Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Archive for November, 2011

Homemade Christmas 113011

Homemade marshmallows.

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This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 79

Micah 5:1-5a

Luke 21:34-38

 

Homemade Christmas 113011

 

Sometime during each Christmas season I become weighed down with a familiar heavy and very sad feeling. Christmas always brings to me the reality that each year for most of my short life I have been concerned both for those who do not have enough and also for those families who spent very well. I pray for those who do not have enough.

 

For those who have worked, struggled, earned and spent more money than they have, I especially have pity. The Christmas season is full of fear, anguish, remorse and guilt. Providing for a family is never easy, and at Christmas it is terrible in economic hard times.

 

So, this year I’m praying for a homemade Christmas. I’m asking my children and friends not to spend a dime, but to write a short note and fold it into an envelope. I’ll provide the paper, envelope and pen. I’d treasure such notes forever and stick them in a Bible, or favorite book of poems, when they will fall out during a quiet time of reading and prayer.

 

Or grandchildren can color a picture for me, if they would. Best of all, I’d hope that we all could begin to celebrate Christmas again, and not just try to pay for Christmas.

 

We have hope for this, because we have Jesus Christ. Humankind may eventually listen to Jesus. Do not let your heart be weighed down by the worries of this life (paraphrasing Luke 21:34).

 

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

Psalm 79

1O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

2They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the air for food, the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.

3They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.

4We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.

5How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?

6Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call on your name.

7For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.

8Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.

9Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake.

10Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes.

11Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.

12Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!

13Then we your people, the flock of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Micah 5:1-5a

5Now you are walled around with a wall; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the ruler of Israel upon the cheek. 2But you, O Bethlehem of Ephrathah, who are one of the little clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to rule in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. 3Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has brought forth; then the rest of his kindred shall return to the people of Israel. 4And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; 5and he shall be the one of peace. If the Assyrians come into our land and tread upon our soil, we will raise against them seven shepherds and eight installed as rulers.

Luke 21:34-38

34“Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day catch you unexpectedly, 35like a trap. For it will come upon all who live on the face of the whole earth. 36Be alert at all times, praying that you may have the strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 37Every day he was teaching in the temple, and at night he would go out and spend the night on the Mount of Olives, as it was called. 38And all the people would get up early in the morning to listen to him in the temple.

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.

God’s Marginal People 112911

English: Old City Walls of Jerusalem - on Moun...

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The 6th day of Advent

 

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 79

Micah 4:6-13

Revelation 18:1-10

 

God’s Marginal People 112911

Today’s verses from Micah 4 remind me that both in the Old Testament and the New Testament God speaks to and God speaks through people and peoples that are severely marginalized.

During Advent, when we EXPECT Jesus to be in our lives and in our souls, we are reminded of his humble birth, his humble parents and village and the marginal nature of all those around him.

Joseph was a carpenter and so was Jesus, but I’ve been told that ‘carpenter’ really translates as ‘construction worker’. Jesus and Joseph might have worked their entire lives on the Roman show case city of Sepphoris, which lies about 8 miles from Nazareth.

Why would they travel 8 miles (on foot) to work? Because there was no work at home—they didn’t own or farm family lands, and the Romans may have paid more than the local work of being a seasonal, landless farm worker. Joseph and Jesus were at the bottom of the ladder as far as occupation, income and social status. They may have owned nothing except a pair of callused hands and a strong back.

Maybe I’m engaging in ‘class warfare’, but I prefer marginalized people, and it is the social class of my family background. I am comfortable with people who are thankful for Thanksgiving because the leftovers last a week or more, and one never knows where the daily bread will come from after that. I was raised to work and I raised my children the same way, but the big money, the big successes of this time in history do not flow to the marginalized.

It is very important that Jesus was poor and marginalized, yet used by God to bring God’s message to us all.

Pray for peace today,

(brother) Bill

 

 

Psalm 79

1O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

2They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the air for food, the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.

3They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.

4We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.

5How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?

6Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call on your name.

7For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.

8Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.

9Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake.

10Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes.

11Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.

12Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!

13Then we your people, the flock of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Micah 4:6-13

6In that day, says the Lord, I will assemble the lame and gather those who have been driven away, and those whom I have afflicted. 7The lame I will make the remnant, and those who were cast off, a strong nation; and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion now and forevermore.

8And you, O tower of the flock, hill of daughter Zion, to you it shall come, the former dominion shall come, the sovereignty of daughter Jerusalem. 9Now why do you cry aloud? Is there no king in you? Has your counselor perished, that pangs have seized you like a woman in labor? 10Writhe and groan, O daughter Zion, like a woman in labor; for now you shall go forth from the city and camp in the open country; you shall go to Babylon. There you shall be rescued, there the Lord will redeem you from the hands of your enemies. 11Now many nations are assembled against you, saying, “Let her be profaned, and let our eyes gaze upon Zion.” 12But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, that he has gathered them as sheaves to the threshing floor. 13Arise and thresh, O daughter Zion, for I will make your horn iron and your hoofs bronze; you shall beat in pieces many peoples, and shall devote their gain to the Lord, their wealth to the Lord of the whole earth.

Revelation 18:1-10

18After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority; and the earth was made bright with his splendor. 2He called out with a mighty voice, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! It has become a dwelling place of demons, a haunt of every foul and hateful bird, a haunt of every foul and hateful beast. 3For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxury.” 4Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you do not take part in her sins, and so that you do not share in her plagues; 5for her sins are heaped high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6Render to her as she herself has rendered, and repay her double for her deeds; mix a double draught for her in the cup she mixed. 7As she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, so give her a like measure of torment and grief. Since in her heart she says, ‘I rule as a queen; I am no widow, and I will never see grief,’ 8therefore her plagues will come in a single day— pestilence and mourning and famine— and she will be burned with fire; for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.”

9And the kings of the earth, who committed fornication and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning; 10they will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say, “Alas, alas, the great city, Babylon, the mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.”

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.

 

 

World Wide Instructions 112811

The 5th Day of Advent

Afghanistan Observes 2007 International Peace Day

 

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 79

Micah 4:1-5

Revelation 15:1-8

World Wide Instructions 112811

The book of Micah speaks clearly today that a time will come when the instructions of God are heard by all nations and not just the nation of Israel and it seems that this day is coming, we pray. Nearly every nation knows what is right and wrong, and in many ways it is a Christian ethic that has permeated their society, even in those nations that see themselves as atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu. The Christian idea of mercy, fairness, gentleness and peace is a global ethic now.

This makes it even more important that the ‘Western’ nations serve as a model or example of Christian ethics in their dealings with their own people and on the world stage.

In times of economic inequality and distress it is even more important—what will we do with the poor? and what will we do with poor nations? Our willingness and ability to eventually abolish suffering on this earth are driven by our love for God and by Jesus Christ, as we follow him.

Pray for peace today, and read Micah!

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 79

1O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

2They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the air for food, the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.

3They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.

4We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.

5How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?

6Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call on your name.

7For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.

8Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.

9Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake.

10Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes.

11Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.

12Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!

13Then we your people, the flock of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Micah 4:1-5

4In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, 2and many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 3He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; 4but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. 5For all the peoples walk, each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.

Revelation 15:1-8

15Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and amazing: seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended. 2And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations! 4Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgments have been revealed.”

5After this I looked, and the temple of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, 6and out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues, robed in pure bright linen, with golden sashes across their chests. 7Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever; 8and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were ended.0

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.

 

Hope 113711

Christogram with Jesus Prayer in Romanian: Lor...

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Sermon 112711

 

Su27       First Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 64:1-9

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Mark 13:24-37

 

Isaiah 64:1-9

64O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence— 2as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! 3When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. 4From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. 5You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed.

6We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. 7There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. 8Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. 9Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity forever. Now consider, we are all your people.

Psalm 80

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

18Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 4I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, 5for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— 6just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— 7so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ. 8He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mark 13:24-37

24“But in those days, after that suffering,

the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light,
25and the stars will be falling from heaven,
and the powers in the heavens will be shaken.

26Then they will see ‘the Son of Man coming in clouds’ with great power and glory. 27Then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.

28“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. 29So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 30Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. 31Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

32“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. 34It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. 35Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, 36or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. 37And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”

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.

Sermon 112911

Hope

Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent.  Advent actually started on Thanksgiving Day this year, but the period of Advent always includes 4 Sundays and weeks before Christmas.

It is not certain when the celebration of Advent began, but around 350 AD looks likely. The word Advent comes from the Latin words Ad Venis, which mean ‘A Coming’.

Originally, Advent was a four week solemn period which included fasting and physical sacrifice to prepare for the day of Christmas, but it is far less solemn now, and tends to be at the same time as the capitalist season of Christmas shopping.

But I would hope our commemoration of Advent includes serious prayer, serious reading, and thought about what it means that Christ is coming.

Now, some people get hung up trying to argue that Advent celebrates the first coming of Christ or the second, or the coming of Christmas, but I tend to think it is for all those reasons and more. Advent is a season when we can celebrate and notice the coming of Christ into our lives. And not just the first coming of Christ into our lives but the ‘always coming’ of Christ into our lives, because as we may all know by now, it is not as though we experienced Christ coming just once into our lives…instead disciples of Christ experience Christ coming into our lives continually, and no matter how much we know or think we know, Christ is always out there waiting to teach us more about God, about heaven, about reality in this universe.

Christ continually comes and continually stays just one step ahead of our understanding—the more we learn about Jesus, the more we see we have yet to learn.

So advent is a time generally to redouble our efforts to learn and grow as spiritual Christians. Prayer and Bible reading, meditation, even fasting are some of the practices Christians have followed for thousands of years to recognize the coming of Christ in the Advent season.

The theme overall for Advent is ‘expectation’ we worship and celebrate in expectation of the soon to come coming of Christ. Each week of Advent also has a theme and the theme for this Week 1 is ‘Hope’.

Do you have hope in your life? Do you hope things will different in your life? The ability and the hope of personal growth and change are built upon the belief that Christ promised us the chance to reform our lives and to live differently than before, whatever before was like.

Right now, there is war, and poverty and desolation and hopelessness all over the world. Do we have any hope of changing it and changing the world? And is there any hope of changing the world or even saving the world without Jesus?

Do any of us believe we can save the world by earning more money or by spending more money or by attaining anything? Is there any war, or any invention or any idea that can save the world except Jesus’ basic idea of loving God and loving your neighbor?

So, as we hope for a better world, think about what the world would be like if Jesus had never come to earth. True, the whole world does not follow Jesus, but without Jesus at all there is no hope. With Jesus, there is hope.

Apocalypse Again 112611

The Revelation of St John: 4. The Four Riders ...

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The Third Day of Advent

 

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Micah 2:1-13

Matthew 24:15-31

Apocalypse Again 112611

Humankind lives in fear of a great and tragic apocalypse. Disasters, wars, floods, earthquakes and calamities are beyond the normal violence of annual weather extremes. I don’t know why humankind fears disasters of great magnitude. They have not occurred for centuries or even for millennia. But humankind, including me, have nightmares and visions of an end to time, and an end to the world.

Matthew seems to be describing such a terrifying time, when evil in the world becomes too much and the apocalypse comes.

This verse foretells the coming of the Messiah, but today is also the third day of Advent, when we prepare for the coming of the Messiah on Christmas. This is the Messiah who is to save us from this apocalypse, and end brought on by our own evil.

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 80

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

18Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Micah 2:1-13

2Alas for those who devise wickedness and evil deeds on their beds! When the morning dawns, they perform it, because it is in their power. 2They covet fields, and seize them; houses, and take them away; they oppress householder and house, people and their inheritance. 3Therefore thus says the Lord: Now, I am devising against this family an evil from which you cannot remove your necks; and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be an evil time. 4On that day they shall take up a taunt song against you, and wail with bitter lamentation, and say, “We are utterly ruined; the Lord alters the inheritance of my people; how he removes it from me! Among our captors he parcels out our fields.” 5Therefore you will have no one to cast the line by lot in the assembly of the Lord.

6“Do not preach” —thus they preach— “one should not preach of such things; disgrace will not overtake us.” 7Should this be said, O house of Jacob? Is the Lord’s patience exhausted? Are these his doings? Do not my words do good to one who walks uprightly? 8But you rise up against my people as an enemy; you strip the robe from the peaceful, from those who pass by trustingly with no thought of war. 9The women of my people you drive out from their pleasant houses; from their young children you take away my glory forever. 10Arise and go; for this is no place to rest, because of uncleanness that destroys with a grievous destruction. 11If someone were to go about uttering empty falsehoods, saying, “I will preach to you of wine and strong drink,” such a one would be the preacher for this people!

12I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob, I will gather the survivors of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture; it will resound with people. 13The one who breaks out will go up before them; they will break through and pass the gate, going out by it. Their king will pass on before them, the Lord at their head.

Matthew 24:15-31

15“So when you see the desolating sacrilege standing in the holy place, as was spoken of by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), 16then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; 17the one on the housetop must not go down to take what is in the house; 18the one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. 19Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days! 20Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. 21For at that time there will be great suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22And if those days had not been cut short, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah!’ or ‘There he is!’ —do not believe it. 24For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce great signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25Take note, I have told you beforehand. 26So, if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look! He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. 29“Immediately after the suffering of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken. 30Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see ‘the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven’ with power and great glory. 31And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

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.

 

 

More and More 112511

Photo by Gila Brand. This is my own work. View...

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The 2nd Day of Advent

 

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures 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 right.

 

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Zechariah 14:1-9

1 Thessalonians 4:1-18

 

More and More 112511

 

The title almost sounds like it relates to Thanksgiving, when too many people, and yet too few eat more and more, and eat too much.

 

Instead it is a message that suits the second day of advent, as we grow day by day closer to the day of the birth of Jesus. The letter of 1 Thessalonians tells of what Christians are to be, and may be doing, and tells us to do ‘more and more’.

 

Verse 1 tells us to more and more live and please God. Verse 9 tells us to more and more love all the brothers and sisters…..

 

A beginning to advent then may include refining our spiritual life, and redoubling our effort to be a pure and holy disciple of Christ. May Christ find you, more and more, this Advent and Christmas season, as you find Christ, more and more.

 

Pray for the peace of Christ to come to you this day.

(brother) Bill

Psalm 80

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

18Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Zechariah 14:1-9

14See, a day is coming for the Lord, when the plunder taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses looted and the women raped; half the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. 5And you shall flee by the valley of the Lord’s mountain, for the valley between the mountains shall reach to Azal; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 6On that day there shall not be either cold or frost. 7And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the Lord), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light.

8On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter. 9And the Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.

1 Thessalonians 4:1-18

4Finally, brothers and sisters, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus that, as you learned from us how you ought to live and to please God (as, in fact, you are doing), you should do so more and more. 2For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from fornication; 4that each one of you know how to control your own body in holiness and honor, 5not with lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6that no one wrong or exploit a brother or sister in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, just as we have already told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. 8Therefore whoever rejects this rejects not human authority but God, who also gives his Holy Spirit to you.

9Now concerning love of the brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anyone write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another; 10and indeed you do love all the brothers and sisters throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, beloved, to do so more and more, 11to aspire to live quietly, to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we directed you, 12so that you may behave properly toward outsiders and be dependent on no one.

13But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died. 15For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died. 16For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage one another with these words.

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.

 

 

Thank you to Blog readers! 112411

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This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

Scriptures 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 right.

 

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

Zechariah 13:1-9

Revelation 14:6-13

 

Thank you to Blog readers! 112411

 

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States. It is also the beginning of Advent in the church calendar, the 4 week period prior to and leading to Christmas.

 

First, I’m giving thanks to the readers and subscribers of this humble blog. It continues to be an amazing experience to read the Bible, pray and write just a little each day. It does take time, and I appreciate and mourn all of us who live such demanding lives that we don’t have time to read the Bible and pray each day. I hope you will be able to find time in the future, but I also understand the economic times, and it is hard to earn a living. Taking time for almost anything is almost impossible, and if you have a spare moment to do something, you spend extra time and love on your family. I think Jesus would agree with that.

 

But for those who do come to this blog occasionally, I thank you also. It feels like a small community in here, and I recognize and delight I see each one of your names on a comment. My congregation, however widespread always knows and feels more deeply than I do, and it seems God sends you here as an angel sometimes—to help as much as to be helped.

 

I also want to thank you for mentioning this blog to your friends. I’m glad to welcome them here.

 

And, with the beginning of Advent, and also Thanksgiving Day, I want to remind myself to thank god for sending Jesus to earth, and placing him in human history. And I want to thank God for sending Jesus into my life personally.

 

Pray for peace, and for Thanksgiving.

(brother) Bill

Psalm 80

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

18Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Zechariah 13:1-9

13On that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. 2On that day, says the Lord of hosts, I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more; and also I will remove from the land the prophets and the unclean spirit. 3And if any prophets appear again, their fathers and mothers who bore them will say to them, “You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the Lord”; and their fathers and their mothers who bore them shall pierce them through when they prophesy. 4On that day the prophets will be ashamed, every one, of their visions when they prophesy; they will not put on a hairy mantle in order to deceive, 5but each of them will say, “I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the soil; for the land has been my possession since my youth.” 6And if anyone asks them, “What are these wounds on your chest?” the answer will be “The wounds I received in the house of my friends.”

7“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is my associate,” says the Lord of hosts. Strike the shepherd, that the sheep may be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones. 8In the whole land, says the Lord, two-thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one-third shall be left alive. 9And I will put this third into the fire, refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, “They are my people”; and they will say, “The Lord is our God.”

Revelation 14:6-13

6Then I saw another angel flying in midheaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people. 7He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, for the hour of his judgment has come; and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” 8Then another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.” 9Then another angel, a third, followed them, crying with a loud voice, “Those who worship the beast and its image, and receive a mark on their foreheads or on their hands, 10they will also drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured unmixed into the cup of his anger, and they will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image and for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” 12Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and hold fast to the faith of Jesus.

13And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Lord.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them.”

 

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.

 

 

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