January 5, 2016 Psalm 37:1-13, Luke 6:43-49, Psalm 37:14-26 (23)

We talked about the thought in the psalm that the wicked will be gone in the future.

 “The prophet Isaiah dreamed of the day when the lion and the lamb would lie down together, when, in other words, the law of nature which prompts the strong to devour the weak would be abrogated….Sometimes the contrast between the real and the ideal is drawn so sharply that the religious man despairs of the achievement of the ideal in mundane history.  He transfers his hope to another world….The gospel conception of the Kingdom of God represents a highly spiritualised version of…Jewish millennial hope, heavily indebted to the vision of the Second Isaiah. Wherever religion concerns itself with the problems of society, it always gives birth to some kind of millennial hope, from the perspective of which present social realities are convicted of inadequacy, and courage is maintained to continue in the effort to redeem society of injustice. The courage is needed; for the task of building a just society seems always to be a hopeless one when only present realities and immediate possibilities are envisaged.”
Reinhold Niebuhr, Moral Man and Immoral Society (1932)

Mark talked about not finding value in any tree, not just those bearing fruit.  I brought up the problem if Honey Locust trees with their lethal thorns, but Jim said that these trees are where the warblers go for refuge from hawks. Are we aware of a great foundation for our faith like that of a strong house. There is a very severe dualism here while in Romans 7 Paul says the good that I would do I don’t. Is it aspirational for a tree or a person to want to do good. Is this just a statement of fact about good and bad. You don’t get good fruit from a thorn tree. The message uses healthy versus diseased rather than good and bad. Your thoughts become your words become your deeds and then become the tree. Never lose hope. What kind of tree are you and what are you producing because this defines you. It is who you are not what you say is what is important. Who you are should be congruent to who you are and what you do. The question in Pella is “are you saved?”, but that is God’s prerogative. Mark said in Pella a man came to him and said that if you are missing something come to my house and I will show you how to live without it. Even the most open minded person has principles that are absolutes. But absolute are these things really absolute. Luther’s evening prayer is penitential and asks for safety through the night but his morning prayer is hopeful for the day ahead.

The closing psalm says to depart from evil and do good and adds that the wicked shall be cut off.