I read through the Thessalonians the other night and thought I would just point this out–
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (or thereabouts) from the HCSB translation:
About brotherly love: you don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.
Or, if that isn’t clear enough for you, The Message puts it a little more bluntly:
Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.
Look for a job or at least stop asking for handouts!
I’ve finally finished the Old Testament on my “Read through the Bible in *cough cough* years!” plan. This time through I’m reading “The Message” paraphrase, just for a change of pace. You could say that this post shouldn’t be a “Books of 2011” post, but I figure that this is a good compromise between doing every single book of the Bible and just doing one post for the whole thing (assuming I finish it anytime soon). But I digress…
So what can you say about the Old Testament–this Jewish history written thousands of years ago? It has everything from epic tales of battle to (impressively explicit) love poems–and yet everything in it is a setup for the New Testament. Kind of amazing.
Anyway, it is essential reading for everyone, really. Whether or not you believe in the message of Jesus Christ or not, the fact that everything in our culture (and most others) is built on this foundation makes it something good to have under your belt.
I don’t know how exactly to rate something like this. Hmmm… 39 days and nights out of 40.
It’s Holy Week. I don’t know if that means anything to you, but it means something important to me.
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”
They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Those who forsake the law praise the wicked,
but those who keep the law resist them.
Do I need to explain?
Another psalm, this time talking about judges!
I really like the Psalms in The Message, though you must be careful, as I said here.
The one that I found this time is Psalm 82, an Asaph Psalm:
God calls the judges into his courtroom, he puts all the judges in the dock.
“Enough! You’ve corrupted justice long enough,
you’ve let the wicked get away with murder.
You’re here to defend the defenseless,
to make sure that underdogs get a fair break;
Your job is to stand up for the powerless,
and prosecute all those who exploit them.”
Ignorant judges! Head-in-the-sand judges!
They haven’t a clue to what’s going on.
And now everything’s falling apart,
the world’s coming unglued.
“I commissioned you judges, each one of you,
deputies of the High God,
But you’ve betrayed your commission
and now you’re stripped of your rank, busted.”
O God, give them their just deserts!
You’ve got the whole world in your hands!
Hmmm… I wonder if there are any current events we could tie this one to?
By the way, that last article (from sunny San Francisco) has some pretty hilarious stuff in it (like “OH NOES!!!! GUNZ R BAD!!!!!”).
If you find a thief, you make him your buddy;
adulterers are your friends of choice.
Your mouth drools filth;
lying is a serious art form with you.
You stab your own brother in the back,
rip off your little sister.
I kept a quiet patience while you did these things;
you thought I went along with your game.
I’m calling you on the carpet, now,
laying your wickedness out in plain sight.
–from Ps. 50
The Message can be a little weird with it’s translations, but the psalms are very good. The down the earth language really gets through; some of them have very hard words. As I was reading through, this section of Psalm 50 struck me as being very applicable to current events. It’s kind of weird to think about, as these were all written somewhere around 3000 years ago.
With that thought:
What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.
Any suggestions for more links to things? I bet with a little research you could fill this up.