Scriptures for today
- Psalm 31:9-16
- 1 Samuel 16:11-13
- Philippians 1:1-11
All three Bible passages for today speak to me of hope that a life of following God’s way is possible for ordinary, everyday people, and not just people of extraordinary gifts or strength of will.
In the opening of his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes that he takes joy in all of the people there, that all share in God’s grace, and he is confident that “the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion…” He doesn’t pick out one or two outstanding individuals, he repeatedly talks about all of them together. This passage helps me to see that a group of people who are working to grow in love, in knowledge and wisdom, can be a true representation of how the love of God works in ordinary people. And how that group of people, trying to grow in grace, can be an inspiration to others, as the church at Philippi was to Paul in his prison.
The short passage from the Book of Samuel speaks of how the prophet was sent by God to seek out and anoint someone who would eventually replace the failing King Saul. And well, okay, David was not exactly an ordinary individual, but at the time, he was the youngest son, not even called to join his brothers at a special event, but occupied with the lowly task of looking after the family livestock. And this is the man who, with both great gifts and great faults, became his country’s rescuer and strong leader.
In the passage from Psalm 31, the writer calls from the depths of despair, condemned both in his own eyes and those of his community. But he places his hope and trust in God to lift him out of his own darkness and into the light.
I have always been intimidated by the selflessness and sacrifice of Jesus, and the words “Christian Duty” have carried a negative image for me. I don’t want to take up my cross, feel selfish for wanting comfort and fun in my life, do jobs I hate. Today’s scripture reinforces a message I have been hearing at Knox for many years—that ordinary people, in their everyday fallible lives, are empowered by God’s love and grace to allow God’s light to shine through them. Maybe it’s not “a great light” like Jesus, but the “little light that shines”. We can indeed be the scripture our neighbour reads today. Thanks be to God. ♥
by Ann Farebrother