Readings: January 29, 2017, 4th Sunday in Ordinary Time

All readings from the Message bible  © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson        

  • Zephaniah 2:3, 3:12-13

Seek God, all you quietly disciplined people who live by God’s justice. Seek God’s right ways. Seek a quiet and disciplined life. Perhaps you’ll be hidden on the Day of God’s anger.

 God Is in Charge at the Center

But I’ll leave a core of people among you who are poor in spirit—What’s left of Israel that’s really Israel. They’ll make their home in God. This core holy people will not do wrong. They won’t lie, won’t use words to flatter or seduce. Content with who they are and where they are, unanxious, they’ll live at peace.”

  • 1 Corinthians 1:26-31

Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families.

Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the Culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies”

to expose the hollow pretensions of the ‘somebodies’?  That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn

before God.

Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why

we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpetfor God.”

  • Matthew 5:1-12 The Beatitudes

     You’re Blessed

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of

everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.   

 

 

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