Lectionary Readings for March 3. Isaiah 55:1-9, Ps 63:1-8, 1 Cor. 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9
Isaiah 55 only has 13 verses, why stop at verse 9? Reading these, I had 3 different songs pop into my head. (Anyone notice more than that?) It's beautiful, poetic language and the scripture is familiar, thanks to our hymnody and camp songs. The verse that sticks out most for me, however, has no melody attached to it. (Some background: Our worship committee has long been talking about the issue of 'fragmentation', wondering how to approach the problem of distraction and busyness in our society and church. We wonder how to help ourselves think about priorities and the importance of faith and church community. This has bounced around in my head for awhile-to no great revelations!) Verse 2: "Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food."
This is a good starting point for thinking about fragmentation and priorities for life. There is a challenge, but also a promise of delight in what is good. It doesn't sound like denial and deprivation, but delightful indulgence in the right things. Last week at a pastor's council meeting for MCA, we had a short discussion about the problem of so much vacation travelling (and other expensive amusements) among our people. While we weren't saying no to all of it, we wonder about the amount of time and money spent amusing ourselves. (One pastor mused that church budgets would look great if we put as much into them as we do into our vacations.) What are the effects on church community? Are our priorities in balance? How do we challenge this in ways that are enriching and encouraging instead of loaded with guilt?
1 Corinthians 10:12 "So if you think that you are standing, watch out that you do not fall." A warning against self-righteousness! Maybe a helpful thing to read after doing some of the priorities thinking, especially when we are good at justifying our priorities and questioning those of others.
Any thoughts on these or the two scriptures I didn't blog about?