Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Growing in Christ 041511

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

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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 31:9-16

9Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am in distress; my eye wastes away from grief, my soul and body also. 10For my life is spent with sorrow, and my years with sighing; my strength fails because of my misery, and my bones waste away. 11I am the scorn of all my adversaries, a horror to my neighbors, an object of dread to my acquaintances; those who see me in the street flee from me. 12I have passed out of mind like one who is dead; I have become like a broken vessel. 13For I hear the whispering of many— terror all around!— as they scheme together against me, as they plot to take my life. 14But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” 15My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. 16Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love. Job 13:13-19 13“Let me have silence, and I will speak, and let come on me what may. 14I will take my flesh in my teeth, and put my life in my hand. 15See, he will kill me; I have no hope; but I will defend my ways to his face. 16This will be my salvation, that the godless shall not come before him. 17Listen carefully to my words, and let my declaration be in your ears. 18I have indeed prepared my case; I know that I shall be vindicated. 19Who is there that will contend with me? For then I would be silent and die. Philippians 1:21-30 21For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. 22If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which I prefer. 23I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better; 24but to remain in the flesh is more necessary for you. 25Since I am convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for your progress and joy in faith, 26so that I may share abundantly in your boasting in Christ Jesus when I come to you again. 27Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, 28and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God’s doing. 29For he has graciously granted you the privilege not only of believing in Christ, but of suffering for him as well— 30since you are having the same struggle that you saw I had and now hear that I still have. 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.

Growing in Christ 041511

Paul’s letter from prison to the Philippians reminds me of a terrible problem we might all have. Paul writes that he is living in Christ, as many of us attempt to do, but it is so easy. What is difficult is to explain to a post-Christian world why we ‘live in Christ’. Perhaps previously in a hyper-Christian world, some disciples of Christ forgot to tell others why we live in Christ, or tell exactly how we feel after a rebirth in Jesus Christ. I still have a daily struggle to tell the truth about this in this daily blog, and sometimes preparing a sermon is horrible suffering! I struggle to make Jesus real, when the world says to my congregation that money, hatred and conflict are real. But here we are. and disciples of Christ must continue to try to explain why we love Jesus, and that Jesus loves us. We have to keep speaking this truth, and singing this truth outloud. Pray today for your own peace at week’s end. Holy Week is about to begin, and we can all share a renewal of the spirit of Jesus Christ. Peace (brother) Bill

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