December 20, 2020, Lectionary

With all the changes around us, perhaps we can sense the value to a people of a promise from God that their kingdom, David's kingdom, will be made sure forever. Through Jesus, of course. 2 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

God's promises to David are extraordinary, for success and safety in the Lord's presence forever. I believe we can claim these same promises through Christ the Son of David. Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

Who gets the glory? God, the only wise one, the only one able to establish us in the obedience of faith, by the gospel which is available to all people. That's my paraphrase of Paul's final closure to his massive argument that the gospel includes even those who are not Jews. Romans 16:25-27

Most of the time when an angel comes to humans, his first words have to be, "Don't be afraid." But Gabriel was eager and got some other words out first, "You are greatly favored. The Lord is with you." This greeting perplexed Mary. Luke 1:26-38

Thoughts about Listening

It's fun to hear someone listening so well that they can turn words they hear into pun or metaphor to give back to the speaker what they really meant. 1 Samuel 7:1-11, 16

I guard myself against making promises I cannot keep. My plan is to underpromise and overdeliver. Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

There is a higher power, greater than nation, nature, humans, life, death, religion, politics, society, money, consumption, lies, healing, and recovery. To that higher power I give my allegiance. Romans 16:25-27

When in listening I become perplexed about what the other person is saying, do I halt to think and ask questions, or do I keep listening for further clues? Luke 1:26-38