As part of my own daily devotions I am posting my own paraphrases of the the Daily Lectionary here on my blog (along with a short reflection on one or more of the readings). God willing, this will not be a short term thing.
But grace was given to each of us
according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Therefore, it says:
When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive;
and gave gifts to mortals.
Now what does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended
into the lower regions of the earth?
The one who descended is also the one who ascended
far above all the heavens,
that he might fill all things.
And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the saints for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to full maturity,
to the measure of the fullness of Christ,
so that we may no longer be infants,
tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching
arising from human trickery
or cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming.
Rather, speaking the truth in love,
we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ,
from whom the whole body,
joined and held together by every supporting ligament,
with each part working properly,
brings about the body’s growth and builds itself up in love.
I rejoiced when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
And now are feet are standing
within your gates, O Jerusalem.
Jerusalem, built as a city that is bound together in unity.
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD,
according to the decree for Israel,
to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
In it are set up judgment seats,
thrones for the house of David.
Luke 13: 1-9
At that time, there were some present who told Jesus about the Galileans
whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.
Jesus said in reply: “Do you think that these Galileans were the greatest sinners in Galilee
just because they suffered this?
By no means!
But I tell you, you will all come to the same end unless you repent.
Or take those eighteen who were killed by a falling tower in Siloam.
Do you think they were more guilty than anyone else who lived in Jerusalem?
But I tell you, you will all come to the same end unless you repent.”
Jesus spoke this parable:
“A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard,
and he came out looking for fruit on it but did not find any.
The man then said to the gardener,
‘Look here! For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree
and found none.
Cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?”
In answer, the gardener said,
“Sir, leave it another year,
while I hoe around it and put manure on it;
then perhaps it will bear fruit.
If not, then you can cut it down.”
Reflection for Today on Ephesians and Luke
There are so many things one could say about these two passages. I think I will just list a few for your consideration.
- We have all been given the grace of Christ, and along with that we have been given spiritual gifts. All of us.
- These gifts have been given to us for building up the church, the body of Christ, so that it can do his work in the world today.
- The goal of this is for us to attain the unity of the faith to become spiritually mature in Christ.
- Love is once again the key. We are to “speak the in love,” and the church itself, the body, is built up in love.
- In Luke Jesus specifically condemns the desire that some have to connect tragedy with sinfulness. Instead he calls ALL to repent.
- Sooner or later we all need to bear fruit or possible face the axe. Manure will only help us so far.
Quote for Today
“Of all acts of man repentance is the most divine. The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none.” – Thomas Carlyle