See also the pastor’s personal faith blog at community.beliefnet.com/mennonitepreacher
Scripture follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
Subscribe to our blog. Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the left.
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
1 Kings 2:1-4
Spiritual Formation and Signs 072311
One of the goals of Peace Mennonite Church has been to teach and encourage spiritual formation. This blog is in furtherance of that goal, so we focus here on daily prayer and daily Bible reading.
I think there’s more to be learned about prayer, at least more than I know now. But we all have been encouraged to pray by Jesus, and taught to pray by Jesus, and realize that a believer’s first prayer could be ‘Lord, teach me to pray’.
In Matthew 12 today, Jesus is asked for a sign. We all, too, have probably asked for a sign, at some time or another. Should I take this job or not? Should I engage in a relationship or not, etc? There are so many signs we could ask for if we thought we could better understand the sign we are shown more clearly.
When we are confused, or drunk, or stoned, or angry these signs do not come or humanity is so blinded we couldn’t see Jesus if (when) he stands next to us and shakes us awake.
Albert Einstein said ‘God is subtle, but not devious’. (Caution, I misquote this every time I think of it). Or words to that effect. If we are praying and reading the Bible daily we are more peaceful, and able to see and hear and sense those subtle, but clear, gentle signs. The first sign we should look for is that gentle subtle sign and voice that says ‘Pray. We should talk’
Pray that you and I and all learn to begin each day with prayer, pause at noon for prayer, and end each day with prayer and we should learn to pray for each other.’
129Your decrees are wonderful; therefore my soul keeps them.
130The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
131With open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments.
132Turn to me and be gracious to me, as is your custom toward those who love your name.
133Keep my steps steady according to your promise, and never let iniquity have dominion over me.
134Redeem me from human oppression, that I may keep your precepts.
135Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.
136My eyes shed streams of tears because your law is not kept.
1O give thanks to the Lord, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples.
2Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works.
3Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually.
5Remember the wonderful works he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
6O offspring of his servant Abraham, children of Jacob, his chosen ones.
7He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
8He is mindful of his covenant forever, of the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
9the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac,
10which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
11saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.”
45that they might keep his statutes and observe his laws. Praise the Lord!
1 Kings 2:1-4
2When David’s time to die drew near, he charged his son Solomon, saying: 2“I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, be courageous, 3and keep the charge of the Lord your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his ordinances, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, so that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn. 4Then the Lord will establish his word that he spoke concerning me: ‘If your heirs take heed to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail you a successor on the throne of Israel.’
31When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, he opened her womb; but Rachel was barren. 32Leah conceived and bore a son, and she named him Reuben; for she said, “Because the Lord has looked on my affliction; surely now my husband will love me.” 33She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Because the Lord has heard that I am hated, he has given me this son also”; and she named him Simeon. 34Again she conceived and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband will be joined to me, because I have borne him three sons”; therefore he was named Levi. 35She conceived again and bore a son, and said, “This time I will praise the Lord”; therefore she named him Judah; then she ceased bearing.
30When Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she envied her sister; and she said to Jacob, “Give me children, or I shall die!” 2Jacob became very angry with Rachel and said, “Am I in the place of God, who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb?” 3Then she said, “Here is my maid Bilhah; go in to her, that she may bear upon my knees and that I too may have children through her.” 4So she gave him her maid Bilhah as a wife; and Jacob went in to her. 5And Bilhah conceived and bore Jacob a son. 6Then Rachel said, “God has judged me, and has also heard my voice and given me a son”; therefore she named him Dan. 7Rachel’s maid Bilhah conceived again and bore Jacob a second son. 8Then Rachel said, “With mighty wrestlings I have wrestled with my sister, and have prevailed”; so she named him Naphtali. 9When Leah saw that she had ceased bearing children, she took her maid Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as a wife. 10Then Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a son. 11And Leah said, “Good fortune!” so she named him Gad. 12Leah’s maid Zilpah bore Jacob a second son. 13And Leah said, “Happy am I! For the women will call me happy”; so she named him Asher.
14In the days of wheat harvest Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15But she said to her, “Is it a small matter that you have taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes also?” Rachel said, “Then he may lie with you tonight for your son’s mandrakes.” 16When Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and said, “You must come in to me; for I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that night. 17And God heeded Leah, and she conceived and bore Jacob a fifth son. 18Leah said, “God has given me my hire because I gave my maid to my husband”; so she named him Issachar. 19And Leah conceived again, and she bore Jacob a sixth son. 20Then Leah said, “God has endowed me with a good dowry; now my husband will honor me, because I have borne him six sons”; so she named him Zebulun. 21Afterwards she bore a daughter, and named her Dinah. 22Then God remembered Rachel, and God heeded her and opened her womb. 23She conceived and bore a son, and said, “God has taken away my reproach”; 24and she named him Joseph, saying, “May the Lord add to me another son!”
38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth. 41The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! 42The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
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.
Related articles are listed with endorsement or comment so that we may be exposed to a wider range of believer’s ideas.
- Genesis 30 (asorensen.wordpress.com)
- Genesis 46 (asorensen.wordpress.com)
- Jacob meet Esau(Gen33:1-17) (bibleandmylife.wordpress.com)
- Genesis 29 (asorensen.wordpress.com)
- My Daily Wuht?! 072311 (paintandfootprints.wordpress.com)
- Taking the Long View — A lectionary meditation (pastorbobcornwall.blogspot.com)
- The Prototype (gtcole.wordpress.com)
- Genesis 31 (asorensen.wordpress.com)
- What was the Birthright? (genesissoul.wordpress.com)