and they all had indignation at the judges for not understanding that the authority that was given them was but in jest. So two of the boldest of them fell upon Zacharias in the middle of the temple, and slew him; and as he fell down dead, they bantered him, and said, "Thou hast also our verdict, and this will prove a more sure acquittal to thee than the other." They also threw him down from the temple immediately into the valley beneath it. Moreover, they struck the judges with the backs of their swords, by way of abuse, and thrust them out of the court of the temple, and spared their lives with no other design than that, when they were dispersed among the people in the city, they might become their messengers, to let them know they were no better than slaves.

     5. But by this time the Idumeans repented of their coming, and were displeased at what had been done; and when they were assembled together by one of the zealots, who had come privately to them, he declared to them what a number of wicked pranks they had themselves done in conjunction with those that invited them, and gave a particular account of what mischiefs had been done against their metropolis. He said that they had taken arms, as though the high priests were betraying their metropolis to the Romans, but had found no indication of any such treachery; but that they had succored those that had pretended to believe such a thing, while they did themselves the works of war and tyranny, after an insolent manner. It had been indeed their business to have hindered them from such their proceedings at the first, but seeing they had once been partners with them in shedding the blood of their own countrymen, it was high time to put a stop to such crimes, and not continue to afford any more assistance to such as are subverting the laws of their forefathers; for that if any had taken it ill that the gates had been shut against them, and they had not been permitted to come into the city, yet that those who had excluded them have been punished, and Ananus is dead, and that almost all those people had been destroyed in one night's time. That one may perceive many of themselves now repenting for what they had done, and might see the horrid barbarity of those that had invited them, and that they had no regard to such as had saved them; that they were so impudent as to perpetrate the vilest things, under the eyes of those that had supported them, and that their wicked actions would be laid to the charge of the Idumeans, and would be so laid to their charge till somebody obstructs their proceedings, or separates himself from the same wicked action; that they therefore ought to retire home, since the imputation of treason appears to be a Calumny, and that there was no expectation of the coming of the Romans at this time, and that the government of the city was secured by such walls as cannot easily be thrown down; and, by avoiding any further fellowship with these bad men, to make some excuse for themselves, as to what they had been so far deluded, as to have been partners with them hitherto.

     The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem, by Flavius Josephus Translator: William Whiston

The War of the Jews: The History of the Destruction of Jerusalem (complete edition, 7 books)

Proverbs 24:10-12
     by D.H. Stern

10     If you slack off on a day of distress,
     your strength is small indeed.
11     Yes, rescue those being dragged off to death—
     won’t you save those about to be killed?
12     If you say, “We knew nothing about it,”
     won’t he who weighs hearts discern it?
Yes, he who guards you will know it
     and repay each one as his deeds deserve.

Complete Jewish Bible : An English Version of the Tanakh (Old Testament) and B'Rit Hadashah (New Testament)
My Utmost For The Highest
     A Daily Devotional by Oswald Chambers


                Diffusiveness of life

     The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water. --- John 4:14.

     The picture Our Lord gives is not that of a channel but a fountain. ‘Be being filled,’ and the sweetness of vital relationship to Jesus will flow out of the saint as lavishly as it is imparted to him. If you find your life is not flowing out as it should, you are to blame; something has obstructed the flow. Keep right at the Source, and—you will be blessed personally? No, out of you will flow rivers of living water, irrepressible life.

     We are to be centres through which Jesus can flow as rivers of living water in blessing to everyone. Some of us are like the Dead Sea, always taking in but never giving out, because we are not rightly related to the Lord Jesus. As surely as we receive from Him, He will pour out through us, and in the measure He is not pouring out, there is a defect in our relationship to Him. Is there anything between you and Jesus Christ? Is there anything that hinders your belief in Him? If not, Jesus says, out of you will flow rivers of living water. It is not a blessing passed on, not an experience stated, but a river continually flowing. Keep at the Source, guard well your belief in Jesus Christ and your relationship to Him, and there will be a steady flow for other lives, no dryness and no deadness.

     Is it not too extravagant to say that out of an individual believer, rivers are going to flow? ‘I do not see the rivers,’ you say. Never look at yourself from the standpoint of—‘Who am I?’ In the history of God’s work you will nearly always find that it has started from the obscure, the unknown, the ignored, but the steadfastly true to Jesus Christ.


My Utmost for His Highest: Quality Paperback Edition

The Face (Tares)
     the Poetry of RS Thomas


                The Face (Tares)

I see his face pressed to the wind's pane,
  Staring with cold eyes: a country face
  Without beauty, yet with the land's trace
  Of sadness, badness, madness. I knew when
  I first saw him that was the man
  To turn the mind on, letting its beam
  Discover rottenness at the seams
  Of the light's garment I found him in.

Did I look long enough or too long?
  On the weak brow nature's ruthless course
  Was charted, but the lips' thin song
  Never reached me; rain's decrepit hearse
  Carried him off in the slow funeral
  Of all his kind, leaving the heart full.


Selected poems, 1946-1968

Searching For Meaning In Midrash
     D’RASH


     There is a well-known tradition in the theater that just before an actor is about to go on stage he or she is told “Break a leg!” It is a very odd sort of salutation! What could possibly be the origin or the point of such a phrase?

     One theory, usually discounted, is that it is a reference to Sarah Bernhardt, the greatest actress of her time, whose leg had been amputated. A second possibility is that actors, like most people, are very superstitious. To wish them good luck before a show might jinx them; it would be asking for trouble from unseen forces that are always eager to bring about mischief or disaster. Others think it may have derived from a play on the word “break,” as in “May this performance be your big break.”

     One might also speculate that the phrase might have become a part of the actor’s preparation. The essence of acting is not the memorization of lines but the transformation into a role, the becoming of another person. The actor’s craft requires sensing things that he or she as an individual does not feel. It is to look beyond the self and imagine the thoughts and emotions of someone else. Who knows? Maybe “break a leg” is an exercise allowing the actor to imagine a pain that isn’t really there.

     That skill of imagining things that do not exist is something from which non-actors might benefit. Human beings tend to live in the moment. If something bad happens to us, we are upset; if something good occurs, we rejoice. We generally see things only as they affect us, and only as they affect us right now.

     Rabbi Yishmael reminds us that final outcomes are often very different from initial expectations. What could be good about a cow breaking its leg? And yet, in the long run, the accident turned into a blessing in disguise. How could anything positive result from Korah’s coup against Aaron? And yet the dark cloud that initially rained upon Aaron had a silver lining that left him much more secure than he otherwise would have been.

     We tend to curse the failures, obstacles, and adversities that beset us, and we bemoan our fate. Yet life is sometimes unpredictable. A man gets fired from his job and thinks that his career is over. A month later, he is free when an incredible opportunity that will lead to great success comes his way. Had he still been working at his old firm, he never would have been available for the new job.

     On the verge of getting engaged, a woman is “dumped” by her boyfriend of three years. She goes into a deep depression, thinking that her one chance for happiness is gone for good. But six months later she meets another man who turns out to be her soul mate.

     There’s something else about breaking a leg. While it’s terribly painful and leaves us hobbling around for several weeks, there is a magic to the way bones heal: They end up even stronger than they were before the break. That’s often how it is in life as well.

     ANOTHER D’RASH

     In English, one brings a “sacrifice,” something you lose or forego, to the Temple. In Hebrew, it’s a קָרְבָּן/korban, from the root meaning “close” or “near.” A korban was intended to bring the individual closer to God. The question was not “Have you been affected by what you gave up?” but “Did what you give bring you up toward God?”

     We no longer offer animal sacrifices, but we still look for ways to link the human and the divine. At times, we may reach out to God out of a sense of thanksgiving and gratitude. At other times, it will be our neediness that causes us to pray (just as the English word “prayer” is from the Latin root meaning “to beg”). We may also seek God’s presence because of guilt, the realization that we have not lived up to our God-given potential.

     Ancient man understood that the sacrifice could unite the person, who offered it, and God, who received it. And this process could be repeated often during the year. The Kohen, the clergy of that time, was the officiant who shared in the life of the Israelite and helped him find that sense of God in the experience of a sacrifice.

     The Rabbis also saw a message in a Hebrew word used when referring to offerings. The word וְנָתְנוּ/v’natnu, “they shall give,” is a palindrome, reading the same way in both directions. It’s a two-way street. When you give, you also receive in turn. Thus, the korban was an opportunity not for sacrifice, but for the giving-and-receiving experience that brought the Israelite closer to God.

     We, too, should strive to transform religion from an experience of sacrifice to one of drawing nearer to God.


Searching for Meaning in Midrash: Lessons for Everyday Living

Take Heart
     September 7

     In my Father’s house are many rooms. --- John 14:2.

     This means that there are seats of various dignity and different degrees and circumstances of honor and happiness. (Selected Sermons of Jonathan Edwards ) Though they are all seats of great honor and blessedness, yet some are greater than others.

     This is how a palace is built. Though every part of the palace is magnificent, some apartments are more stately and costly than others. One apartment is the king’s chamber, other apartments [are] for the heir to the crown, others for other children, others for their attendants and the great officers of the household.

     Another image of this was in Solomon’s temple. There were many rooms of different degrees of honor and dignity. There was the holy of holies, where the ark was, the place of God’s residence, where the high priest alone might enter. There was another apartment called the holy place, where the other priests might enter. Next to that was the inner court of the temple, where the Levites were admitted, and [wherein were] lodgings for the priests. Next to that was the court of Israel where the people of Israel might enter. Next to that was the court of the Gentiles, where the Gentiles might enter.

     Not that we are to understand the words of Christ so much in a literal sense, that every saint in heaven is to have a certain seat or room or dwelling where he or she is locally fixed. But we are to understand what Christ says chiefly in a spiritual sense. People will have different degrees of honor and glory in heaven, aptly represented as different seats of honor. Some will be nearer the throne than others. Some will be next to Christ.

     When Christ was going to heaven and the disciples were sorrowful at parting with their Lord, he let them know that there are rooms of various degrees of honor in his Father’s house, that there was not only one for him, the head of the church, but also for those who were his disciples and younger brothers and sisters.

     Christ also may mean not only degrees of glory in heaven but different activities. We know their activities in general—some may be set in one place for one kind of work and others in another. God has set everyone in the body as it has pleased him; one is the eye, another the ear, another the head, and so on.
--- Jonathan Edwards


Take Heart: Daily Devotions with the Church's Great Preachers

On This Day
     Turf Wars  September 7

     In twelfth-century Europe, the relationship between pope and emperor was like the dance of the porcupines. The emperor needed the pope to instill reverence; the pope needed the emperor to protect the church. But which of the two was supreme?

     On September 7, 1159 Cardinal Orlando Roland was proclaimed Pope Alexander III, but he wasn’t well received by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, for he had once quipped, “From whom does the emperor receive his dignity if not from the pope?” Frederick immediately named a rival pope, Octavian, who moved into the Vatican. France, Spain, and England sided with Alexander. Germany, Hungary, Bohemia, Norway, and Sweden supported Octavian. Italy was divided.

     War broke out. In November 1166 Frederick crossed the Alps, attacking and routing the armies supporting Alexander. But he soon found himself facing a mightier enemy than the pope’s. The Roman Fever broke out among his troops, sweeping away his noblemen, knights, and soldiers. Frederick broke camp in haste and recrossed the Alps with a few straggling survivors.

     He eventually took steps to reconcile with Alexander, the spiritual head of his enemies; and after 18 years of conflict, the two men met to sign peace accords in front of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Venice on July 24, 1177. The pope sat in his pontifical dress, surrounded by cardinals, archbishops, and other dignitaries. The emperor arrived in a magnificent gondola with a train of nobles. He emerged from his conveyance and proceeded toward the cathedral. Overcome by feelings of reverence, he cast off his mantle, bowed, and fell at the pope’s feet. Alexander wept, raised him up, and kissed him. The multitude burst into song.

     Legend persists of a whispered exchange in which Frederick reputedly said in the pope’s ear, “I do this homage to Peter, not to thee,” to which Alexander replied, “To Peter and to me.”

     It wasn’t a lasting peace; and Alexander III was again driven from Rome to Civata Castellana where he died in exile in 1181.

     Jesus called the disciples together and said:
You know that foreign rulers like to order their people around. And their great leaders have full power over everyone they rule. But don’t act like them. If you want to be great, you must be the servant of all the others.
--- Matthew 20:25,26.


On This Day 365 Amazing And Inspiring Stories About Saints, Martyrs And Heroes

Morning and Evening
     Daily Readings / CHARLES H. SPURGEON

          Morning - September 7

     "And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay." --- Mark 2:4.

     Faith is full of inventions. The house was full, a crowd blocked up the door, but faith found a way of getting at the Lord and placing the palsied man before him. If we cannot get sinners where Jesus is by ordinary methods we must use extraordinary ones. It seems, according to Luke 5:19, that a tiling had to be removed, which would make dust and cause a measure of danger to those below, but where the case is very urgent we must not mind running some risks and shocking some proprieties. Jesus was there to heal, and therefore fall what might, faith ventured all so that her poor paralysed charge might have his sins forgiven. O that we had more daring faith among us! Cannot we, dear reader, seek it this Morning for ourselves and for our fellow-workers, and will we not try to-day to perform some gallant act for the love of souls and the glory of the Lord.

     The world is constantly inventing; genius serves all the purposes of human desire: cannot faith invent too, and reach by some new means the outcasts who lie perishing around us? It was the presence of Jesus which excited victorious courage in the four bearers of the palsied man: is not the Lord among us now? Have we seen his face for ourselves this Morning? Have we felt his healing power in our own souls? If so, then through door, through window, or through roof, let us, breaking through all impediments, labour to bring poor souls to Jesus. All means are good and decorous when faith and love are truly set on winning souls. If hunger for bread can break through stone walls, surely hunger for souls is not to be hindered in its efforts. O Lord, make us quick to suggest methods of reaching thy poor sin-sick ones, and bold to carry them out at all hazards.


          Evening - September 7

     “There is sorrow on the sea; it cannot be quiet.”
--- Jeremiah 49:23.

     Little know we what sorrow may be upon the sea at this moment. We are safe in our quiet chamber, but far away on the salt sea the hurricane may be cruelly seeking for the lives of men. Hear how the death fiends howl among the cordage; how every timber starts as the waves beat like battering rams upon the vessel! God help you, poor drenched and wearied ones! My prayer goes up to the great Lord of sea and land, that he will make the storm a calm, and bring you to your desired haven! Nor ought I to offer prayer alone, I should try to benefit those hardy men who risk their lives so constantly. Have I ever done anything for them? What can I do? How often does the boisterous sea swallow up the mariner! Thousands of corpses lie where pearls lie deep. There is death-sorrow on the sea, which is echoed in the long wail of widows and orphans. The salt of the sea is in many eyes of mothers and wives. Remorseless billows, ye have devoured the love of women, and the stay of households. What a resurrection shall there be from the caverns of the deep when the sea gives up her dead! Till then there will be sorrow on the sea. As if in sympathy with the woes of earth, the sea is for ever fretting along a thousand shores, wailing with a sorrowful cry like her own birds, booming with a hollow crash of unrest, raving with uproarious discontent, chafing with hoarse wrath, or jangling with the voices of ten thousand murmuring pebbles. The roar of the sea may be joyous to a rejoicing spirit, but to the son of sorrow the wide, wide ocean is even more forlorn than the wide, wide world. This is not our rest, and the restless billows tell us so. There is a land where there is no more sea—our faces are steadfastly set towards it; we are going to the place of which the Lord hath spoken. Till then, we cast our sorrows on the Lord who trod the sea of old, and who maketh a way for his people through the depths thereof.

Morning and Evening: A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on The Holy Bible, English Standard Version

Amazing Grace
     September 7

          GREAT GOD OF WONDERS

     Samuel Davies, 1723–1761

     O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty. Psalm 104:1

     It is possible for Christians to lose a sense of the infinite power and greatness of God and make of Him merely a heavenly friend—a God who is no bigger than our mundane needs. Our personal and intimate relationship with God must always be balanced with the realization that He is still the “Great God of Wonders.” This great God is as unbounded in His presence as He is in His glory and power—even the heavens cannot contain Him (1 Kings 8:27). This was the awareness that King Solomon had after building his magnificent temple. He stated in this passage that if God cannot be contained even in the highest heaven, “how much less in this temple I have built.” God’s great design in all of His works is the manifestation of His own glory. His glory is the result of His very nature and acts. A mark of a mature Christian is the ability to say “not unto us, but unto Thy name be glory” (Psalm 29:2).

     The author of this hymn text, Samuel Davies, was an American Presbyterian minister who was appointed president of Princeton University in 1759, succeeding the well-known evangelist, Jonathan Edwards. Dr. Davies was a man of distinguished ability and was highly influential in the fields of religion and education. He wrote a number of fine hymns that had a wide acceptance in the 18th century, especially in England.

     Although not a trained musician, composer John Newton could, when necessary, compose the music for texts as well. His musical setting is well-suited to this fine text by Samuel Davies, and it makes a strong vehicle for conveying its majestic quality, especially on the refrain:

     Great God of wonders! all Thy ways are matchless, God-like and divine; but the fair glories of Thy grace more God-like and unrivaled shine, more God-like and unrivaled shine.
     In wonder lost, with trembling joy, we take the pardon of our God: Pardon for crimes of deepest dye, a pardon bought with Jesus’ blood, a pardon bought with Jesus’ blood.
     O may this strange, this matchless grace, this God-like miracle of love, fill the whole earth with grateful praise, and all th’ angelic choirs above, and all th’ angelic choirs above.
     Refrain: Who is a pard’ning God like Thee? Or who has grace so rich and free? Or who has grace so rich and free?

     For Today: 1 Chronicles 29:11; Job 36:5; Psalm 31:19; 145:3; Isaiah 40:26, 28

     Reflect again on God’s greatness. In what ways do we sometimes try to contain His greatness? Determine to let “God be God” in every situation. Carry this musical question as you go ---

Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

Book Of Common Prayer
     Thursday, September 7, 2017 | After Pentecost

Proper 17, Thursday
Year 1

Psalms (Morning)     Psalm 37:1–17
Psalms (Evening)     Psalm 37:18–40
Old Testament     1 Kings 11:1–13
New Testament     James 3:13–4:12
Gospel     Mark 15:12–21

Index of Readings

Psalms (Morning)
Psalm 37:1–17

1 Do not fret because of the wicked;
do not be envious of wrongdoers,
2 for they will soon fade like the grass,
and wither like the green herb.

3 Trust in the LORD, and do good;
so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will make your vindication shine like the light,
and the justice of your cause like the noonday.

7 Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him;
do not fret over those who prosper in their way,
over those who carry out evil devices.

8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath.
Do not fret—it leads only to evil.
9 For the wicked shall be cut off,
but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.

10 Yet a little while, and the wicked will be no more;
though you look diligently for their place, they will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land,
and delight themselves in abundant prosperity.

12 The wicked plot against the righteous,
and gnash their teeth at them;
13 but the LORD laughs at the wicked,
for he sees that their day is coming.

14 The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows
to bring down the poor and needy,
to kill those who walk uprightly;
15 their sword shall enter their own heart,
and their bows shall be broken.

16 Better is a little that the righteous person has
than the abundance of many wicked.
17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken,
but the LORD upholds the righteous.

Psalms (Evening)
Psalm 37:18–40

18 The LORD knows the days of the blameless,
and their heritage will abide forever;
19 they are not put to shame in evil times,
in the days of famine they have abundance.

20 But the wicked perish,
and the enemies of the LORD are like the glory of the pastures;
they vanish—like smoke they vanish away.

21 The wicked borrow, and do not pay back,
but the righteous are generous and keep giving;
22 for those blessed by the LORD shall inherit the land,
but those cursed by him shall be cut off.

23 Our steps are made firm by the LORD,
when he delights in our way;
24 though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong,
for the LORD holds us by the hand.

25 I have been young, and now am old,
yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
26 They are ever giving liberally and lending,
and their children become a blessing.

27 Depart from evil, and do good;
so you shall abide forever.
28 For the LORD loves justice;
he will not forsake his faithful ones.

The righteous shall be kept safe forever,
but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land,
and live in it forever.

30 The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom,
and their tongues speak justice.
31 The law of their God is in their hearts;
their steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watch for the righteous,
and seek to kill them.
33 The LORD will not abandon them to their power,
or let them be condemned when they are brought to trial.

34 Wait for the LORD, and keep to his way,

and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on the destruction of the wicked.

35 I have seen the wicked oppressing,
and towering like a cedar of Lebanon.
36 Again I passed by, and they were no more;
though I sought them, they could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless, and behold the upright,
for there is posterity for the peaceable.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
the posterity of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their refuge in the time of trouble.
40 The LORD helps them and rescues them;
he rescues them from the wicked, and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.

Old Testament
1 Kings 11:1–13

11 King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, 2 from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the Israelites, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you; for they will surely incline your heart to follow their gods”; Solomon clung to these in love. 3 Among his wives were seven hundred princesses and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart. 4 For when Solomon was old, his wives turned away his heart after other gods; and his heart was not true to the LORD his God, as was the heart of his father David. 5 For Solomon followed Astarte the goddess of the Sidonians, and Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites. 6 So Solomon did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not completely follow the LORD, as his father David had done. 7 Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, and for Molech the abomination of the Ammonites, on the mountain east of Jerusalem. 8 He did the same for all his foreign wives, who offered incense and sacrificed to their gods.

9 Then the LORD was angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice, 10 and had commanded him concerning this matter, that he should not follow other gods; but he did not observe what the LORD commanded. 11 Therefore the LORD said to Solomon, “Since this has been your mind and you have not kept my covenant and my statutes that I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you and give it to your servant. 12 Yet for the sake of your father David I will not do it in your lifetime; I will tear it out of the hand of your son. 13 I will not, however, tear away the entire kingdom; I will give one tribe to your son, for the sake of my servant David and for the sake of Jerusalem, which I have chosen.”

New Testament
James 3:13–4:12

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15 Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16 For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18 And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

4 Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2 You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you suppose that it is for nothing that the scripture says, “God yearns jealously for the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? 6 But he gives all the more grace; therefore it says,

     “God opposes the proud,
     but gives grace to the humble.”

7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy into dejection. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

11 Do not speak evil against one another, brothers and sisters. Whoever speaks evil against another or judges another, speaks evil against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver and judge who is able to save and to destroy. So who, then, are you to judge your neighbor?

Gospel
Mark 15:12–21

12 Pilate spoke to them again, “Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate asked them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.

16 Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. 18 And they began saluting him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. 20 After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.


The Book of Common Prayer: And Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church



Real Life
Greg Carmer   Gordon College





Faith and Life
Dan Tymann   Gordon College






Creative Community: Lessons from U2
Beth Maynard   Boston College



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Faith Seeking Understanding
Peter Berger   Boston College






Martin Luther King Legacy
Liz Walker   Gordon College





A Righteous Grace
Stan Gaede   Gordon College






Science, Faith, and God
Ron Hansen   Gordon College





Apocrypha Witness Between the Testaments L6 Wisdom of Solomon, Greek Esther, 3 Macc
David A. deSilva, Ph.D.






Apocrypha Witness Between the Testaments L7 4 Macc., Ps 151, Prayer of Manasseh
David A. deSilva, Ph.D.