Lamentations 1:1-6. While Jerusalem has been devastated and the people of Judah have been conquered – their former glory and pride lost in their humiliation, God remains compassionate, God’s mercies are new every day, and those who remain can continue to wait for God’s salvation.
Psalm 137. A Psalm of grief for the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of God’s people.
2 Timothy 1:1-14. Paul celebrates Timothy’s ancestry in the faith, and encourages him to stay true to Paul’s teachings about Christ and the way of Christ, even to the point of being prepared to suffer for the sake of the Gospel.
Luke 17:5-10. Jesus explains the immense impact that even small measures of faith can have,and encourages his followers not to expect reward for simply doing what should be considered their duty as they seek to serve God and follow Christ.
Rev. Tania writes:
This week our worship shifts to the daily reality of persevering in faithfulness to the small actions that bring justice into our world.
The Old Testament reading explores the pain and humiliation of God’s people when they are defeated, conquered and exiled, and as they long for forgiveness restoration and salvation. Even Psalm 137 deals with similar issues, albeit in a more generalised way, speaking of the pain and confusion that arises when destructive or evil people prosper, and the difficult work of faith and patience in God’s action on behalf of those who trust God’s ways.
The New Testament readings, on the other hand, explore the impact that a life of simple, ordinary faith can have, and the attitude of humble servanthood which expects no undue reward for simply living faithfully. In essence, both Testaments are saying the same thing this week.
In a world where bad things happen to good people, and where it often appears that the lawless and ‘godless’ get the best, it can be tough to live in faith and faithfulness. Justice can take a long time to come, and it can be tempting to use any means – however undesirable – to achieve what we long for. This applies even when our goal is to manifest God’s reign. However, as we live in faithfulness, and pass our faith on to others who come after us, the small, ordinary acts of goodness and justice that we do each day, the small faithful commitments to our convictions that we renew each day, really do ‘move mountains’ and change the world, little by little, into a place where God’s salvation is visibly revealed.
May our faithfulness and perseverance be strengthened and inspired as we worship this week.
Blessings as we seek to live a Gospel-centered life!