The Word This Week ~ 24 August 2014
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First Reading: Isaiah 22: 19-23
Powerful imagery here including some pre-figurements. I refer of course to the sash around the waist, are we to be led where we would rather not got? I refer also to the key that will open doors, or not. What is bound or loosed? Of course I also refer to nails being driven in. Ultimately it is
within the remit of YHWH to lay low or to raise up in glory.
Second Reading: Romans 11:33-36
If there is a sense that the First Reading quite literally puts “the fear of God” into us, then this short excerpt from Romans is timely in its comfort. In fact it is not just a comfort but an actual poem or song of worship, acknowledging God as the ultimate source and cause of all as well as the ultimate end to which we are all inexorably drawn.
Gospel Reading: Matthew 16:13-20
Thank God for Peter. Thank God for his impetuous nature. For his questions. For his sword ... Yes Lord, thanks for all this, but Lord we also thank you for his humility, his passion and his love. And so, what of the pre-figurements mentioned above? They are associated with Peter and his role of shepherd and leader. Jesus wants to check in on Peter. Is he sound on the identity? Peter is not found wanting. We hear Jesus confirm Peter as steeped in the Spirit. It is very important that we see the link between
Spirit, Authority and Leadership. It is after seeing them working in harmony in Peter that Jesus confirms him as the Rock. This divine conditionality has huge implications for how we are with each other in church.
Published Fri 22nd Aug 2014 15:58:38