Deuteronomy 33:1-29, Luke 13:1-21, Psalms 78:65-72, Proverbs 12:25
Today is the 9th day of April welcome to the Daily Audio Bible I am Brian it’s great to be here with you today as we take the next step forward in the Scriptures and the next step forward in this week. This is a week that’s known as holy week and it leads us to Easter. And, so, on this day, this Thursday, this Maundy Thursday as it’s known, we take time to commemorate to consider that Jesus had a last supper, like the last meal, right? The last meal before He would suffer. And at that meal He would disrobe and get down on his knees and wash the filth from the feet of His disciples setting about a precedent that is supposed to be our normal, one in which we step down and understand that the position here of our heart and of our lives is to be the servant, to wash the filth from the feet of those around us, as it were. And, so, that's…that’s today and that’s kind of what we put in our hearts today as we move through this week. And, so, let’s do that. Let’s have that in our hearts as me move through the Scriptures today and into our day. So, we’re reading from the book of Deuteronomy in the Old Testament, which we will conclude tomorrow on Good Friday and move into the next book, which is called Joshua and really the next generation, the next era of the story that we’ve been telling from the beginning, the origin story and the formation story of the ancient Hebrew people that’s found in the Hebrew Scriptures. And today Moses’s will pronounce some final blessings. We’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Deuteronomy chapter 33.
Okay. So, Jesus said a number of things as we read through the 13th chapter of Luke today and all of it is so poignant for the time of the year that we’re in as we’re moving toward the end of the Lenten season and toward Easter. And I’ve mentioned lent a few times along the way. It’s just a…it’s a season on the Christian calendar that lets us sit with the sin of our lives and what it cost to bring us freedom, but it’s also a time of fasting usually. It's…it’s a time of openness before God. The way that it’s supposed to work is that we sit before God, wide-open. “Lord, I sit humble, I sit repentant. I realize what you have done for me and I realize how I’ve taken that gift and try to make something of it out of my life. I’m sitting here open before you. Whatever you want to remove from my life, nothing is off limits. Whatever you want to put into my life that I need, to have eyes to see and ears to hear and walk the narrow path, then insert that into my life. Whatever needs to be arranged in my priorities however they have been pulled out of whack because the chaos of life just does that to me, I’m inviting you in this season to…to rearrange my life however it needs to look so that as I celebrate resurrection, and as I realize that I am a participant in resurrection that I go out of this season reoriented to the truth of who I am because of your sacrifice.” That’s basically what we’ve been doing for this season and that’s coming to a close on Saturday and then we celebrate Easter and resurrection morning. So, what words can we hear from Jesus that aims us in this direction from the gospel of Luke today. First, He talks about a couple of incidents that I…the word viral is the word that I’ve been using for the last few years because it’s something that we can understand. Some things happened that were bad things and they went viral because word-of-mouth spread all over the countryside. This is the stuff people were speaking of. Basically, in the temple, Pilate had his eyes on some people that were seen as zealots, kind of a version of terrorists for their day and they were following him around and this stuff still happens today, and they took him out. They took him out in the temple and their blood, because they were killed, he was interspersed with the sacrifice that was happening and this was like a very big deal. Kind of stuff that people would be talking about. Another was the tower in Siloam fell and 18 people died. And like, I’m thinking to last month, you know, we had lots…we had tornadoes come through here and roughly the same amount of people died. And, so, you can see kind of the kind of impact that has on a community. And, so, people are talking about it. We have a lot more advanced technology and different ways of talking about it now but people were talking about it. Jesus response to these things is, “were they worse people? Like is that why this happened, they were worse people?” And He denounces that, “no I tell you.” So, no this didn’t happen to them because they were worse people. But then He does something interesting, He doesn’t then explain why it did happen, which is like the cosmic question of the ages. He didn’t go there at all. He simply said, “repent, repent. Unless you repent, you’re all gonna perish in some way. There is no one way greater than another way and it’s not because of the how bad these people were that tragedy fell upon them. We’re all headed for the same place unless we repent.” That could not possibly be more poignant to our lives in this week where we are observing Easter. Repent. Remember that you are ashes to ashes and dust to dust. Remember that there is no way for you to save yourself but in repenting. And repent is…it’s a heavy word because it should be. But what it means at its core is that you have become willing to reverse course, that you are willing to change your mind, that you are willing to allow change to happen within you that changes the trajectory of your path. So, Jesus says, “do you think that these Galileans were more sinful than all the other Galileans, because they suffered these things. No, I tell you, but unless you repent you will all perish as well.” Next, Jesus told…tells a parable about a barren fig tree that…that the owner of the vineyard wanted to cut down because it had gone for years without bearing any fruit. And the gardener comes and says, “let me work with it. Give it one more year. Let me work with it and see if we can’t get this to bear fruit in the next year.” And Jesus is showing us the patients, the kindness of God as we move toward repentance. So, yes He’s calling us to repent but He’s also giving us a glimpse into the fact that our Father has been cultivating the soil all around us and feeding it and making it nourishing out of His patients and kindness when we should’ve been cut down long ago. And all this disruption that we’ve been facing, all the stuff that we’ve been shaking our fist at the sky, all the sudden we realize God has been doing these things. He’s been disrupting the soil around us and feeding it and nourishing it so that one day we could repent and one day we could bear fruit for His kingdom. The very next scene is Jesus in this synagogue and there’s a woman and she’s been bent over for 18 years. That’s our story, my friends. Life has doubled us over. We’ve been walking around bent at the waist, looking at the ground with our arms behind us trying to make it through but all we see is the ground before us. We don’t have eyes to see. And here’s Jesus saying, “straighten up. Stand up straight. You’ve got this. Stand up straight. Even if this is on the wrong day, even if this is breaking the rules, stand up straight. I have been cultivating the soil all around you for so long so that you could come to this moment where you can change your mind, where you could repent. Now, stand up straight. You don’t have to be in this bondage anymore.” And the thing about the story of Jesus healing this woman is that the synagogue people were mad. They were like, “there’s six other days to do this. Don’t come over here on this day and try to get healed.” And Jesus calls out the hypocrisy, the same kind of hypocrisy we display when we see God moving in ways that we don’t understand or through people that we do not agree with. And Jesus just doesn’t seem to give a care at all. So, we can deduce then that doing of the will of God to bring freedom and healing will not abide by the rules that we’ve made, the box that we’ve made for God to dwell in. He has no interest. He will heal and restore as He pleases no matter what we think about it. And then He ends with, “what is the kingdom like? How do I describe the kingdom?” And He describes it like a mustard seed, a little tiny seed the grows up into a tree and birds can build nests…nests in that tree or it’s like a woman who put Levin in 50 pounds of flour until it was all mixed in, which will completely change the composition of whatever is made with that flour. So, there’s a lot for us here today. Some of the struggles that you may have been going with may need to be reinterpreted. Maybe your Father has been gardening. Maybe He’s been cultivating the soil all around you so that you might come to a sense, a moment of clarity where you can repent and wake up and realize you don’t have to be stranded doubled over with your face to the ground anymore. You can stand up tall and straight and be the light of the world that you were created to be. And that might get you in hot water with some people who don’t understand you or understand what you’re doing. They may even reject you or come against you in some way, but that’s just because you’re not obeying their rules. But once you’ve stood up straight and have eyes to see, and you can begin to see this kingdom that is thriving and growing up all around us then you stop caring about those sorts of things. You realize that the darkness is always going to try to negotiate in some way to diminish the light because the light exposes what’s in the dark.
Father, so much here just for the way that we should be in this world and we thank You for the gift of it arriving right here at this time where we contemplate You living all of this out by having this Last Supper and breaking this bread and saying “this is my body that is broken for You” and passing the cup and saying “this is the cup of salvation” and lowering Yourself before Your friends and washing their feet. This day alone gives us an entire trajectory for our lives where we should be aiming, and it gives us permission to walk that path. And, so, come Holy Spirit forgive us for all of fear of stepping out of the boat and onto the water and walking with You. We’ve been too busy on the shore trying to stay with the pack, trying to stay with everybody else but the thing is, You’re inviting us into the deep. You are transforming us, and we believe that. And, so, come Holy Spirit we pray into all that we’ve read and all that we’ve discussed today we ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
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And, you know, we’re talking about it being Holy Week and today’s, you know, Maundy Thursday, a day celebrating the last supper. Tomorrow is Good Friday and we commemorate and observe the…the crucifixion of Jesus’s death on the cross. And then we’ll move through Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday and it might look a little different this year than in any other year. I know it’s gonna look different than any other year than I can remember. The world is trying to go virtual and yet we’ve been virtual all long for these 15 years. And, so, we’ll be here. We’ll be moving the next step forward to the Scriptures, but we’ll be here together as a community commemorating these events and focusing and aiming our hearts in the directions that we should be contemplating on. So, I don’t suppose I’m any less looking forward to moving through this. It’s the most important celebration we have as believers in Jesus. And, so, I’m excited that we can continue our journey forward together as a community and observe Good Friday and Easter Sunday together like…like we always do.
Tomorrow’s also…I mean its Good Friday, but it’s also kind of a special day in this community. So, like a couple days ago is soft launched a major, major huge update, like a six month long huge update to the Daily Audio Bible app and infrastructure, one that finally brings us to a place that we been dreaming of getting to for like nearly 5 years and that's…that’s not an understatement, like that’s how long it’s been and just kind of building up this platform centered around the rhythm that we have is a community here. So, tomorrow where gonna reach a milestone. Tomorrow we will finish the Torah or the Pentateuch, and now if you have the latest update to the app and if you don’t, you should get it right away, like it’s gonna stabilize so many things. But built into this, if you’ve been kind of checking off the days that you’ve listened to as we move through the year, if you’ve been checking them off then tomorrow we’ll finish the Pentateuch and within the new app you’ll find…like you’re gonna get a badge. It’s gonna tell you you’ve achieved this. And, so, like in the upper left-hand corner of the app, the little drawer icon in the app, when you click that drawer icon after you’ve updated to the new app, you’ll see a new line. It’s called achievements. And if you click that you can see your own personal progress as we’re moving through the different sections of the Bible. So, you can see the sections that we’re in and where we are in them. The sections…the sections that are yet to come and those that haven’t begun yet. But it just helps us see where we are in the story, see how we’re moving through the Scriptures and every time we reach one of these milestones or these piles of rocks as the Bible calls them we can commemorate the fact that we’ve moved through another section and we’ve achieved completion of that section and the app will show us that we’ve done that by giving us the badge. So, if you’ve been checking off those days as we go through them, then yeah, we’re set to earn the first badges tomorrow. So, the newest latest version of the app is 1.1.40. And you can go to your app store, whether that is, you know, an iOS device, Apple device or its an Android device, download the latest version. That brings a huge amount of stability, like really the responsiveness of the app should be significant. We’ve worked for a couple of years after launching the first version of the app to get our feet under us and learn, you know, how to expand and contract and how to grow. And some of that work, it’s been long long labor. And, so, now we’re here and starting to see some of the fruit of what we’d dreamed of in the first place, and continuing to build the app to be sort of the community center, the hub of what we do here as a community around the Global Campfire. So, enough said about that, that’s coming tomorrow but you should update your app to the latest version because that’s paving the way for a lot of technology in the future. So, check that out.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.