Read John 11:47-53 and Amos 5:21-24
“Jesus was killed. This is one of those facts that everybody knows, but whose significance is often overlooked. He didn’t simply die; he was executed. We as Christians participate in the only major religious tradition whose founder was executed by established authority. And if we ask the historical question, “Why was he killed?” the historical answer is because he was a social prophet and movement initiator, a passionate advocate of God’s justice, and radical critic of the domination system who had attracted a following. If Jesus had been only a mystic, healer, and wisdom teacher, he almost certainly would not have been executed. Rather, he was killed because of his politics - because of his passion for God’s justice.”
From The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith by Marcus J. Borg.
1. What are some of the things Jesus did that made him an advocate for God’s justice and a radical critic of the system in place in his day? Do you think Jesus would be killed today? Why or why not?
2. What do think Jesus would do today? Are we as Christians called to do those things in the name of Jesus?
They are like a tree replanted by streams of water, which bears fruit at just the right time and whose leaves don’t fade. Whatever they do succeeds.
PRAYING THE PSALMS
The Psalms are a rich source for our prayer life. They were the hymns of the Hebrew people, expressing joy, sorrow, anger, remorse, and praise. Dietrich Bonhoeffer the German theologian and martyr said this about the Psalms, “The more deeply we grow into the Psalms and the more often we pray them as our own, the more simple and rich will our prayer become.”
During the summer take on the habit of praying a Psalm a day. You can find the Psalms at biblegateway.com. Or use your own Bible. Pray the Psalm in the morning, the middle of the day, and before you go to bed.
Bonhoeffer who spent two years in prison before being executed
wrote of how he passed the time in prison, “I read the Psalms
every day, as I have done for years; I know them and love them
more than any other book.”
Every day we are showered with information. Some of it we don’t need, some of it we use and dismiss, and some of it can prove helpful for the present and future (the long haul.) Reading a devotion each day can provide for the present and the future. It can ground us in faith and help us grow as followers of Christ. It can challenge, enlighten, and provide encouragement for our life. You might consider reading this brief (two minutes tops) devotion from the UCC.