Monday, July 25, 2005



JULY 26, 2005

EXODUS 33:7-11; 34:5B-9, 28
The tent, which was called the meeting tent, Moses used to pitch at
some distance away, outside the camp. Anyone who wished to consult the
LORD would go to this meeting tent outside the camp. Whenever Moses
went out to the tent, the people would all rise and stand at the
entrance of their own tents, watching Moses until he entered the tent.
As Moses entered the tent, the column of cloud would come down and
stand at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses. On seeing the
column of cloud stand at the entrance of the tent, all the people would
rise and worship at the entrance of their own tents. The LORD used to
speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to another. Moses would
then return to the camp, but his young assistant, Joshua, son of Nun,
would not move out of the tent. Moses stood there with the LORD and
proclaimed his name, "LORD." Thus the LORD passed before him and cried
out, "The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God, slow to anger
and rich in kindness and fidelity, continuing his kindness for a
thousand generations, and forgiving wickedness and crime and sin; yet
not declaring the guilty guiltless, but punishing children and
grandchildren to the third and fourth generation for their fathers'
wickedness!" Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship. Then he
said, "If I find favor with you, O LORD, do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and
sins, and receive us as your own." So Moses stayed there with the LORD
for forty days
and forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water, and he
wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

MATTHEW 13:36-43
Jesus dismissed the crowds and went into the house. His disciples
approached him and said, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the
field." He said in reply, "He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the
field is the world, the good seed the children of the Kingdom. The
weeds are the children of the Evil One, and the enemy who sows them is
the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are
angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it
be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they
will collect out of his Kingdom all who
cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the
fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then
the righteous will shine like the sun in the Kingdom of their Father.
Whoever has ears ought to hear."

In very clear terms, today's readings remind us that God welcomes the
good but will punish the evil. Perhaps, our first reaction to today's
readings is fear of God and of His omnipotent power and majesty. It
would appear that God is presenting us with an ultimatum: be good
otherwise He will use His power to punish us.

But inasmuch as today's readings remind us of God's power and an
incentive for us to become better people, we can also view today's
readings as an encouragement rather than a warning or threat.

After all, did God not appear to Moses and have a face-to-face talk
with him? Did Jesus not speak to his disciples as friends? God
described His awesome power, authority and justice in intimate and
personal conversations with His people.

The content of today's message is that of the authority and power of
God; the context of today's message is that of confidence and
encouragement for us to simply follow Him.

"Lord, may your all-consuming love rule in my heart and transform my
life that I may sow what is good, worthy, and pleasing to you."

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