This blog provides a mediation on the Episcopal daily readings along with a headlne from world news
Marie Colvin killed with other civilians in Homs
HABBAKUK 3: 16
I wait quietly for the day of calamity to come upon our oppressors.
Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation.
These great and noble lines express a trust in the God os justice which goes beyond all immediate expectations: people of lesser faith demand miracles now; this man knows how to rejoice in God for his own sake and to trust in his deliverance. The demand that religion should pay a dividend now is very pervasive and distorts much popular spirituality. Habbakuk’s faith is that of the poor woman in a land menaced by famine; of the medical worker in the shanty towns of rich cities; of the nun who has lived in poverty so that she may devote her life to prayer; of the Palestinian peace worker in a Israeli jail; of the war correspondent who seeks the truth of suffering. Whenever we’re tempted to demand God’s favour for ourselves we should sing Habbakuk’s song.
Jesus Prays for His Disciples
17After Jesus had spoken these words, he looked up to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you,2since you have given him authority over all people,* to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.3And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.4I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do.5So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
6 ‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.7Now they know that everything you have given me is from you;8for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.
These lines express the beliefs of its author’s church about Jesus:
1. Jesus’ task in the world is to bring glory to God by giving eternal life to those who trust him.
2. Eternal life is knowing the God of love and Jesus his son.
3. Jesus has completed the mission given him by the Father.
4. Those who come to Jesus are given him by the Father.
John’s habit of putting such beliefs in the mouth of Jesus can make him seem arrogant, but of course God’s glory is shown and his work completed by Jesus’ struggle against evil ON THE CROSS. Nobody would come to Jesus for worldly reasons, but only through the Father who is not of this world. Only if we remember that Jesus’ death on the cross is the hidden meaning of the whole gospel can we interpret it rightly. The faith of disciples is the same as the faith of Habbakuk: ” even though he offers no worldly advantage, yet I will rejoice in the Lord and exult in the God of my salvation.” Probably this faith will never be popular.