By The Rt. Rev. Catherine Waynick
King David continues arrangements for the personnel needed to staff and guard the Temple and its treasures. Included are detailed lists which can seem mind-numbing to those not included in them! But such lists ground the account in a specific time and place, and provide for accountability in carrying out the work.The passage is poignant; David knows he will not build the Temple, but seems determined to put his own mark on the project even as he relinquishes it to others.
The psalmist continues to assert his love of Torah, and his wholehearted search for wisdom. Those who do not seek wisdom despise and mistreat him. As the psalm nears its conclusion we encounter discouragement; the situation seems to be getting worse, but he will remain faithful and hopeful. At the end we find the psalm’s first explicit confession of failing – he has gone astray like a sheep who is lost. Perhaps he is now coming closer to the wisdom he desires.
Our passage from Romans has Paul lamenting that many Jews still seek righteousness through obedience to the law. But the law was given only to the Jews, while God has made it clear that ‘others’ will also be given righteousness. The Jews have not considered that could happen outside the law, so Paul’s vocation is to proclaim that salvation through faith in Christ Jesus is for all people. Now both Jews and Gentiles may believe and ‘call upon the name of the Lord.’
Have you ever compared yourself favorably to others, attributing to them something you later realize is also true of you? As you read the Bible, how does God seem to respond to those who are proud of themselves? Those who become humble?
Paul’s proclamation includes an important question in verses 14-15. Can you consider the possibility that not everyone around you already knows about Jesus the Christ? What more might you have to learn about him? How might you enter into the project of proclamation?
Most gracious God, you offer to all people your wisdom and righteousness. Keep me from judgment of others, and give me the courage to be both humble and bold in sharing the Good News of Jesus our Lord. Amen.
The Rt. Rev. Catherine Waynick is bishop of the Diocese of Indianapolis.