15 February 2008

Today's Scripture Readings

Going into Lent is always a time of separating the black from the white, the wheat from the chaff, the sheep from the goats. Today's scripture reading from the Lectionary is about this theme especially, so I thought I'd post it here (forgive the archaic translation, it's the best I can do for a pure Byzantine text-type):

2 Peter 1:1-10

Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given to us all things that [pertain] to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given to us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purified from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Mark 13:1-8

And as he was going out of the temple, one of his disciples saith to him, Master, see what manner of stones, and what buildings [are here]! And Jesus answering said to him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, over against the temple, Peter, and James, and John, and Andrew, asked him privately, Tell us, when will these things be? and what [will be] the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled? And Jesus answering them, began to say, Take heed lest any [man] deceive you: For many will come in my name, saying, I am [Christ]; and will deceive many. And when ye shall hear of wars, and rumors of wars, be ye not troubled: for [such things] must needs be; but the end [will] not [be] yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there will be earthquakes in [divers] places, and there will be famines, and troubles: these [are] the beginnings of sorrows.
The temple was destroyed in 70 AD--Christ clearly tells his apostles that the temple will be destroyed and people will begin to come in his name, but even then, the end will not yet be. The nations and kingdoms have raged against one another since that time, and with great intensity since the fall of the last Orthodox monarch. The spirit of Anti-Christ is now at work in the world unrestrained, but my friends, we should be of good cheer: Christ our God is risen, no matter what they tell us, and he has overcome the world and he has destroyed the power of death. What can they do to us? As the Psalmist, the prophet and king David said, Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm CIX
The Lord said unto my Lord: Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies the footstool of Thy feet. A sceptre of power shall the Lord sent unto Thee out of Sion; rule Thou in the midst of Thine enemies. With Thee is dominion in the day of Thy power, in the splendour of Thy saints. From the womb before the morning star have I begotten Thee. The Lord hath sworn and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchisedek. The Lord at Thy right hand hath broken kings in the day of His wrath. He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill them with dead bodies, He shall crush the heads of many upon the earth. He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore shall He lift up his head.

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