Sunday, December 28, 2008

First Sunday After Christmas - Year B

statue of Jesus being presented in the temple with Simeon
This week's lectionary readings are:

The verse that struck me the most in today's reading was Isaiah 61:11 For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring up before all the nations.(NRSV) A couple things struck me about this verse. One is that good things (assuming righteousness and praise are good things) would come to ALL nations, not just some, not just believers, not just the sinless, but all nations. Also, is this praise for all nations or from all nations? Likewise with the righteousness, will we be given examples of righteousness to follow? Or will we suddenly become righteous?

I think with praise, it is more important to give praise than get it. Not that getting praise isn't important, but I think that you need to experience both sides for it to have value and in our society, receiving praise (deserved or not) is so common - especially as a child, that you need the experience of giving heartfelt praise to really understand and value it. 

As far as righteousness, it would be great to always know what is right.  But I think it would be horrible to just always do the right thing without thought or choice.
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