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Archive for the ‘Comparing Scripture’ Category


give_thanks_with_a_grateful_heartWednesday, September 22, 2021

Psalm 138

Hymn of a Grateful Heart

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart. I bow low toward your holy temple; I praise you name for your fidelity and love.

God says: I know that you are grateful but it is good of you to tell me. Keep in mind that you are my temple so remember to care for yourself even as you care for others in my name.

You have exalted over all your name and your promise. When I cried out, you answered; you strengthen my spirit.

God says: I am always with you although you may not sense it. I smooth many obstacles for you each day and when you meet the obstacles that frighten you, know that I am with you. You cannot fail. There is nothing to fear.

The Lord is on high, but cares for the lowly and knows the proud from afar.

God says: My prophet Jeremiah tried to tell the leaders of my flock that they had erred. They did not listen. You are prophets in your own day and you warn of danger; yet you are also ignored. I see your exhaustion but I am telling you that you need not expend yourself totally. Do what is right. Listen to my word and share it. When darkness arrives I am with you. My light will pierce that darkness and all truth will be revealed.

Though I walk in the midst of dangers, you guard my life when my enemies rage. You stretch out your hand; your right hand saves me.

happy grateful peopleGod says: I know that you are grateful and it is good of you to tell me. My promise is genuine. My compassion is complete. My hope is eternal. My love is trustworthy. You are made in my image and so I look for the truth and integrity I planted in you in the moment I first thought of you.  

The Lord is with me to the end. Lord, your love endures forever. Never forsake the work of your hands!

God says: There really is no end for you are eternal. Rest in me today and allow these words to seep into your sinews. Relax with me today and let the words and hope of my prophet Jeremiah console you. Abide with me today and reflect on this prayer. I am with you always and everywhere. You are the work of my hands. I cannot forget you. I will not abandon you. I will always guide and protect you. Of this you may be sure.


Compare different versions of Psalm 138 through the scripture link above. Choose other versions with the drop down menus and spend some quiet time with God. Allow God’s word to seep into your bones. Give all of your fears, anxieties and worries to God. And offer up a hymn of thanksgiving from a grateful heart.

To see and hear the Westminster Abbey Choir sing Psalm 138, go to YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNqvpM2MFYM 

Image from: http://pastorfergus.wordpress.com/2013/10/11/this-sunday-were-giving-thanks-at-st-pauls-together-for-gifts-to-share/ 

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fruit_of_vineThursday, September 16, 2021

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Seen and Unseen

If only we might remember Paul’s words when we are overwhelmed. If only we might trust in God’s plan for us.

We are not discouraged; rather, although our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

If only we might recall that we are all souls that join in Christ’s body and that Christ is the vine while we are the branches. If only we might join God in outrageous hope by asking for the impossible.

For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen . . .

If only we might take a moment to pause and relax rather than launch into reaction before thinking. If only we might allow God’s wisdom to settle into our bones.

For what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.

If only we might hold on to the promise God places before us that redemption is eternal, that hope is infinite, and that God’s love knows no bounds. If only we might be open to God’s amazing grace.

Much of Jeremiah’s audience looked for all that was seen while only a few loyal followers saw the eternal meaning in God’s words as delivered by this prophet. Today we have the choice clearly before us. If only we might share with God all that is unseen each day in our lives.  If only . . .


Enter the words 2 Corinthians in the blog search bar to see what else St. Paul might tell us about what is seen and unseen.

Compare several versions of this citation by clicking on the scripture link above, or choose other versions from the drop down menus on the scripture site . . . and listen for God’s word to us that has previously gone unheard.

Image from: http://www.themooresonline.org/blog/journal-thoughts-vine-branches/02

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Wednesday, September 8, 2021

cisternJeremiah 37

Jeremiah in the Dungeon

We have spent several weeks with Jeremiah as he exhorts, complains, and calls. He warns of the danger in presuming that the enemy has been conquered. And for his words of prediction, he is punished. Jeremiah brings truth to ears that know their own guilt. As we move through this chapter, let us pause at verse 9.

Do not deceive yourselves . . .

Jeremiah is on his way to tend to family business but he is detained and accused of deception. Jeremiah, the innocent, suffers; his accusers know that his words point out their own corruption, and they wish to silence him. Perhaps they believe that the prophet’s imprisonment will prove their innocence and his guilt. Let us reflect on verse 14.

Without listening . . .

King Zedekiah refuses to hear Jeremiah and when we read further into this prophecy, we will see what happens to each of these men. For now, let us spend a bit of time with verses 19 and 20.

Where are your own prophets now who prophesied to you that the king of Babylon would not attack you or this land?

From our own life experience, we know that liars perceive their lies – and the lies of their compatriots – as fact. For speaking truth to the structure, Jeremiah will soon be thrown into the cistern. The truth-sayer will be punished severely for speaking the words God sends to him. But lest we think that this prophet brings us only sadness, let us remember some of his earlier words: There will be a new covenant . . . one written on your hearts, not on stone . . . I have plans for your joy, not your woe . . .

The story of Jeremiah may be seen as a dreary one but perhaps it ought to be one of our favorites, for despite the pain and ruin his prophecy brings, Jeremiah does as God asks. And despite the suffering God’s words visit upon him, Jeremiah is ever faithful to his task, ever hopeful in the Lord, and ever loving of his people . . . even those who punish, exile and eventually murder him.

As we pause with Jeremiah today, we pray . . . May we never undergo such torture . . . but may we always be as true as this prophet is to his God.


Adapted from a reflection written on October 22, 2007.

Compare different versions of today’s Noontime by following the scripture link above. Choose other versions of the Bible by using the drop down menus. Sit with Jeremiah for a time today . . . and listen for God’s word.

Enter the name Zedekiah into the blog search bar and spend some time reflecting on the relationship between prophet and king.

To read an interesting post on Jeremiah 37-39 as the prophet journeys from prison to palace, click on the image above or visit: http://www.journeythroughthestory.com/2014/08/jeremiah-37-39.html

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Friday, September 3, 2021

jeremiah 33Jeremiah 33

From the Prison

From his prison Jeremiah continues to cry out the word of God.

Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you things great beyond reach of your knowledge.

From our own prisons of unhappiness, illness, anxiety or fear, we might also listen for the word of God.

Through his prophecy, Jeremiah continues to console the lost.

Behold, I will heal them, and reveal to them an abundance of lasting peace.

From our own sadness or sorrow, we might also offer a word or gesture of solidarity.

Through the promise of redemption, Jeremiah continues to call us to God.

I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. I will raise up a just shoot; he shall do what is right and just in the land.

From our yearning for seeking, we might also bring God to all that we say and all that we do.

Spend time today with Jeremiah 33. Study other Bible versions of these verses by clicking on the scripture verse here or above. Compare translations and listen. Like Jeremiah, we will hear God’s word. And also like Jeremiah, from our prison, we will send it on.


Image from: http://godinterest.com/post/1714360/jeremiah-33-3-call-to-me-and-i-will-answer-dr-js-apothecary-shop

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Friday, August 27, 2021

Bedouin Tent in the Sahara

Bedouin Tent in the Sahara

Jeremiah 30

A Cry of Dismay

In this portion of Jeremiah’s prophecy, we have a reprise of oracles already spoken. Perhaps we need to hear this message once more. We have heard and read these words and yet, do we fully comprehend God’s promise?

The Old Testament God unleashes the storm upon those who have fallen away from the covenant. God guides, admonishes and protects. The New Testament God lives our trial with us. Jesus heals, restores and redeems. The Spirit comes to live within each of us to console, fortify and counsel.

Let us spend some time today with these verses so that we might more fully understand. Read the four Bible versions on the scripture link above, or choose others from the drop-down menus on the scripture site. Listen for God’s unique response to our own cry of dismay, and determine to rest in the peace that only God can give.

A cry of dismay we hear; fear reigns, not peace.

Be not dismayed. Behold, I will deliver you from the far-off land.

You shall again find rest, for I am with you.

“The outcast” they have called you, “with no avenger”.

See! I will restore the tents of Jacob.

When I summon you, you will approach me.

You shall be my people, and I will be your God.

See, the storm of the Lord!

When the time comes . . . you will fully understand.


To read a blog post on women in scripture dwelling in tents, click on the image above or go to: http://www.womeninthescriptures.com/2012/05/dwelling-in-tent.html

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crossroads1Thursday, August 5, 2021

Jeremiah 16

Walking in Hardness

We have all experienced the neighbor who has nothing good to say about anyone or any circumstance; they are old before their time; they believe themselves expert on all aspects of life and death. We all have acquaintances who refuse to see reality; they reject information about local or global events; they see themselves as isolated entities unaffected by the world’s happenings. Perhaps we are the curmudgeons who scowl across back yard fences; or perhaps we are work colleagues who refuse to accept reality. Whether we see the world as bleak or promising, we each must assess our pathway in it. We must evaluate where we walk in hardness or in Christ.

Jeremiah today describes his condition and it is not a happy one. He suffers greatly at the hands of those who, instead of blaming, ought to be thanking him. He speaks truth and yet is accused of lying. As he delivers God’s words, he confronts both naysayers and Pollyannas and knows that he is seen as a fool. This message came to me, he begins; and rather than ask to hear the words of truth that will bring them into The Way, his audience prefers the way of hard hearts and stiff necks. Fortunately for us, the Lord says: I will bring them back to the land which I gave their fathers. God always welcomes us home. Fortunately for us, Jeremiah persists in his fidelity to God. He persists in delivering his message. Fortunately for us, the prophet is faithful in conveying God’s words that ask where and how and why we walk.

Let us spend some time today looking in a quiet, spiritual mirror to reflect on our own hardness of heart and our openness to God, for we all try to spend a time in both those paths. Let us think about our commitment to knowing God well and responding to God’s call to soften ourselves. And let us examine our response to these words: O Lord, my strength, my fortress, my city in the day of distress!

Where do we go in our day of distress? Where and how and why do we walk? Is it in the way of hardness, or is in The Way of Christ?

Which path do we choose?


Enter the words The Way into the blog search bar and examine where and why and how we walk. Or examine the four scripture versions of Jeremiah 16 by clicking on the scripture link, choose different versions of this prophecy and listen to God’s word in a new way. 

For a reflection on Jeremiah’s celibacy and some thoughts on suffering and joy as seen through this prophet, enter the words The Source of Life into the blog search bar and explore. 

Image from: https://djastinconfessions.wordpress.com/2012/09/04/crossing-paths/

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Jeremiah and Psalms

biblePsalms-PuicIn the Evening, In the Morning, In the Noonday

Whether we are presently in a time of celebration or sadness, the words of the prophet Jeremiah speak to us. Although we live in joy, we remember a time of sadness. If we live in sorrow or fear, we remember a time of contentment. As we journey through Jeremiah, we may rely on insights presented in the psalms; the prophet’s message is at times so bleak that we may need a quiet oasis of time and space to process his words. So let us today spend a bit of God’s time with the psalms while we reflect on Jeremiah’s warnings and laments. We call on these sacred poems because they remind us that we may always rely on God in dire circumstances. If these citations do not speak to you, turn to the online Psalter to explore . . . and look for the emotions you experience in the evening, in the morning and at the noonday.

Though my flesh and heart should waste away, God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Psalm 73:26

I love you, O Lord my strength, my crag, my haven. Psalm 18:1

If the Lord had not come to my help, I should soon have dwelt in the land of silence. As often as I said, “My foot has slipped”, your love, O Lord, upheld me. When many cares fill my mind, your consolations cheer my soul. Psalm 94:17-19

You are my helper and my deliverer; do not tarry, O my God. Psalm 40:17

The Lord is faithful in all his works and merciful in all his deeds. Psalm 145:14

I will call upon God, and the Lord will deliver me. In the evening, in the morning, in the noonday, I will complain and lament; and God will hear my voice. God will bring me safely back . . . God, who is enthroned of old, will hear me. Psalm 55:17-18


Use this link for online Bibles:

Find the online Psalter at: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalms+1-150&version=NASB;NRSV;DRA;MSG

For more on how the psalms may be used for prayer throughout the day and night, go The Liturgy of the Hours page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/liturgy-of-the-hours/

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whodoyousayiamSunday, July 11, 2021

Matthew 6:19-21

Jesus Taught Us

Jesus taught us, saying, “Do not store up treasures for yourself on earth, where moth and woodwork destroy them and thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworm destroys them and thieves cannot break in and steal. For wherever your treasure is, there will be your heart, too”.

We go about our days acquiring goods, storing up friends, fashion, accoutrements, money. How will these treasures serve us in the world that is everlasting? How might we change these tangible goods in a way that will matter?

We go about our days serving others, taking action that will improve our world for the better. How might we share these less noticeable goods in a way that will matter?

God says, This is my son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Do as he does and set the world afire. Do as he does and heal those who are broken-hearted. Do as he does and stand with those on the margin. Do as he does and turn the other cheek. This is difficult for you when you measure as the world measures; but when you measure for eternity you will put away your weights and yardsticks; and you will follow my son.

Enter the word treasure into the blog search bar and as we consider what Jesus taught us . . . let us consider how we will describe our treasures.


Examine the reading Matthew 3:17  in the scripture link and compare the texts. Choose other Bible versions and consider what God means when he tells us that he is well pleased with Jesus.

Image from: http://www.thepoachedegg.net/the-poached-egg/2012/04/theologians-and-thinkers-12-quotes-on-the-person-of-jesus-christ.html

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waiting-on-the-benchSaturday, July 10, 2021

Romans 8:26-28

The Waiting

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

We so often find ourselves thinking that God’s plan is not suitable, not adequate, not timely or – worse – non-existent. If we wonder what God thinks, we do not have to look far.

God says: I know that you can never hear these words too much: Do not be afraid; I am with you always. I know that when you are weary and your resources are low that you become frightened and even panicky. I know that your patience wears thin; I know that you doubt that my plan has intelligence or design. Read the words from my Book of Wisdom in Chapter 13 verses 13, 16-19 and know that your perfection arrives not in your lack of error . . . but in your perseverance with me, your clemency toward others and your generosity in the Spirit. Consider all of this . . . and know that I love you.

Look at the other Biblical versions of today’s readings and think about how we recognize God in the patience, clemency and generosity of others. Choose four different versions from the drop down menus and consider why and how we wait for God’s justice. Consider where and when we see God’s goodness.


Image from: https://rickezell.com/2018/02/07/4-reflections-while-you-wait/ 

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