Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Archive for January, 2012

Finding God in Stillness 013112

"Holy Family and Trinity" (1726) by ...

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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).

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

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 46

Genesis 45:25—46:7

Acts 5:33-42

Finding God in Stillness 013112

 

In Psalm 46:10 God says: “Be still, and know that I am God! This sounds at first like a simple command, sort of like God reminding us to shut up and listen, and if that’s what God said, I’ll do it!

But it also reminds me that I have to seek stillness in order to hear God; I can’t leave the radio on, even if it is classical music or gospel I’m listening to—any music’s content is not what God may be saying to me.

Instead, this verse may be simply saying that in order to know God, we have to first find stillness. This is not easy. Global culture seems to be built on distraction, and concentrating is very difficult because of this distraction.

And then there is the intense contemplation one can engage in, to begin to know God. Our church has been focusing lately on contemplation, as well as other spiritual disciplines, and when we find a little stillness and begin to know God, it begins to be the most enlightening of practices, and so enlightening that one misses not contemplating. It’s like a daily required practice that leaves the day incomplete and empty when not practiced.

Be still today, and begin to know God.

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

Psalm 46

1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

5God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.

6The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

7The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

8Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

10“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

11The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Genesis 45:25—46:7

25So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26And they told him, “Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt.” He was stunned; he could not believe them. 27But when they told him all the words of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.”

46When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” 3Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. 4I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s own hand shall close your eyes.”

5Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6They also took their livestock and the goods that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, 7his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.

Acts 5:33-42

33When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them. 34But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law, respected by all the people, stood up and ordered the men to be put outside for a short time. 35Then he said to them, “Fellow Israelites, consider carefully what you propose to do to these men. 36For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him; but he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and disappeared. 37After him Judas the Galilean rose up at the time of the census and got people to follow him; he also perished, and all who followed him were scattered. 38So in the present case, I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone; because if this plan or this undertaking is of human origin, it will fail; 39but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them—in that case you may even be found fighting against God!” They were convinced by him, 40and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 42And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.

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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An Ever-Changing, Always Changing God 013012

English: Be still .. .. and know that I am God...

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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).

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

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 46

Genesis 12:1-9

1 Corinthians 7:17-24

 

An Ever-Changing, Always Changing God 013012

Psalm 46 praises a god who is both our constant refuge and strength (Verse 1) yet is with us beyond the life span of mountains and geological change, and the rising and fall of mountains, earthquakes, the riser and fall of kingdoms.

God is a constant, and dependable yet flexible and resilient beyond the life of this universe!

Somehow, this tells me we somehow share in the infinite magnitude of God, and share in the infinite timelessness of God. I don’t know how to describe this non-believers, but it’s what Psalm 46, it seems to me, to sing to each of us.

Pray for peace, and make this the best week ever.

(brother) Bill

Psalm 46

1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;

3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah

4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

5God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.

6The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

7The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

8Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth.

9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

10“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”

11The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah

Genesis 12:1-9

12Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

4So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. 5Abram took his wife Sarai and his brother’s son Lot, and all the possessions that they had gathered, and the persons whom they had acquired in Haran; and they set forth to go to the land of Canaan. When they had come to the land of Canaan,

6Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7Then the Lord appeared to Abram, and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. 8From there he moved on to the hill country on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and invoked the name of the Lord. 9And Abram journeyed on by stages toward the Negeb.

1 Corinthians 7:17-24

17However that may be, let each of you lead the life that the Lord has assigned, to which God called you. This is my rule in all the churches. 18Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. 19Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing; but obeying the commandments of God is everything. 20Let each of you remain in the condition in which you were called. 21Were you a slave when called? Do not be concerned about it. Even if you can gain your freedom, make use of your present condition now more than ever. 22For whoever was called in the Lord as a slave is a freed person belonging to the Lord, just as whoever was free when called is a slave of Christ. 23You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human masters. 24In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.

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.

 

The Completeness of Our Songs 012812

via Flickr”]Psalm 48:10This blog comes to you from the people at

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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).

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

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

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Psalm 62:5-12

Jeremiah 20:14-18

Luke 10:13-16

 

The Completeness of Our Songs 012812

Someone has said that the Psalms are sufficient as complete prayers to God. I don’t know about using the word ‘complete’ to describe the Psalms, because every song needs a singer, and God needs us to sing these Psalms. They lack our individual voices

But the Psalms do contain so much, and I’m continually surprised (when I slow down and read the Psalms aloud).

In Psalm 62, after a beautiful few lines of praise, this Psalm says in Verse 10: “Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them. “

I don’t know how much global economics involves extortion, but I can’t imagine extortion not being involved at times in how people and nations do business with each other and sometimes I’ve worked for employers who knew I was desperate for a job. But, as the Psalm tells us, put no confidence in extortion. We cannot depend on thriving from the benefits of extortion or allowing ourselves or others to suffer under the effects of extortion.

God liberates us again and again from ourselves.

Pray for peace (and justice)

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 62:5-12

5For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

6He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

7On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

8Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

9Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.

10Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

11Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,

12and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. For you repay to all according to their work.

Jeremiah 20:14-18

14Cursed be the day on which I was born! The day when my mother bore me, let it not be blessed! 15Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father, saying, “A child is born to you, a son,” making him very glad. 16Let that man be like the cities that the Lord overthrew without pity; let him hear a cry in the morning and an alarm at noon, 17because he did not kill me in the womb; so my mother would have been my grave, and her womb forever great. 18Why did I come forth from the womb to see toil and sorrow, and spend my days in shame?

Luke 10:13-16

13“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. 14But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. 15And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. 16“Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”

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.

 

Sing To The Lord; Praise The Lord! 012712

English: Poverty Русский: Нищенство

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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).

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

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 62:5-12

Jeremiah 20:7-13

2 Peter 3:1-7

 

Sing To The Lord; Praise The Lord! 012712

 

From Jeremiah 20:13 comes our day’s title, but the writer continues and says ‘For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hands of evildoers’. I am reminded that for Christians and Jewish devotees share a heritage being the oppressed, of being the victim, of being the needy.

Modern statistics might show something very different now, in that Christians (or citizens of formerly Christian nations) enjoy the status of being the most wealthy and consuming people in the history of the world. Globally, these statistics are clear for Christians (and North American Christians and European Christian nations outweigh the wealth of other Christians globally).

This causes a conflict, because some think you have to twist and restate Christianity in a big way to get Christianity to be the faith of the wealthy, the white and the male Christians of a few Northern hemisphere nations.

But what kind of Christians are you and I? Do we share our faith as humble, simple and poor Christians, sharing our meager resources with the poor of the world, or are we those rich Christians who believe (even when unacknowledged) that we believe Jesus has blessed us with wealth, material goods in excess, good food, good water and good health care (or sort of good) because we are Christians and that we somehow deserve these things, even if we must use force and death to keep them.

Pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

 

 

 

Psalm 62:5-12

5For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

6He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

7On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

8Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

9Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.

10Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

11Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,

12and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. For you repay to all according to their work.

Jeremiah 20:7-13

7O Lord, you have enticed me, and I was enticed; you have overpowered me, and you have prevailed. I have become a laughingstock all day long; everyone mocks me. 8For whenever I speak, I must cry out, I must shout, “Violence and destruction!” For the word of the Lord has become for me a reproach and derision all day long. 9If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” then within me there is something like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. 10For I hear many whispering: “Terror is all around! Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” All my close friends are watching for me to stumble. “Perhaps he can be enticed, and we can prevail against him, and take our revenge on him.” 11But the Lord is with me like a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not prevail. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. 12O Lord of hosts, you test the righteous, you see the heart and the mind; let me see your retribution upon them, for to you I have committed my cause. 13Sing to the Lord; praise the Lord! For he has delivered the life of the needy from the hands of evildoers.

2 Peter 3:1-7

3This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you; in them I am trying to arouse your sincere intention by reminding you 2that you should remember the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets, and the commandment of the Lord and Savior spoken through your apostles.

3First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts 4and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!” 5They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water, 6through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished. 7But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.

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.

 

For God Alone My Soul Waits In Silence 012612

Français : Vallée de Hinnom, Retraite des Apôt...

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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).

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

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 62:5-12

Jeremiah 19:1-15

Revelation 18:11-20

 

For God Alone My Soul Waits In Silence 012612

 

It seems that during the times and decades I did not live ‘with God’ that I had no soul. I didn’t miss it, because I don’t know (and don’t remember) whether I even knew what it was like to have a soul.

 

It is as if I did not have a soul, because the soul waited in silence, it appears, like Psalm 62 says this morning.

 

But this goes to the heart of our difficulty telling people about Jesus and God: How do tell people about the joy in a Christian disciple’s soul, if non-believers do not know and feel (deep in their soul?) what it is like for your soul to experience God?

 

Tell people about it, and maybe they will begin to feel again—in their soul.

 

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 62:5-12

5For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from him.

6He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.

7On God rests my deliverance and my honor; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.

8Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

9Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.

10Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.

11Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,

12and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord. For you repay to all according to their work.

Jeremiah 19:1-15

19Thus said the Lord: Go and buy a potter’s earthenware jug. Take with you some of the elders of the people and some of the senior priests, 2and go out to the valley of the son of Hinnom at the entry of the Potsherd Gate, and proclaim there the words that I tell you. 3You shall say: Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to bring such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. 4Because the people have forsaken me, and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their ancestors nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of the innocent, 5and gone on building the high places of Baal to burn their children in the fire as burnt-offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it enter my mind; 6Therefore the days are surely coming, says the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the valley of Slaughter. 7And in this place I will make void the plans of Judah and Jerusalem, and will make them fall by the sword before their enemies, and by the hand of those who seek their life. I will give their dead bodies for food to the birds of the air and to the wild animals of the earth. 8And I will make this city a horror, a thing to be hissed at; everyone who passes by it will be horrified and will hiss because of all its disasters. 9And I will make them eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, and all shall eat the flesh of their neighbors in the siege, and in the distress with which their enemies and those who seek their life afflict them.

10Then you shall break the jug in the sight of those who go with you, 11and shall say to them: Thus says the Lord of hosts: So will I break this people and this city, as one breaks a potter’s vessel, so that it can never be mended. In Topheth they shall bury until there is no more room to bury. 12Thus will I do to this place, says the Lord, and to its inhabitants, making this city like Topheth. 13And the houses of Jerusalem and the houses of the kings of Judah shall be defiled like the place of Topheth—all the houses upon whose roofs offerings have been made to the whole host of heaven, and libations have been poured out to other gods. 14When Jeremiah came from Topheth, where the Lord had sent him to prophesy, he stood in the court of the Lord’s house and said to all the people: 15Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am now bringing upon this city and upon all its towns all the disaster that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks, refusing to hear my words.

Revelation 18:11-20

11And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her, since no one buys their cargo anymore, 12cargo of gold, silver, jewels and pearls, fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet, all kinds of scented wood, all articles of ivory, all articles of costly wood, bronze, iron, and marble, 13cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, choice flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, slaves—and human lives. 14“The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your dainties and your splendor are lost to you, never to be found again!” 15The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud, 16“Alas, alas, the great city, clothed in fine linen, in purple and scarlet, adorned with gold, with jewels, and with pearls! 17For in one hour all this wealth has been laid waste!” And all shipmasters and seafarers, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off 18and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning, “What city was like the great city?” 19And they threw dust on their heads, as they wept and mourned, crying out, “Alas, alas, the great city, where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth! For in one hour she has been laid waste. 20Rejoice over her, O heaven, you saints and apostles and prophets! For God has given judgment for you against her.”

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.

 

Like A Child 012512

The Painting entitled "Jesus Blessing the...

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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).

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

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 86

Genesis 16:1-14

Luke 18:15-17

 

Like A Child 012512

 

What do you remember of your childhood that makes Jesus exalt all to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven? Many of us may recall the idyllic and beautiful picture and image of Jesus seated, with children on his lap and young lambs resting around his feet.

 

Luckily, I remember childhood as a time of pastoral, rural peace and happiness. I seem to remember walking and playing in the woods and fields and sitting on the back porch steps watching the clouds, and knowing that there was God in the clouds, watching me.

 

I had yet to learn of darkness and of the choice between light and dark that each of us makes, back when we didn’t know there was a choice. Our knowledge of God came as a result of innocence, unblemished wisdom and love. It didn’t come from theology, or from books or from any human institution. It was there (it is here) for all to see and understand.

 

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 86

1Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

2Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;

3be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day long.

4Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

5For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.

6Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication.

7In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me.

8There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.

9All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

10For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.

11Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

12I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

13For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them.

15But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

16Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl.

17Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

Genesis 16:1-14

16Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, bore him no children. She had an Egyptian slave-girl whose name was Hagar, 2and Sarai said to Abram, “You see that the Lord has prevented me from bearing children; go in to my slave-girl; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai. 3So, after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian, her slave-girl, and gave her to her husband Abram as a wife.

4He went in to Hagar, and she conceived; and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked with contempt on her mistress. 5Then Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my slave-girl to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the Lord judge between you and me!” 6But Abram said to Sarai, “Your slave-girl is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she ran away from her.

7The angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. 8And he said, “Hagar, slave-girl of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?” She said, “I am running away from my mistress Sarai.” 9The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her.”

10The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will so greatly multiply your offspring that they cannot be counted for multitude.” 11And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Now you have conceived and shall bear a son; you shall call him Ishmael, for the Lord has given heed to your affliction. 12He shall be a wild ass of a man, with his hand against everyone, and everyone’s hand against him; and he shall live at odds with all his kin.” 13So she named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are El-roi”; for she said, “Have I really seen God and remained alive after seeing him?” 14Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

Luke 18:15-17

15People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it. 16But Jesus called for them and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. 17Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”

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.

 

Incline Your Ear, O Lord 012411

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Psalm 86

1 Samuel 15:10-31

Acts 5:1-11

 

Incline Your Ear, O Lord 012411

 

As a child I wondered how God was able to hear and understand the prayers of 3 billion people on earth, and now that there are 7 billion on earth, I still wonder. I can’t hear one person if  a mere radio is on in the same room! 7 billion is beyond comprehension, but God listens and ‘inclines his ear’, but we like to plead and hope it works.

Sincerity is perhaps the most important part of prayer, and maybe a sincere prayer is hear more clearly—that would seem righteous and just. And maybe prayers for others besides us is heard more clearly.

But a day and a life lived in prayer is okay too, regardless of how good we are—and  any prayer is good and heard by our God, we are told. And while we are praying we are not causing harm, or being greedy, or engaging in the worst sin of all—separation from God.

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 86

1Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy.

2Preserve my life, for I am devoted to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;

3be gracious to me, O Lord, for to you do I cry all day long.

4Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

5For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call on you.

6Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication.

7In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me.

8There is none like you among the gods, O Lord, nor are there any works like yours.

9All the nations you have made shall come and bow down before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.

10For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God.

11Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name.

12I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.

13For great is your steadfast love toward me; you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.

14O God, the insolent rise up against me; a band of ruffians seeks my life, and they do not set you before them.

15But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

16Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl.

17Show me a sign of your favor, so that those who hate me may see it and be put to shame, because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

1 Samuel 15:10-31

10The word of the Lord came to Samuel: 11“I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following me, and has not carried out my commands.” Samuel was angry; and he cried out to the Lord all night. 12Samuel rose early in the morning to meet Saul, and Samuel was told, “Saul went to Carmel, where he set up a monument for himself, and on returning he passed on down to Gilgal.” 13When Samuel came to Saul, Saul said to him, “May you be blessed by the Lord; I have carried out the command of the Lord.” 14But Samuel said, “What then is this bleating of sheep in my ears, and the lowing of cattle that I hear?” 15Saul said, “They have brought them from the Amalekites; for the people spared the best of the sheep and the cattle, to sacrifice to the Lord your God; but the rest we have utterly destroyed.” 16Then Samuel said to Saul, “Stop! I will tell you what the Lord said to me last night.” He replied, “Speak.” 17Samuel said, “Though you are little in your own eyes, are you not the head of the tribes of Israel? The Lord anointed you king over Israel. 18And the Lord sent you on a mission, and said, ‘Go, utterly destroy the sinners, the Amalekites, and fight against them until they are consumed.’ 19Why then did you not obey the voice of the Lord? Why did you swoop down on the spoil, and do what was evil in the sight of the Lord?” 20Saul said to Samuel, “I have obeyed the voice of the Lord, I have gone on the mission on which the Lord sent me, I have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and I have utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21But from the spoil the people took sheep and cattle, the best of the things devoted to destruction, to sacrifice to the Lord your God in Gilgal.” 22And Samuel said, “Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Surely, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is no less a sin than divination, and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has also rejected you from being king.”

24Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned; for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice. 25Now therefore, I pray, pardon my sin, and return with me, so that I may worship the Lord.” 26Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you; for you have rejected the word of the Lord, and the Lord has rejected you from being king over Israel.” 27As Samuel turned to go away, Saul caught hold of the hem of his robe, and it tore. 28And Samuel said to him, “The Lord has torn the kingdom of Israel from you this very day, and has given it to a neighbor of yours, who is better than you. 29Moreover the Glory of Israel will not recant or change his mind; for he is not a mortal, that he should change his mind.” 30Then Saul said, “I have sinned; yet honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me, so that I may worship the Lord your God.” 31So Samuel turned back after Saul; and Saul worshiped the Lord.

Acts 5:1-11

5But a man named Ananias, with the consent of his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property; 2with his wife’s knowledge, he kept back some of the proceeds, and brought only a part and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3“Ananias,” Peter asked, “why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, were not the proceeds at your disposal? How is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You did not lie to us but to God!” 5Now when Ananias heard these words, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard of it. 6The young men came and wrapped up his body, then carried him out and buried him. 7After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you and your husband sold the land for such and such a price.” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” 9Then Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10Immediately she fell down at his feet and died. When the young men came in they found her dead, so they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear seized the whole church and all who heard of these things.

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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