25 September 2010

Sep 25

Reference links:
Old Testament

Almost all of today's reading is Second Isaiah writing in God's voice. The impression one gets of God from this reading is that he is a very annoyed individual, especially at idols, which he brings up several times. Other themes God emphasizes are his power and reliability and the fact that he is the only God. Also, Cyrus will save the people of Israel and Babylon will fall.

New Testament

Today, the author of Ephesians emphasizes unity and peace in the church. We also see that the imminent return of Jesus (as implied in the authentic Pauline letters and the gospels) has been replaced with a sense that Jesus will not return until a more distant future:
This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.
The implication here is that Jesus will come once the church is good and ready for it, and not before. This is a rather brilliant way of putting it because it's a standard that you can always push back. No matter how unified in faith and knowledge the church is, it can always be said that there is further to go, pushing Jesus's return off further and further into the future (not that there has ever really been a time when the church could have lived up to even a weak version of this standard, but I digress).

One other point of note, the passage from the psalms cited in today's reading is the last verse of yesterday's reading from the psalms, and it is the psalm that is continued in today's reading. I think this may be the closest we have come to having a reading and a citation of that reading align.

Psalms and Proverbs

I am working on building a house, so I liked today's proverbs:
A house is built by wisdom
and becomes strong through good sense.
Through knowledge its rooms are filled
with all sorts of precious riches and valuables.