Photo Credit: Space Safety Magazine
“You are here.” Photo Credit: Space Safety Magazine

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.” – Psalm 90:1

As I read this week’s lectionary texts, a common word/theme keeps jumping at me: place.

Specifically, the contrast between God’s place and our place. These texts paint the picture of our simultaneous closeness to and separation from the Most High. Our place is with God, and yet is apart from God — and yet is still with God!

Moses, who was unlike any other prophet and “whom the LORD knew face to face” still wasn’t allowed to cross over to the land given to Abraham’s descendants. His place was the top of Pisgah, not west of the Jordan. That place was for Joshua.

Paul, Silas, and Timothy acknowledged their place as preachers of the gospel. It was not their place to seek praise, or gain, though that might have been afforded to them without anyone batting and eye. They were firm in where they stood.

Jesus put a young Pharisee and his company in their place with a little messianic theology. Perhaps they weren’t as learned as they thought they were!

I sense this week’s readings are inviting us to consider anew that God’s thoughts and ways are so very far from ours. We are reminded in the Psalm that we come from dust and return back to that. We are reminded that “a thousand years in [God’s] sight are like yesterday when it is past.” And yet, as the psalm says, the Lord has been our dwelling place in all generations. Our place is not God’s place, and yet our place is in God.

Consider the ways in which we’ve tried to assume a place that is not reserved for us. How have we unknowingly tried to stand in God’s place rather than standing in God — in God’s shelter, provision, love, and plan?

3 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: A Place For Us

  1. This week’s Gospel begins with “When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees” – a reference to Matthew 22:23-33, which the Lectionary skipped. So the first thing I’m going to address is that missing story and encourage people to read about the Sadducees and the resurrection.

    The reading itself seems a little disjointed to me: first the greatest commandment, then the question about the Messiah. I’m looking for some place of connection between the two.

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    1. The last time I preached this text I brought in verses 23-33 as well. It sets up the drama of Jesus being challenged and helps us understand 41-45 better, in which Jesus turns the tables on them with a question of his own. By hopefully stumping Jesus, each group sought to be proven spiritually superior. Welp, it didn’t work out that way!

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