This blog comes to you from the people at
Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO
www.peacemennonitechurch.net (under construction)
Meditation and thoughts follow the scripture.
Thanksgiving for Deliverance and Prayer for Help
To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
2 He drew me up from the desolate pit,*
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
4 Happy are those who make
the Lord their trust,
who do not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after false gods.
5 You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
your wondrous deeds and your thoughts towards us;
none can compare with you.
Were I to proclaim and tell of them,
they would be more than can be counted.
6 Sacrifice and offering you do not desire,
but you have given me an open ear.*
Burnt-offering and sin-offering
you have not required.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am;
in the scroll of the book it is written of me.*
8 I delight to do your will, O my God;
your law is within my heart.’
9 I have told the glad news of deliverance
in the great congregation;
see, I have not restrained my lips,
as you know, O Lord.
10 I have not hidden your saving help within my heart,
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
from the great congregation.
11 Do not, O Lord, withhold
your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
keep me safe for ever.
Esau’s Lost Blessing
30 As soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, when Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of his father Isaac, his brother Esau came in from his hunting. 31He also prepared savoury food, and brought it to his father. And he said to his father, ‘Let my father sit up and eat of his son’s game, so that you may bless me.’ 32His father Isaac said to him, ‘Who are you?’ He answered, ‘I am your firstborn son, Esau.’ 33Then Isaac trembled violently, and said, ‘Who was it then that hunted game and brought it to me, and I ate it all* before you came, and I have blessed him?—yes, and blessed he shall be!’ 34When Esau heard his father’s words, he cried out with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, ‘Bless me, me also, father!’ 35But he said, ‘Your brother came deceitfully, and he has taken away your blessing.’ 36Esau said, ‘Is he not rightly named Jacob?* For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright; and look, now he has taken away my blessing.’ Then he said, ‘Have you not reserved a blessing for me?’ 37Isaac answered Esau, ‘I have already made him your lord, and I have given him all his brothers as servants, and with grain and wine I have sustained him. What then can I do for you, my son?’ 38Esau said to his father, ‘Have you only one blessing, father? Bless me, me also, father!’ And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.
OF THE APOSTLES
The Promise of the Holy Spirit
1In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying* with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with* the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
‘He drew me up from the desolate pit,*
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.’ Psalms 40:2
Each of us at some point in our lives becomes mired in the bog, spiritually. Looking back, it seems that the bogs I walked into, have been because I wasn’t paying attention. My times of being mired in a bog weren’t because I made a bad decision, or associated with the wrong people (although these factors contributed to becoming mired down).
No, my stages of being mired down relate instead to my own inattention to my spiritual state. I just didn’t maintain regularity, discipline or continuity in my spiritual practice. I didn’t ever go to church much, mainly because I dislike being inside, and dislike old women with big hats.
So, my spiritual practice was unattended and neglected and after a time, the neglected spirit finds itself confused and stagnant.
What is the solution or preventative to become mired down spiritually? Like David in Psalm, recognizing that God only leads us out of the bog, whether we refer to God as a person with personhood, or as an inanimate force in the universe. There is a God and a universe that lead us in knowing more than we do, and sharing more of all this. David expresses his gratitude, which we all should do daily—if possible on our knees with our heads bowed.
Church, with or without hats (smile) is another way people have found to avoid become mired down. In the community of Christ, we can share what we are learning and experiencing about God, and in the process help others and ourselves to grow spiritually. We can also agree that we should be accountable to one another, in that we can ask each other how the Bible reading and study are going, how is your daily prayer going?
So, I’m asking you—how is your daily prayer feeling? Are you finding Bible readings to study that fill you with the spirit of Christ and the knowledge of God?