Headlines from the New York Times for Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Sessions’s Senate Testimony: How to Watch and What to Expect
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scheduled to testify on Tuesday, starting at 2:30 p.m. Eastern, before the Senate Intelligence Committee about matters linked to the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
• In March, Mr. Sessions recused himself from any inquiry related to the 2016 presidential campaign. Although he justified that decision as stemming only from the fact that he had played a role in the Trump campaign, it came after a report that he had two contacts with the Russian ambassador last year despite having testified at his confirmation hearing that he had not communicated with the Russians. (He has argued that his testimony was accurate in context.)
• He has been under renewed scrutiny since his role came up several times during testimony before the Intelligence Committee last week by James B. Comey, whom President Trump fired as F.B.I. director. In a letter to Congress on Saturday, Mr. Sessions said he wanted to address those matters before the same panel.
• After some initial uncertainty over whether Mr. Sessions would deliver his testimony in an open or closed session, the Justice Department said on Monday that he would testify publicly.
Readings from Psalm 2 for Tuesday, June 13, 2017
The first two Psalms serve as an introduction to the entire collection of the 150 Psalms that we have in the Bible. The first three verses describe the tendency of human beings to attempt to live free from God’s leadership and direction. They are a direct contrast to Jesus’ invitation, in Matthew 11.28-30.
Jesus said: “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
Psalm 2.1-3 Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and his anointed, saying, “Let us burst their bonds asunder, and cast their cords from us.”
God laughs not at the destruction that humankind has brought by living independent of his will and ways. God’s laughter is a statement of power. He is in control and the purposes of his rule are not stopped by human arrogance and independence.
As we pray this section of Psalm 2, we can join with Jesus and say, ” Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6.10).
Psalm 2.4-9 He who sits in the heavens laughs; the Lord has them in derision. Then he will speak to them in his wrath, and terrify them in his fury, saying, “I have set my king on Zion, my holy hill.” I will tell of the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
The “fear of the Lord,” is best described in Deuteronomy, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6.5). Pray today that people live awaken to the great opportunity to live in a loving relationship with God.
Psalm 2.10-12 Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled. Happy are all who take refuge in him.
Prayers for Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Dear God, we repent of how we have attempted to throw off your loving, easy yoke. May we enter into a loving, personal relationship with you.