Lent with Bonhoeffer, Saturday, February 23, 2013
Daily Office Readings
Today’s New Testament reading continues the proclamation that Jesus is the Eternal High Priest. The writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews quotes Psalm 2 and Psalm 110 in Hebrews 5:5-6. Both of these passages were considered by Second Temple era Jewish people to have Messianic connotations. The mention of Melchizedek is important, because Melchizedek showed that there were priests that were not from the Tribe of Levi (Jesus was from the Tribe of Judah, and is also referred to as The Lion of the Tribe of Judah in Revelation). Melchizedek is also an important connection to make because Abram, the patriarch of Israel, showed deference to him in Genesis 14:18-20. The passage begins with a reminder of the High Priest’s duties (offering sacrifices, representing the people before God, relating to the people, ministering to people who were ignorant or going astray), and this selection ends with a testimony of Christ performing those duties, “During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission” (Hebrews 5:7). Hebrews goes on to say in addition to Christ’s actions as High Priest, He also became the source of eternal life for those who believe in Him and obey. This is reflected in today’s Gospel reading. Jesus says that “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14).
Bonhoeffer on Preaching and The Text
A prayer of Julian of Norwich (1342 – 1416)
In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss.
In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving.
You are our mother, brother, and Saviour. In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvellous and plenteous grace.
You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us.
You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.
Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things shall be well. Amen