Through the Bible in a Year – February 23

The Scheme for January and February can be found here

Exodus 27-28; Romans 1; Psalm 70-71

As we read yesterday of the devotion of Paul’s life – so today our Psalm speaks of this lifelong devotion. The Psalms, much neglected in the contemporary church which has in many places lost any sense of continuity with the Communion of the Saints – the faithful upon another shore, amongst whom we worship if only we could see.

The mark of Secularism is the powerful tendency to live for the present moment. Whilst we are called to live in the present moment, this is not the same thing. To live for the present is to announce our own illusory triumph over time. To live In the present is to live with an apprehension of all that is past and all that is to come, Present to us now in the one who is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the End, in whom all things hold together.

So the Psalmist looks back and sees God – ‘O God, from my youth you have taught me’ into the present ‘and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds’ – and on into the future ‘so even to my old age and gray hairs do not forsake me’. God is his life.

It is this Eternal perspective in which past and future are apprehended, that Moses walks and talks with God upon Sinai, in the eternal symbols of Worship and Priesthood. Christ we are reminded is a High Priest forever – who Ever lives to make intercession for us. Our dimmed eyes only see wood and cloth – yet in this lying out of the design of the Tabernacle, we are called to look to the One who is the Tabernacle of God and who is also the Sacrifice . . . ‘It shall be a perpetual ordinance . . .’

It is this gospel which Paul announces – it is nothing new – it has been promised beforehand – prefigured in Everything that has gone before and in its scope embracing all of history – the gospel of Christ, descended [through many generations] from David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead – God’s judgement on History – and his renewal of all things.

[There is no art work with this post. Who can represent such things???]

Through the Bible in a Year – February 17

The Scheme for January and February can be found here

Exodus 13-14; Acts 23; Psalm 62-63

One of the great challenges to living faith today is our all too easy discarding of history. We live in a culture where history counts for nothing, such are the apparent advances in technology and our seeming mastery of all things. What has history to teach US?

Yet we see in the instructions of Moses to the children of Israel, Remembering that which God has done is essential to continuing in faith. Precise instructions are given also, this is no mere retelling of a story – it is to be embodied in the continuing redemption of the first born, thus the story is told from generation to generation.

Of course in a sense the Israelites also lived in an ‘ahistoric age’ – no sooner are they free of the slavery of the Egyptians than they forget how things were and want to return – a constant theme of their story those next forty years.

Throughout God is present in the pillar of cloud and fire – a living presence amongst them – but they often will not allow the possibility of God’s future could be better than their known history. God calls them into a future of His making, much as Christ calls us to leave our nets and follow.

Of course it is clear here that it is not that the Israelites have forgotten the past in the way we readily discard it, but rather that they refuse to focus on what God has done in the past as a guarantee of the future.

The future is Always an unknown. The past is in truth all that we ever know.

The call of faith is to recall the mighty acts of God, or his daily small mercies. Thus we grow in faith and submit ourselves into his hands for the future. He has provided daily bread these many days, will he not continue to do so? We too readily discount the Goodness of God, which is both our Source and our End.