My eight-year-old hands clung to the bright red Good News Bible as Mrs. Messersmith taught my Sunday school class how to open to the Psalms in the middle of the book. I was tasked with looking up a verse from Psalm 119, the longest psalm. I was excited to find that verse on my own and eager to read more about God’s promises in scripture.

The psalmist proclaims about God, “Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your law is truth.” The word here for “law” is Torah or teaching. By learning how to find and read scripture under the gentle guidance of my teacher, I grew into a deeper understanding of God’s love for us and God’s truth for our lives.

While scripture is God-breathed, we have to inhale it in order to learn and grow in faithfulness. The teachings of God must become part of us, gathered into the storehouses of our mind, body, and spirit. This isn’t something we can accomplish on our own. We need a community of faith around us and teachers like Mrs. Messersmith who help others learn the teachings of God and delight in God’s commandments.

A dozen years after being in Mrs. Messersmith’s class, I visited her near the end of her life. As I held her hand across a hospital bed, I thanked her for teaching me about faith and inspiring me to love the exploration of scripture. Even now I praise God for her life and pray that I may love the promises of God enough to teach others to delight in God’s Word.

Everlasting God, we give thanks for the teachers who inspire us, and we pray that we will point others to your wisdom. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read Luke 19:1-10

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Lectionary Week
October 24–30, 2022
Scripture Overview

Habakkuk stands aghast at the “destruction and violence” all around and wonders how justice never seems to conquer. At the end of the reading, God contrasts the proud, whose spirit “is not right in them,” with the righteous who live by faith. The psalmist delights in God’s righteousness and in the commandments of God; however, he admits that “I am small and despised.” The psalmist’s “trouble and anguish” appear in Second Thessalonians also, but here the “persecutions and the afflictions” endured by the faithful serve a particular end: They stand as signs of the imminent return of Jesus Christ. In the Gospel reading Jesus tells Zacchaeus, “Today salvation has come to this house,” which reminds us that the righteous who live by faith are not necessarily the socially or religiously acceptable.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

Read Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4. How can you wait actively for God’s response to your prayers and complaints? How will you enact God’s response when it comes?
Read Psalm 119:137-144. How do you follow God’s commandments in the face of injustice and corruption?
Read 2 Thessalonians 1:1-4, 11-12. The work of the church has never been easy. How does your faith community work to exude God’s love in a time when many reject or feel rejected by church institutions?
Read Luke 19:1-10. When have you run to Jesus? How can you share your experience so others pursue Jesus as well?

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