Echoes in an Empty Soul


http://arts.stanford.edu/excavating-an-echo/

Thursday, February 28, 2013

James 2

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Amid the many verses that convict in this chapter, James poses ten questions to us with responses that need to echo forth from an emptied self. If the walls of your soul do not bounce with the sound of these truths, perhaps there may yet lurk hidden sinfulness that muffles their tones.

The letter challenges us with its call to integrity. The final verse overcomes the apparent opposition between Faith Alone of Paul and Faith and Works of James. “Just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead.”

James is strong, but loving as well. So would any best friend of yours be, who saw you doing something to tarnish the goodness of God meant to shine from you. Take to heart. Repent. Be healed.

The Reading for Today
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Faith Comes By Hearing

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This is the Second Week in Lent, Year C.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
During Lent we read the letter of James.

Total Satisfaction

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Psalm 131

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Does it stretch the imagination to link this quiet, intimate song with throngs of noisy people on the move to Jerusalem? Surely, in the crowd there is many a mother needing to pause by the roadside to nurse her baby. At that moment, no need to think about catching up with the rest. Time stops as she gazes down upon her child—mouth slightly open, lips still dripping with milk as the baby dozes off to sleep in total satisfaction.

We typically need three meals a day to keep up our strength. Yet more than the food we eat is the nourishment we need from the Lord. Pause regularly in the journey of the day and the week to your Jerusalem. Be fed by the Lord. Rest. All that you need for total satisfaction is given to you right now.

The Reading for Today
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Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

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Version for Children and Families

This is the Second Week in Lent, Year C.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Wednesdays are dedicated the Psalms. During Lent we read the Psalms of Ascent, 120-134.

Endless Arguing

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Job 25—28

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Job rebukes his companions, proclaiming the power of God. Strife and dissension continue to mount and pervade this book. Arguing rarely brings resolution, for each person stubbornly holds on to his or her position. Job and his so-called friends strive to grab after the last word that will silence the others; but it never comes.

The tension causes Job to become so defensive about his innocence, that he becomes self-righteous. While innocent of the charges leveled against him, Job fails to see that he needs to learn something about his predicament. This will come when Job finally explodes with anger in God’s presence, ironically disposing him to the Lord’s words and the beginnings of peace.

Live the tension of these readings. Prepare yourself to hear God’s Words in the response of God that comes in the final passage on Tuesday of Holy Week.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the Second Week in Lent, Year C.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.” During Lent we read the book of Job.

Ravaging the Remnant


Michelangelo “Jeremiah” 1511
Fresco, 390 x 380 cm Sistine Chapel, Vatican
http://www.wga.hu

Monday, February 25, 2012

Jeremiah 39—41

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

The holy city, Jerusalem, has fallen into the sacrilegious hands of unbelievers. Read slowly and soberly about the fall of the city. The date is July 18, 586 BCE.

Chapter 39, verse 18 rises up in hope.”You shall have your life as a prize of war,
because you have trusted in me, says the Lord.” Jeremiah models for us the sense of comfort and safety that come when we place our complete trust in the Lord. Reflect upon your own life. How does it move in relation to the kind of trust that you place in God?

Evil and tragedy continue as the wicked Ishmael betrays and murders the good governor, Gedaliah, as they break bread together. Jealousy and strife ravage the remnant of God’s people. What little is left becomes even smaller by the treachery of Ishmael. Read. Be sobered.

The Reading for Today
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Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

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Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the Second Week in Lent, Year C.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets. During Lent, we read the prophet Jeremiah.

Jerusalem Focus

Sunday, February 24, 2012

Luke 13:31-35

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

The face of Jesus is bold before his enemies. There is no fear in him as he confronts pride and deceit with absolute truth. Herod Antipas wants to kill Jesus, just as did his wicked father, Herod the Great, when Jesus was an infant.

Jerusalem has become the hub of all the hostility that will mount against Jesus and put him to death. Jesus longs to go there. Follow him to Jerusalem with the kind of victory songs from the Psalms that fill our Wednesdays in Lent.

Meditate with a wide, expansive heart upon verses 34 and 35. Get in touch with where there is sadness in your own life, facing what makes you sad, with the love that Jesus has for Jerusalem. Be one with your Lord. Pray that his profound inner emotions transform yours and make them as his.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the Second Week in Lent, Year C.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.
Year C is dedicated to the Gospel of Luke, with focus on the Gospel of John in the later weeks of Lent and during the Easter Season.

Anointing and the Cross

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Exodus 29:19—30:10

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

The passage begins with the ritual of priestly ordination of Aaron and his sons. The blood of the ram is applied to the ear, thumb, and toe, organs of receptivity and action. The anointing reminded the priests to hear only the Word of God, to do only what the Lord wants, to go only where the Lord leads.

From the earliest times in the church, symbolic gestures came to be incorporated into the prayer of Christians, such as making the sign of the cross. There developed a variation by making three crosses with the thumb on the forehead, the lips and chest. “Christ in my mind, in my mouth and in my heart.”

The origin of morning and evening prayer is outlined from 29:38. God longs to dwell with you always.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the second part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12, so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions near the International Date Line.


The Plot to Glory


Caravaggio “The Raising of Lazarus” 1608-09
Oil on canvas, 380 x 275 cm Museo Regionale, Messina
http://www.wga.hu

Friday, February 22, 2013

John 11:45-57

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Darkness closes in upon the highest religious officials, their vision squeezed into the tiny, dimly lit room of their own self-interest. So is the atmosphere after the raising of Lazarus from the dead as we begin the Friday Gospels of John in Lent this year. The plot to kill Jesus is fashioned. The Scribes and Pharisees are about to succumb to the temptations of power and control, just as did their ancestors in the desert—the same desert temptations that Jesus overcame.

John the Evangelist fills the account with ironic verses, such as verse 50: “You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed.” God is about to use the most hideous of evil plots as a plot to glory. From the greatest evil will rise the greatest good—the resurrection.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

This is the First Week in Lent, Year C.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Fridays in Lent and Easter are dedicated to the Gospel of John.