Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today
NL Daily Devotion for Friday, November 16, 2018
by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff
Some days are better than others. For Israel, their sin brought down upon them many bad days. Suffering, wars, conquering, oppression, and exile were upon them.
In my household, we had one of those weeks. On Tuesday, the guinea pig died, and I was left to, well — take care of it. On Wednesday, a beloved girlfriend broke up with our son. On Saturday, we had to put down an old cat that could no longer eat or care for herself. (I don’t know why these always seem to come in three’s.) By Sunday, the whole family was worn out and defeated. It’s in those moments, God can seem very far away. And even though I know God is near, it can still feel quite lonely. Even though the whole family went through it all together, everyone needs to go through the grief processes in their own way and in their own time. It can seem like we’re alone, even when people are around.
But then, as the cloud of grief and loss begins to dissipate, we can become more aware of the others around us, and of how very comforting their presence can be. We can start to see God again, and be comforted by God’s presence, too. Even in the depths of despair, we can remember that the cloud will disperse, and we will be able to see clearly once again.
Narrative Lectionary Daily Reading:
Micah 5:1, 5-15; 6:1-5, 9-16
Now you are walled around with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the ruler of Israel upon the cheek.
And he shall be the one of peace. If the Assyrians come into our land and tread upon our soil, we will raise against them seven shepherds and eight installed as rulers. They shall rule the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod with the drawn sword; they shall rescue us from the Assyrians if they come into our land or tread within our border.
Then the remnant of Jacob, surrounded by many peoples, shall be like dew from the Lord, like showers on the grass, which do not depend upon people or wait for any mortal. And among the nations the remnant of Jacob, surrounded by many peoples, shall be like a lion among the animals of the forest, like a young lion among the flocks of sheep, which, when it goes through, treads down and tears in pieces, with no one to deliver. Your hand shall be lifted up over your adversaries, and all your enemies shall be cut off. In that day, says the Lord, I will cut off your horses from among you and will destroy your chariots; and I will cut off the cities of your land and throw down all your strongholds; and I will cut off sorceries from your hand, and you shall have no more soothsayers; and I will cut off your images and your pillars from among you, and you shall bow down no more to the work of your hands; and I will uproot your sacred poles from among you and destroy your towns. And in anger and wrath I will execute vengeance on the nations that did not obey.
Hear what the Lord says: Rise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of slavery; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. O my people, remember now what King Balak of Moab devised, what Balaam son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the saving acts of the Lord.”
The voice of the Lord cries to the city (it is sound wisdom to fear your name): Hear, O tribe and assembly of the city! Can I forget the treasures of wickedness in the house of the wicked, and the scant measure that is accursed? Can I tolerate wicked scales and a bag of dishonest weights? Your wealthy are full of violence; your inhabitants speak lies, with tongues of deceit in their mouths. Therefore I have begun to strike you down, making you desolate because of your sins. You shall eat, but not be satisfied, and there shall be a gnawing hunger within you; you shall put away, but not save, and what you save, I will hand over to the sword. You shall sow, but not reap; you shall tread olives, but not anoint yourselves with oil; you shall tread grapes, but not drink wine. For you have kept the statutes of Omri and all the works of the house of Ahab, and you have followed their counsels. Therefore I will make you a desolation, and your inhabitants an object of hissing; so you shall bear the scorn of my people.