Blogger was playing up again yesterday evening. I did manage to post on A Vision of Paradise, but by the time I had prepared this Bible passage Blogger was down again. So I am posting it the next morning. It seems that Blogger works in the morning here, perhaps because most Americans are still in bed, perhaps because the engineers who are playing about with it are in bed!
I chose this passage partly because I was working yesterday on a draft translation of Ephesians, and I had to look at some difficult issues in this passage.
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Ephesians 4:11-16 (TNIV©)
I have had a busy day, so, although I am working on another posting, I may not get round to blogging anything more than today’s Bible passage:
37 On the last and greatest day of the Festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” 39 By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.
John 7:37-39 (TNIV©)
I will try to get in just before midnight this time with a passage for today. This was in fact part of my vicar’s (pastor’s) text for his reading yesterday evening, and I was looking at it again today. These are of course the words of the Lord to the people of Israel:
25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Ezekiel 36:25-27 (TNIV©)
I could have quoted more both before and after this, but then I would have felt obliged to make some comment on the references to the land, and that would have opened up a controversial subject which I don’t want to deal with just at the moment.
Just because I have chosen three Old Testament passages in a row, please don’t think that I am somehow stuck in the Old Covenant. In fact of course both today’s passage and yesterday’s are specific prophecies of the New Covenant. I am sure that in future I will be led to share passages from the New Testament.
No time to blog on Pentecost Sunday. I was too busy at church and with friends, and anyway I spend enough time in front of my computer six days a week to want a break on Sundays. Sunday is already just past, here in the UK, but here is a slightly belated offering for Pentecost, prompted by Ruud’s posting on Suzanne’s Bookshelf, which was in fact of this passage from Joel as quoted by Peter on the Day of Pentecost. I break off at the same place as Peter did, which is mid-sentence in TNIV, perhaps because this is the real climax:
28 “And afterward,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your old men will dream dreams,
your young men will see visions.
29 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days.
30 I will show wonders in the heavens
and on the earth,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
31 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
32 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved; …
Joel 2:28-32a (TNIV©)
I don’t promise a daily Bible passage, but here is one to start with, from my current favourite version, TNIV:
15 When the servant of [Elisha] the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
16 “Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
17 And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
18 As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, “Strike this army with blindness.” So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.
19 Elisha told them, “This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to Samaria.
20 After they entered the city, Elisha said, “Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.” Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.
2 Kings 6:15-20 (TNIV©)