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Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO
Meditation and thoughts follow the scripture.
Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
Exodus 34:1-9, 27-28
1Happy are those whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2Happy are those to whom the Lord imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.
3While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah
5Then I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the guilt of my sin. Selah
6Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
7You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah
8I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9Do not be like a horse or a mule, without understanding, whose temper must be curbed with bit and bridle, else it will not stay near you.
10Many are the torments of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds those who trust in the Lord.
11Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart.
Exodus 34:1-9, 27-28
34The Lord said to Moses, “Cut two tablets of stone like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets, which you broke. 2Be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai and present yourself there to me, on the top of the mountain. 3No one shall come up with you, and do not let anyone be seen throughout all the mountain; and do not let flocks or herds graze in front of that mountain.” 4So Moses cut two tablets of stone like the former ones; and he rose early in the morning and went up on Mount Sinai, as the Lord had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tablets of stone.
5The Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name, “The Lord.” 6The Lord passed before him, and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, 7keeping steadfast love for the thousandth generation, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet by no means clearing the guilty, but visiting the iniquity of the parents upon the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” 8And Moses quickly bowed his head toward the earth, and worshiped. 9He said, “If now I have found favor in your sight, O Lord, I pray, let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, pardon our iniquity and our sin, and take us for your inheritance.” 27The Lord said to Moses: Write these words; in accordance with these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.
28He was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he neither ate bread nor drank water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
10“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. 12What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 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.
How to Hurt Little Children 031611
Recently, we watched helplessly as a young couple’s marriage disintegrated, at least temporarily. In the middle of the breakup were little children who watched and listened to the anger and violence, and did not know what to do. The pain, the fear, the hurt they experienced in watching their parents’ marriage disintegrate must have been horrible and we cannot imagine.
Strangely, we tried to tell the couple what they were doing, but giving advice is dangerous in such circumstances and we were not heard. The children continued to suffer.
After a year of separation, the couple got back together, and for that it seems we should be glad, and generally we think the church should support marriage. But in getting back together the children were exposed to the emotional adjustments that a couple must have to make in ‘working it out’.
Generally, I don’t give marriage advice; I do not counsel. But in the words of Jesus from Matthew 18:
‘11“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven .’
And also: ‘ 14So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost. ‘
Jesus makes it clear that we are not to hurt little ones. In the above story, perhaps adult parents should decide who and what they before getting married and having children, and perhaps they could find a way to split up without using and having children in the middle. As intelligent as we modern, smart people think we are, this seems a black and white issue: don’t hurt the children. If you do, you need to talk to Jesus about it, and ask forgiveness from God, and the children.