Reflections for Sunday, June 28th
Reflections for Sunday, June 28th
Jesus said, “Come to me, all you that are weary,and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me;for I am gentle and humble in heart,and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."So we come, to worship, to learn, to rest... in Jesus God,And may we find rest and renewalIn Christ Jesus our Lord.
Loving and Sustaining God,You call us to obedience,to follow you in all things;to give up the things we cling to,and to give ourselves wholeheartedly to your purposes.We confess that we don’t always find this easy to do.We confess that it is often very difficult to let go of the things we love.But we also know that you never ask more of us than what is possible,and that you stand ready, at all times, to sustain us,and to provide everything we need.Give us courage to faithfully follow your leading,even when we cannot see the outcome,even when the path you call us to seems impossible to comprehend.Help us to trust you in all things,to let go of everything that would stand in the wayof whole-hearted obedience to you.In the name of Jesus Christ, we pray.Amen.
After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you."
So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him.
On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away.
Then Abraham said to his young men, "Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you."
Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together.
Isaac said to his father Abraham, "Father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." He said, "The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?"
Abraham said, "God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son." So the two of them walked on together.
When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.
Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son.
But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am."
He said, "Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
So Abraham called that place "The LORD will provide"; as it is said to this day, "On the mount of the LORD it shall be provided."
How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God! Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, "I have prevailed"; my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.
But I trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
One day in late summer of that same year—the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah—Hananiah son of Azzur, a prophet from Gibeon, addressed me publicly in the Temple while all the priests and people listened. He said, “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will remove the yoke of the king of Babylon from your necks. Within two years I will bring back all the Temple treasures that King Nebuchadnezzar carried off to Babylon. And I will bring back Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, and all the other captives that were taken to Babylon. I will surely break the yoke that the king of Babylon has put on your necks. I, the Lord, have spoken!’”
Jeremiah responded to Hananiah as they stood in front of all the priests and people at the Temple. He said, “Amen! May your prophecies come true! I hope the Lord does everything you say. I hope he does bring back from Babylon the treasures of this Temple and all the captives. But listen now to the solemn words I speak to you in the presence of all these people. The ancient prophets who preceded you and me spoke against many nations, always warning of war, disaster, and disease. So a prophet who predicts peace must show he is right. Only when his predictions come true can we know that he is really from the Lord.”
Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off Jeremiah’s neck and broke it in pieces. And Hananiah said again to the crowd that had gathered, “This is what the Lord says: ‘Just as this yoke has been broken, within two years I will break the yoke of oppression from all the nations now subject to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon.’” With that, Jeremiah left the Temple area.
Soon after this confrontation with Hananiah, the Lord gave this message to Jeremiah: “Go and tell Hananiah, ‘This is what the Lord says: You have broken a wooden yoke, but you have replaced it with a yoke of iron. The Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: I have put a yoke of iron on the necks of all these nations, forcing them into slavery under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. I have put everything, even the wild animals, under his control.’”
Then Jeremiah the prophet said to Hananiah, “Listen, Hananiah! The Lord has not sent you, but the people believe your lies. Therefore, this is what the Lord says: ‘You must die. Your life will end this very year because you have rebelled against the Lord.’”
Two months later the prophet Hananiah died.