Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Simple Living 032411

Amish couple shopping in Aylmer, Ontario, Canada

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This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Meditation and thoughts follow the scripture.

 

Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Psalm 95

Exodus 16:1-8

Colossians 1:15-23

 

 

Psalm 95

1O come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!

2Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

3For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

4In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.

5The sea is his, for he made it, and the dry land, which his hands have formed.

6O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!

7For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. O that today you would listen to his voice!

8Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness,

9when your ancestors tested me, and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.

10For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they do not regard my ways.”

11Therefore in my anger I swore, “They shall not enter my rest.”

Exodus 16:1-8

16The whole congregation of the Israelites set out from Elim; and Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had departed from the land of Egypt. 2The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. 3The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” 4Then the Lord said to Moses, “I am going to rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the people shall go out and gather enough for that day. In that way I will test them, whether they will follow my instruction or not. 5On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather on other days.” 6So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, “In the evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your complaining against the Lord. For what are we, that you complain against us?” 8And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening and your fill of bread in the morning, because the Lord has heard the complaining that you utter against him—what are we? Your complaining is not against us but” against the Lord.

Colossians 1:15-23

15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers—all things have been created through him and for him. 17He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything. 19For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross. 21And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 22he has now reconciled in his fleshly body through death, so as to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him— 23provided that you continue securely established and steadfast in the faith, without shifting from the hope promised by the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven. I, Paul, became a servant of this gospel.

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.

 

Simple Living 032411

Today begins the 3rd Week of Lent, as far as the lectionary scriptures are scheduled. From Thursday through Saturday the scriptures prepare us for the scripture of the following week, and Monday through Wednesday each week the scriptures expand on the prior Sunday’s theme.

Lent is ‘celebrated’ as a time of repentance, of seeking forgiveness, and re-commitment to Jesus by his disciples. It is completely church-made, and not mentioned in the Bible, but has been used by the church, ‘us’ church, to prepare us all for the renewal of Easter. and the renewal of our faith.

Because our faith and spiritual practice seeks a simple life, and simple living as a spiritual practice, let us ask ourselves again today, what more can we do to simplify our lives and live more simply. Living in yet more and more thrifty ways, and consuming less is always a good start. Eating less food in quantity, and eating less expensive food is often more healthy for us, and we hope leaves us with greater opportunities to help the poor, as Jesus commanded.

Cutting back on consumption and consumption expenses sometimes feels like unjust deprivation. When this happens, recall  Psalm 95 which tells us  ‘8Do not harden your hearts…’ and the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 21: ’ 21And you who were once estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,…’.

Pray to remain at peace, even in the midst of difficulty, and stay reconciled to God. We all face trouble and trials from time to time, but remember that our biggest trouble is the trouble we bring upon ourselves because of our brokenness with God.

Peace

(brother) Bill

 

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