Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Psalm 41 speaks of the blessedness of those who care for the poor and needy. Advocacy and care for those who cannot help or protect themselves is essential to a biblical faith. The people of God should rightly be recognized by their care for the poor. I recently received another fundraising letter from a Christian mission school which provides a distinctively Christian education, as well as food, clothing, and lodging as needed for people in a poverty-stricken subculture in one part of this country. It strikes me that I never receive letters asking me to support institutions that are of a secular nature and wish to provide nongovernmental care for the poor. They all seem to have at least some ties to governmental programs, apparently assuming that the government is the mediator of what is good for society. The Christian community, on the other hand, normally assumes that government is not the answer, but that God’s people working together can provide an answer.
The Psalm later makes comments which the Christian will recognize as fulfilled in the person of Judas, betraying Jesus to arrest and death. here we see a microcosm of God’s plan. Jesus, the strong and mighty God, becomes man and places himself in the relatively helpless role of a human. He takes on that which he is going to redeem. He, in the role of someone who is poor and needy, is betrayed to death by Judas, who there stands in for all of sinful humanity. Rather than loving and serving his neighbor, Judas acts in his own selfish interest, bringing death upon Jesus. Little does Judas understand, Jesus’ death is meant to be applied to him by grace through faith.
In Christ, we who were needy, poor, and dead in sin have been given what we need through the riches of God’s love. In turn, we do the same for others.
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