This blog provides a meditation of the Episcopal daily readings along with a headline from world news:
RED CROSS WARNS OF TSUNAMI APPEAL SCAMS
5Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
look around and take note!
Search its squares and see
if you can find one person
who acts justly
and seeks truth—
so that I may pardon Jerusalem.
2 Although they say, ‘As the Lord lives’,
yet they swear falsely.
3 O Lord, do your eyes not look for truth?
You have struck them,
but they felt no anguish;
you have consumed them,
but they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
they have refused to turn back.
The despair God expresses at the stubborn wrongness of his people is surely relevant to all human arrogance, including that of present day Jerusalemites who have set their faces against justice for Palestinians. The history of the UK and USA with Gaddafi is another such instance where many opportunities for repentance have been ignored. And in my own life also I have to heed the voice that asks, “O Lord, do your eyes not look for truth?”
Anyone who can use the Japanese Tsunami Appeal as occasion for a scam has surely “made their faces harder than rock”.
30 ‘I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgement is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
31 ‘If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. 33You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. 37And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, 38and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.
Jesus is playing with Jewish notions of evidence. His own self testimony carries no weight but
a) John the Baptist gave his witness to Jesus
b) The deeds of Jesus, especially his saving power make witness to his nature.
c) The Father witnesses to his Son by speaking to hearts of disciples.
All of which is really to say that Jesus, in his life, actions, suffering, death and rising again, is there to be received or rejected. He is the heart of faith through whom the Father and the Spirit are revealed. If people are not bowled over by Jesus they cannot be Christian believers.