Bible Readings for Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018

The First Reading is recorded in 1 Kings 17:8-16. This is a story about the prophet Elijah. The people of the Northern 10 tribes of Israel had turned away from the Lord at the leading of king Ahab and his wife, wicked queen Jezebel, to worship false gods and to offer sacrifices to them, which included human sacrifice. The Lord continually tried to bring His people back to Himself, but they refused.
In another attempt to get His people to return, the Lord caused a drought and famine to strike the land. To show His power and grace, the Lord sent Elijah out of Israel to Zarephath, to a widow, who was to provide Elijah with hospitality according to the Biblical standards – she was to give him food and water. Elijah asked for help, and she told him she only had enough for one meal for herself and her son; they would eat it and then starve to death. What an horrible prospect! Elijah assured her that the Lord would care for her, and again asked for food. She trusted the words of the Lord through Elijah, and the Lord provided for them so that the food and oil never ran out. Truly a wonderful miracle. May we trust the Lord like the widow of Zarephath.
Lord God, keep us faithful and trusting in You. There are times when we are worried about the future. When worry creeps in, remind us of how You provided for the widow of Zarephath, her son, and Elijah. Open our eyes to see how You provide for us, and let us always give You thanks and praise through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.

Psalm 146 is a wonderful psalm of praise. Notice how the psalmist is filled with praise to the Lord! Notice where the hope and help of the psalmist are – in the Lord, not in humans (especially not in human politicians who promise us so much, but deliver so little). Notice that the psalmist trusts in the Lord Who created all, Who is faithful, Who provides food and justice, Who sets prisoners free, opens the eyes of the blind, Who helps the helpless. Is there any wonder that the psalmist praises the Lord?
Praise to You, Lord, for Your grace, mercy, and care of all who are in need. Let us always trust in You, knowing that You are always faithful. Let us trust in the life we have in Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Second Reading is recorded in Hebrews 9:24-28. What a fantastic passage of hope! In this passage we read that Jesus is the One Who is our advocate, entering into the heavenly Holy of Holies, having made the perfect offering for sin: His own blood shed on the cross. He has redeemed us! Thanks be to God! He will come again and take all who are waiting for Him to Himself in heaven. What a wonderful and hopeful wait we have.
Lord Jesus Christ, thanks and praise to You for the perfect offering of Yourself to redeem us. Thanks and praise to You for being our perfect intercessor. Thanks and praise to You that One Day You will return and take us who believe in You to be with You forever. Bless our waiting, and move us to call others to You as Lord and Savior. Amen.

The Gospel is recorded in Mark 12:38-44. Notice the contrast between self-centeredness (e.g. the scribes of that day who wanted attention, the rich who put large sums of money in the Temple offering boxes and were noticed) and the poor widow, who quietly and humbly gave all she had back to the Lord. What is our attitude? Do we want attention and accolades for what we do, or do we humbly and quietly serve the Lord?
Lord Jesus, remind us of the poor widow who quietly and humbly gave all, and remind us that You have given all for our redemption. Move us to humbly and quietly give of ourselves to Your glory and for the sake of others. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

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