Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Deu 33:27
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the
everlasting arms" (Deu 33:27).
"The word 'refuge' may be translated 'abiding-place,' which
gives the thought that God is our abode, our home. There is a fulness and
sweetness in the metaphor, for dear to our hearts is our home, although it be
the humblest cottage, or the scantiest garret; and dearer far is our blessed
God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being. It is at home that we feel
safe: we shut the world out and dwell in quiet security. So when we are with our
God we 'fear no evil.' He is our shelter and retreat, our abiding refuge. At
home, we take our rest; it is there we find repose after the fatigue and toil of
the day. And so our hearts find rest in God, when, wearied with life's conflict,
we turn to Him. At home, also, we let our hearts loose; we are not afraid of
being misunderstood, nor of our words being misconstrued. So when we are with
God we can commune freely with Him, laying open all our hidden desires; for if
the 'secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him,' the secrets of them that
fear Him ought to be, and must be, with their Lord. Home, too, is the place of
our truest and purest happiness: and it is in God that our hearts find their
deepest delight. We have joy in Him which far surpasses all other joy" (CH
Reading 2 - Isa 6:5
" 'Woe to me!' I cried. 'I am ruined! For I am a man of
unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen
the King, the LORD Almighty' " (Isa 6:5).
"Whenever God has chosen men for some great duty and has
prepared them for it by the vision of His holiness, their complete unfitness for
divine use has been realized: 'I am a man of unclean lips,' said Isaiah, when he
had heard the three-fold acclamation of God's holiness. This was not because he
was base or depraved; on the contrary he was a 'holy man of God' chosen to be
the channel of the most outstanding revelations of the Messiah. And not only did
he realize his own uncleanness of lip, but he felt also that his race, his
people, were likewise unclean: 'And I dwell in the midst of an unclean people.'
The sin-conscious man is aware of his oneness with his fellows as members of a
sin-enthralled race" (John Carter, "Galatians" 71).
Reading 3 - Col 3:5
"Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly
nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is
idolatry" (Col 3:5).
This is an age dedicated to getting more and yet more money,
in order to spend it on more and yet more selfishness: fine houses, fine foods,
expensive trips, and the worship (yes, it is "idolatry" -- Col 3:5!) of car and
garden and, last but not least, our own adorned, deodorized, tanned, and groomed
selves! It is an age when millions succumb to the enticements of health spas and
country clubs, to exercise, and diet, and build the new and improved "You". It
is as though we can, and should, "recreate" ourselves in a more pleasing image
-- an object suitable to be "idolized"! One cannot help but draw the analogy to
Isaiah's ironic description of the idolater -- who seeks out a tree trunk and
cuts and shapes and polishes it into an extraordinary beauty, finally to fall
down and worship it: "Deliver me, for thou art my god" (Isa 44:14-17).