Today’s Readings for the Daily Office
Psalm 50 (Morning)
Psalm [59, 60] or 33 (Evening)
Sometimes You Just Need Good News
I have to admit, I find today’s readings more vexing than inspiring. Zechariah and Revelations have an intriguing but surreal parallelism, with the seven lamps and the seven seals. Psalm 50 starts off on a promising note, with its assertion that God doesn’t need blood sacrifices, only sacrifices of thanksgiving. But then the angry Old Testament God emerges, ranting and making dire threats. And the Gospel, with Matthew’s characteristic dualism, causes me anxiety. Given my tendency to forgetfulness, I relate more to the bridesmaids who leave their oil behind than to those who come prepared.
Of course context and careful interpretation can mitigate, or at least explain, the most troubling parts of these passages. But sometimes I don’t want to delve into literary criticism to find a meaning I can live with. Sometimes I just want to be reassured of God’s love. Don’t you?
Thankfully we also have Psalm 33, telling us that God is faithful, that his love fills the earth, that we don’t need to be anxiously planning or fighting each other in order to be saved – that it’s all in God’s hands and he’s paying attention, if only we’ll trust him. That’s what I needed to hear today. That’s the Good News. Amen.
Written by Noah Meeks
Noah has been peripheral to St. Paul’s since 1998. It has influenced his life greatly, especially his decision to join the Episcopal Church in 2010. He spent a semester with missionaries from St. Paul’s in the Dominican Republic in 2002 and participated in the Ark Fellows program in 2013-2014. He completed EfM in 2017, serves as a lector, and participates in the Healing Touch ministry.