Just a quick blurb in the middle of a VERY busy day to point to the lessons we've been mulling all week at Noonday Eucharist as worth "inwardly digesting" as sources of sustenance in these days of challenge and turmoil..
A Reading from Jeremiah (23:1–6).
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” says the Lord. Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done. So I will attend to you for your evil doings. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.
I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing,” says the Lord. “The days are surely coming when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, who shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord our righteousness.’”
A Reading from Colossians (1:11–20)
By the might of God’s glory you will be endowed with the strength needed to stand fast and endure joyfully whatever may happen. Thanks be to God for having made you worthy to share in the inheritance of the holy ones in light! God rescued us from the authority of darkness and brought us into the reign of Jesus, God’s Only Begotten. It is through Jesus that we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Christ is the image of the unseen God and the firstborn of all creation, for in Christ all things were created in heaven and on earth: everything visible and invisible, Thrones, Dominations, Sovereignties, Powers – all things were created through Christ and for Christ.
Before anything was created, Christ existed, and all things hold together in Christ. The church is the body; Christ is its head. Christ is the Beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and so Christ is first in every way. God wanted all perfection to be found in Christ, and all things to be reconciled to God through Christ – everything in heaven and everything on earth – when Christ made peace by dying on the cross.