Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Archive for February, 2012

Aside

By Prayer Restored 022912

English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, wit...

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This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

By Prayer Restored 022912

Lamentations is, well, a serious lamentation! Sometimes it seems like the Old Testament is full of such lamentations. But we forget too easily!

Life is filled with what sometimes are horrible events, disasters and dis-ease. And the Old Testament is a record, up to a certain point in history, of our religious ancestors, the Jews, and their persecution because of ethnicity, religion, prosperity and the strategic position of Jerusalem along trade routes.

But we should not be so limited. If we are to repeat and record the lamentations of people who have suffered greatly, the American Indian, the Australian aboriginal peoples, and countless others should be remembered. Misery is not rare.

The difference for us is that the Lamentation prayer is answered, in this case by the words of Jesus in John 5 as Jesus tells us he is the son of God, and what the father does, he does. As the father heals and resurrects, Jesus heals and resurrects. We have the gift of life.

Pray for our church today and your church, and pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

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).

Pray with us!

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 38

Lamentations 5:1-22

John 5:19-29

 

Psalm 38

1O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.

2For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me.

3There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.

4For my iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.

5My wounds grow foul and fester because of my foolishness;

6I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all day long I go around mourning.

7For my loins are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh.

8I am utterly spent and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

9O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you.

10My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.

11My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction, and my neighbors stand far off.

12Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin, and meditate treachery all day long.

13But I am like the deaf, I do not hear; like the mute, who cannot speak.

14Truly, I am like one who does not hear, and in whose mouth is no retort.

15But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.

16For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me, those who boast against me when my foot slips.”

17For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me.

18I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.

19Those who are my foes without cause are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully.

20Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good.

21Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me;

22make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.

Lamentations 5:1-22

5Remember, O Lord, what has befallen us; look, and see our disgrace! 2Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to aliens. 3We have become orphans, fatherless; our mothers are like widows. 4We must pay for the water we drink; the wood we get must be bought. 5With a yoke on our necks we are hard driven; we are weary, we are given no rest. 6We have made a pact with Egypt and Assyria, to get enough bread. 7Our ancestors sinned; they are no more, and we bear their iniquities. 8Slaves rule over us; there is no one to deliver us from their hand. 9We get our bread at the peril of our lives, because of the sword in the wilderness. 10Our skin is black as an oven from the scorching heat of famine. 11Women are raped in Zion, virgins in the towns of Judah. 12Princes are hung up by their hands; no respect is shown to the elders. 13Young men are compelled to grind, and boys stagger under loads of wood. 14The old men have left the city gate, the young men their music. 15The joy of our hearts has ceased; our dancing has been turned to mourning. 16The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned!

17Because of this our hearts are sick, because of these things our eyes have grown dim: 18because of Mount Zion, which lies desolate; jackals prowl over it. 19But you, O Lord, reign forever; your throne endures to all generations. 20Why have you forgotten us completely? Why have you forsaken us these many days? 21Restore us to yourself, O Lord, that we may be restored; renew our days as of old— 22unless you have utterly rejected us, and are angry with us beyond measure.

John 5:19-29

19Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. 20The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished. 21Indeed, just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whomever he wishes. 22The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, 23so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Anyone who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him. 24Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25“Very truly, I tell you, the hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26For just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself; 27and he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28Do not be astonished at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29and will come out—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

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.

 

Aside

Is Tuesday Reason Enough To Call Defeat? 022812

Aghibasiin-Lessons on How to Defeat Death

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This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Is Tuesday Reason Enough To Call Defeat? 022812

As political campaigners for President fight for survival in Michigan primaries and others, I’m watching what happens in our spiritual lives.

Mondays are not my favorite day. They are almost a shock after the peace and meditative tone of Sunday. After church we have a meal with friends and family often, and talk to each other and everyone about topics which end up being spiritual. It is a truly wonderful day to be called the ‘Lord’s Day’.

Then Mondays ‘happen’, sometimes in a rough fashion or shocking manner, and we’re shaken from the peace of Sunday.

Tuesday is almost a day of recovery from Monday, and we may really begin to get to work on something productive and holy, we hope. But if Monday with the world has been a rough one, Tuesday may be the day we call for help again, that the week not be a difficult one, and that we are able to bounce back from Monday! I sympathize with Paul who says in 2 Corinthians 1 “….the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself.”

And I realize that things are not so bad for us here. We are not despairing of life itself. But this day may be really difficult for you and someone you will meet today. Help themselves, and help yourselves to a full measure of God’s love. We will be praying for you, and please, pray for those in despair whom God sends your way today.

(brother) Bill

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).

Pray with us!

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/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

 

Psalm 38

Micah 4:1-7

2 Corinthians 1:1-11

 

Psalm 38

1O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.

2For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me.

3There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.

4For my iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.

5My wounds grow foul and fester because of my foolishness;

6I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all day long I go around mourning.

7For my loins are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh.

8I am utterly spent and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

9O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you.

10My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.

11My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction, and my neighbors stand far off.

12Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin, and meditate treachery all day long.

13But I am like the deaf, I do not hear; like the mute, who cannot speak.

14Truly, I am like one who does not hear, and in whose mouth is no retort.

15But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.

16For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me, those who boast against me when my foot slips.”

17For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me.

18I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.

19Those who are my foes without cause are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully.

20Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good.

21Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me;

22make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.

Micah 4:1-7

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. 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.

2 Corinthians 1:1-11

1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, To the church of God that is in Corinth, including all the saints throughout Achaia: 2Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, 4who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God. 5For just as the sufferings of Christ are abundant for us, so also our consolation is abundant through Christ. 6If we are being afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation; if we are being consoled, it is for your consolation, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we are also suffering.

7Our hope for you is unshaken; for we know that as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our consolation. 8We do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, of the affliction we experienced in Asia; for we were so utterly, unbearably crushed that we despaired of life itself. 9Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death so that we would rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. 10He who rescued us from so deadly a peril will continue to rescue us; on him we have set our hope that he will rescue us again, 11as you also join in helping us by your prayers, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

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.

 

Aside

The Lord Waits To Be Gracious To You 022712

 

Nicolaes Pietersz. Berchem's depiction of Paul...

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This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

The Lord Waits To Be Gracious To You 022712

From Isaiah 30:18 comes today’s title, and it’s a great way to start the day. I need to get to work quickly, as we all seem to do early Monday morning, but as we go out the door, let’s carry this with us… 18Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you’.

And I believe it to be true, God always waits to share his blessings with us. In particular, I believe that God promises blessings to us, especially when we ask for blessings so that we may bless others. If God’s grace does not flow to each of us, it is because of our closed hearts, not because of God’s reluctance.

Today, as we each go out to work and witness, remember the graciousness shared with each of us, and share it with all we can. Go in the peace of Jesus Christ.

Pray for this peace,

(brother) Bill

 

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).

Pray with us!

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/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

 

 

Psalm 38

Isaiah 30:18-26

Acts 14:8-18

 

Psalm 38

1O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.

2For your arrows have sunk into me, and your hand has come down on me.

3There is no soundness in my flesh because of your indignation; there is no health in my bones because of my sin.

4For my iniquities have gone over my head; they weigh like a burden too heavy for me.

5My wounds grow foul and fester because of my foolishness;

6I am utterly bowed down and prostrate; all day long I go around mourning.

7For my loins are filled with burning, and there is no soundness in my flesh.

8I am utterly spent and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart.

9O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you.

10My heart throbs, my strength fails me; as for the light of my eyes—it also has gone from me.

11My friends and companions stand aloof from my affliction, and my neighbors stand far off.

12Those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek to hurt me speak of ruin, and meditate treachery all day long.

13But I am like the deaf, I do not hear; like the mute, who cannot speak.

14Truly, I am like one who does not hear, and in whose mouth is no retort.

15But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.

16For I pray, “Only do not let them rejoice over me, those who boast against me when my foot slips.”

17For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever with me.

18I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.

19Those who are my foes without cause are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully.

20Those who render me evil for good are my adversaries because I follow after good.

21Do not forsake me, O Lord; O my God, do not be far from me;

22make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation.

Isaiah 30:18-26

18Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. 19Truly, O people in Zion, inhabitants of Jerusalem, you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you. 20Though the Lord may give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself any more, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. 21And when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left, your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” 22Then you will defile your silver-covered idols and your gold-plated images. You will scatter them like filthy rags; you will say to them, “Away with you!” 23He will give rain for the seed with which you sow the ground, and grain, the produce of the ground, which will be rich and plenteous. On that day your cattle will graze in broad pastures; 24and the oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat silage, which has been winnowed with shovel and fork. 25On every lofty mountain and every high hill there will be brooks running with water—on a day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall. 26Moreover the light of the moon will be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun will be sevenfold, like the light of seven days, on the day when the Lord binds up the injuries of his people, and heals the wounds inflicted by his blow.

Acts 14:8-18

8In Lystra there was a man sitting who could not use his feet and had never walked, for he had been crippled from birth. 9He listened to Paul as he was speaking. And Paul, looking at him intently and seeing that he had faith to be healed, 10said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And the man sprang up and began to walk. 11When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates; he and the crowds wanted to offer sacrifice. 14When the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting, 15“Friends, why are you doing this? We are mortals just like you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16In past generations he allowed all the nations to follow their own ways; 17yet he has not left himself without a witness in doing good—giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, and filling you with food and your hearts with joy.” 18Even with these words, they scarcely restrained the crowds from offering sacrifice to 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.

 

Aside

The Dudes of Capernaum 022512

Ruins of the synagogue in Capernaum.

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This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

The Dudes of Capernaum 022512

One could actually find a reason here for supporting sainthood for Simon’s mother. The story’s location is Simon (Peter’s) house in the village of Capernaum. Simon Peter’s mother-in-law is healed by Jesus after leaving the synagogue in Capernaum, where Jesus preached it is told.

Jesus was staying there with Peter, Peter’s wife (who is not mentioned, Peter’s mother-in-law and also James, Andrew, John and the tax collector, Matthew. Everyone of these guys is unmarried, though old enough to marry, and no one seems to have a job, although Peter does get everyone to help him fish from time to time.

I think Simon Peter’s mother-in-law deserves sainthood because I recall when I was one of several dudes sleeping on a widow’s living room floor, or crashing in the family room etc. after a rock n’ roll concert, or something. I think that all such women deserve sainthood for allowing room for the homeless, feeding a scruffy group breakfast, and being a saint about it all.

What would it be like if several 30-year old single men (5! including Jesus) needed to share your home? Certainly, it was Peter’s house, but any man who thinks he owns the house and home has not been married .And Peter’s mother-in-law was sick with a fever!

But many people would not have tolerated Jesus and his dudes, even if Jesus claimed he was the Messiah. But they did tolerate those dudes, and together they have changed the world. Blessings to that household!

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

 

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).

Pray with us!

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/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

 

Psalm 41

Isaiah 39:1-8

Luke 4:38-41

 

Psalm 41

1Happy are those who consider the poor; the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.

2The Lord protects them and keeps them alive; they are called happy in the land. You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.

3The Lord sustains them on their sickbed; in their illness you heal all their infirmities.

4As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

5My enemies wonder in malice when I will die, and my name perish.

6And when they come to see me, they utter empty words, while their hearts gather mischief; when they go out, they tell it abroad.

7All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me.

8They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me, that I will not rise again from where I lie.

9Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.

10But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them.

11By this I know that you are pleased with me; because my enemy has not triumphed over me.

12But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever.

13Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

Isaiah 39:1-8

39At that time King Merodach-baladan son of Baladan of Babylon sent envoys with letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that he had been sick and had recovered. 2Hezekiah welcomed them; he showed them his treasure house, the silver, the gold, the spices, the precious oil, his whole armory, all that was found in his storehouses. There was nothing in his house or in all his realm that Hezekiah did not show them. 3Then the prophet Isaiah came to King Hezekiah and said to him, “What did these men say? From where did they come to you?” Hezekiah answered, “They have come to me from a far country, from Babylon.” 4He said, “What have they seen in your house?” Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing in my storehouses that I did not show them.”

5Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord of hosts: 6Days are coming when all that is in your house, and that which your ancestors have stored up until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left, says the Lord. 7Some of your own sons who are born to you shall be taken away; they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.” 8Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “The word of the Lord that you have spoken is good.” For he thought, “There will be peace and security in my days.”

Luke 4:38-41

38After leaving the synagogue he entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. 39Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them. 40As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. 41Demons also came out of many, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was 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.

 

 

DISCIPLINE!? 022412

English: The Deputy Director of Discipline of MTK

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This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

DISCIPLINE!? 022412

You may have noticed, but I’m not keen on Paul. Yes, he’s in the Bible, while Thomas (whom I appreciate) was omitted, so maybe I’m carrying a grudge.

In our Bible selection from Hebrews 12:7-13. I grew up in a time when discipline was physical, threatening and intimidating and it would take some explaining on my part to explain to people that our God might also disciplining us by force and fear.

 

This is not the way of American culture right now perhaps, and for fear of offending everyone in some way, we tend to forget to discipline our children, or don’t really know how to do so effectively. Fear doesn’t work, since eventually we hope all will grow to become teenagers, and teenagers are almost never afraid of anything, including their father and mother.

So, it has to be a discipline based on respect. Maybe that’s what Paul is saying; we may have difficulty understanding the culture relating to families and children in 1st Century Mediterranean homes. But respect in children often reblooms when they turn 40 or so and maybe not before, so how are we now able to discipline and be disciplined by God.

Now, many of us expect to be disciplined by being spoken to in a peaceable tone, and allowed to sit down and discuss the situation completely. If we are to be disciplined, and that may be the case often with me, maybe we need to ask God to sit down with us, and share a cup of coffee or iced tea. We can talk this over, God.

But I’m not going to explain Paul away (sometimes his insight is so amazing, I have to keep listening to his words). But what are we to do when a human being, like Paul, speaks to us from a culture we left far behind, or never really understood?  What about when Paul seems to talk down to women and to the elderly? Sometimes Paul even talks bad about Jews, and he was one!

Maybe we can pray for understanding, and read again the words of Jesus.

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

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).

Pray with us!

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/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

 

Psalm 41

Isaiah 38:1-8

Hebrews 12:7-13

 

Psalm 41

1Happy are those who consider the poor; the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.

2The Lord protects them and keeps them alive; they are called happy in the land. You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.

3The Lord sustains them on their sickbed; in their illness you heal all their infirmities.

4As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

5My enemies wonder in malice when I will die, and my name perish.

6And when they come to see me, they utter empty words, while their hearts gather mischief; when they go out, they tell it abroad.

7All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me.

8They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me, that I will not rise again from where I lie.

9Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.

10But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them.

11By this I know that you are pleased with me; because my enemy has not triumphed over me.

12But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever.

13Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

Isaiah 38:1-8

38In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came to him, and said to him, “Thus says the Lord: Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.” 2Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall, and prayed to the Lord: 3“Remember now, O Lord, I implore you, how I have walked before you in faithfulness with a whole heart, and have done what is good in your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. 4Then the word of the Lord came to Isaiah: 5“Go and say to Hezekiah, Thus says the Lord, the God of your ancestor David: I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; I will add fifteen years to your life. 6I will deliver you and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria, and defend this city. 7“This is the sign to you from the Lord, that the Lord will do this thing that he has promised: 8See, I will make the shadow cast by the declining sun on the dial of Ahaz turn back ten steps.” So the sun turned back on the dial the ten steps by which it had declined.

Hebrews 12:7-13

7Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline? 8If you do not have that discipline in which all children share, then you are illegitimate and not his children. 9Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share his holiness. 11Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. 12Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, 13and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.

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.

 

 

Aside

The Amazing Truth 022312

English: shocked expression on a girl's face

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The Amazing Truth 022312

In all three scripture selections today we read about worldviews and attitudes that are truly amazing.

The first of several reasons why we might find these scriptures amazing is that they are not of this world. It is not of this world to say to say that those who consider the poor should be happy. It is more like to world to say that one can be happy by creating wealth from the poverty of others, or to disavow one’s own connections to poverty.

In 2 Chronicles God promises forgiveness. This is amazing also because it is not like the world. The world says that power has the right to kill others, that power dominates and benefits from the exercise of power. Instead, here, the infinite power of space, time and the universe, with infinite power, uses that power to forgive us all our ignorance and and blindness to God’s presence and Jesus’ presence here with us, in this room.

And in 3 John we are blessed for our faithfulness, and feel like we’re a blessing to others. In the world it tends to go that we are cursed by others more than we are blessed, by far. But then, this is an amazing book we’re reading from, and an amazing God for our worship.

We don’t often find truth in life, no matter how hard we try. Most of life is deception and mistruth; it is hurtful and vindictive, more than we Christians remember. Yet each time we open the Bible, truths beyond our spiritual growth jump out at us and pull us into the wonder and love of God.

Pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

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).

Pray with us!

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 41

2 Chronicles 7:12-22

3 John 2-8

 

Psalm 41

1Happy are those who consider the poor; the Lord delivers them in the day of trouble.

2The Lord protects them and keeps them alive; they are called happy in the land. You do not give them up to the will of their enemies.

3The Lord sustains them on their sickbed; in their illness you heal all their infirmities.

4As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against you.”

5My enemies wonder in malice when I will die, and my name perish.

6And when they come to see me, they utter empty words, while their hearts gather mischief; when they go out, they tell it abroad.

7All who hate me whisper together about me; they imagine the worst for me.

8They think that a deadly thing has fastened on me, that I will not rise again from where I lie.

9Even my bosom friend in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted the heel against me.

10But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may repay them.

11By this I know that you are pleased with me; because my enemy has not triumphed over me.

12But you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever.

13Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting. Amen and Amen.

2 Chronicles 7:12-22

12Then the Lord appeared to Solomon in the night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for myself as a house of sacrifice. 13When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayer that is made in this place. 16For now I have chosen and consecrated this house so that my name may be there forever; my eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17As for you, if you walk before me, as your father David walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my ordinances, 18then I will establish your royal throne, as I made covenant with your father David saying, ‘You shall never lack a successor to rule over Israel.’ 19“But if you turn aside and forsake my statutes and my commandments that I have set before you, and go and serve other gods and worship them, 20then I will pluck you up from the land that I have given you; and this house, which I have consecrated for my name, I will cast out of my sight, and will make it a proverb and a byword among all peoples. 21And regarding this house, now exalted, everyone passing by will be astonished, and say, ‘Why has the Lord done such a thing to this land and to this house?’ 22Then they will say, ‘Because they abandoned the Lord the God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they adopted other gods, and worshiped them and served them; therefore he has brought all this calamity upon them.’”

3 John 2-8

2Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, just as it is well with your soul.

3I was overjoyed when some of the friends arrived and testified to your faithfulness to the truth, namely how you walk in the truth. 4I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth. 5Beloved, you do faithfully whatever you do for the friends, even though they are strangers to you; 6they have testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God; 7for they began their journey for the sake of Christ, accepting no support from non-believers. 8Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may become co-workers with the truth.

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.

 

Aside

The Essential Contrast 022212

English: This is a map of first century Iudaea...

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www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 The Essential Contrast 022212

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, and 40 days prior to Easter. Jesus spent 40 days fasting and praying in the desert before beginning his public ministry, so Ash Wednesday likewise marks the beginning of a 40 day period of fasting and prayer leading up to and preparing for Easter, This, like the rest of the church calendar and liturgical calendar seem to focus around a general plan of spiritual formation and Lent is directed toward the extended fasting and prayer, like Jesus, for 40 days and nights.

The ashes of Ash Wednesday signify mourning, and in the case of Christians, signify repentance and the forgiveness of God. Ash Wednesday is for fasting and prayer, for those whose health permits fasting. We can pray certainly, even if we’re unhealthy and pray for health.

Like the royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum, we just need to believe in Jesus to be healed, and to heal. It is a story of deep passion and rich human emotion. There is nothing more poignant than the words of the official ‘Sir, come down before my little boy dies.’

The story from John presents a wonderful contrast, and I think, an essential contrast between Jesus and the New Testament good news and the readings from Psalm 6 and Job 30. Each of these Old Testament scriptural selections is dark, deep and angry from way down deep. They are full of grief and despair, and each is a plea in desperation for help from God.

But healing, and life for the little come easy from Jesus. Jesus brings light and life to the dark regions of the Old Testament and he comes to us easily, with kindness and love.

Pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

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).

Pray with us!

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 6

Job 30:16-31

John 4:46-54

Psalm 6

1O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.

2Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.

3My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O Lord—how long?

4Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.

5For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?

6I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.

7My eyes waste away because of grief; they grow weak because of all my foes.

8Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.

9The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.

10All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.

Job 30:16-31

16“And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have taken hold of me. 17The night racks my bones, and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest. 18With violence he seizes my garment; he grasps me by the collar of my tunic. 19He has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. 20I cry to you and you do not answer me; I stand, and you merely look at me. 21You have turned cruel to me; with the might of your hand you persecute me. 22You lift me up on the wind, you make me ride on it, and you toss me about in the roar of the storm. 23I know that you will bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. 24“Surely one does not turn against the needy, when in disaster they cry for help. 25Did I not weep for those whose day was hard? Was not my soul grieved for the poor? 26But when I looked for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came. 27My inward parts are in turmoil, and are never still; days of affliction come to meet me. 28I go about in sunless gloom; I stand up in the assembly and cry for help. 29I am a brother of jackals, and a companion of ostriches. 30My skin turns black and falls from me, and my bones burn with heat. 31My lyre is turned to mourning, and my pipe to the voice of those who weep.

John 4:46-54

46Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. 47When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48Then Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my little boy dies.” 50Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. 51As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. 52So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, “Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.” 53The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he himself believed, along with his whole household. 54Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.


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.


Aside

Imitators of Christ 022112

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

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Imitators of Christ 022112

Today’s selection from 1 Corinthians 10 is typical Paul. It reads more like a speech than a letter, and follows Greek styles of rhetoric and argument, we are told. But the content is sometimes harder to find. But Paul concludes this with the command to imitate Paul, since he imitates Christ.

Even better, imitate Christ! Something about Christ we disciples should recognize and beware of….many human beings and human beings attempt to place themselves between a disciple and Jesus.

Our relationship with Jesus as disciples is easy and simple and light; it involves Jesus and me, or each of you. That’s it.

But churches, governments, schools, denominations, and everyone else it seems wants to be between us and Jesus. Many people will try to tell each of us how exactly to follow Jesus, but in the end there is only us and Jesus. And there is only Christ to imitate.

Pray for peace.

(brother) Bill

 

 

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).

Pray with us!

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 6

2 Kings 7:3-10

1 Corinthians 10:14—11:1

 

Psalm 6

1O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.

2Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.

3My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O Lord—how long?

4Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.

5For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?

6I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.

7My eyes waste away because of grief; they grow weak because of all my foes.

8Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.

9The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.

10All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.

2 Kings 7:3-10

3Now there were four leprous men outside the city gate, who said to one another, “Why should we sit here until we die? 4If we say, ‘Let us enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there; but if we sit here, we shall also die. Therefore, let us desert to the Aramean camp; if they spare our lives, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die.” 5So they arose at twilight to go to the Aramean camp; but when they came to the edge of the Aramean camp, there was no one there at all. 6For the Lord had caused the Aramean army to hear the sound of chariots, and of horses, the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, “The king of Israel has hired the kings of the Hittites and the kings of Egypt to fight against us.” 7So they fled away in the twilight and abandoned their tents, their horses, and their donkeys leaving the camp just as it was, and fled for their lives. 8When these leprous men had come to the edge of the camp, they went into a tent, ate and drank, carried off silver, gold, and clothing, and went and hid them. Then they came back, entered another tent, carried off things from it, and went and hid them. 9Then they said to one another, “What we are doing is wrong. This is a day of good news; if we are silent and wait until the morning light, we will be found guilty; therefore let us go and tell the king’s household.” 10So they came and called to the gatekeepers of the city, and told them, “We went to the Aramean camp, but there was no one to be seen or heard there, nothing but the horses tied, the donkeys tied, and the tents as they were.”

1 Corinthians 10:14—11:1

14Therefore, my dear friends, flee from the worship of idols.

15I speak as to sensible people; judge for yourselves what I say. 16The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a sharing in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a sharing in the body of Christ? 17Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread. 18Consider the people of Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices partners in the altar? 19What do I imply then? That food sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? 20No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be partners with demons. 21You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. 22Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?

23“All things are lawful,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other. 25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience, 26for “the earth and its fullness are the Lord’s.” 27If an unbeliever invites you to a meal and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, out of consideration for the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience— 29I mean the other’s conscience, not your own. For why should my liberty be subject to the judgment of someone else’s conscience? 30If I partake with thankfulness, why should I be denounced because of that for which I give thanks? 31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 32Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, so that they may be saved.

11Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

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 Hour Of Prayer 022012

Saint Peter Alerted by Saint John to the Prese...

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The Hour Of Prayer 022012

In Acts 3:1-10 we read that Peter and John were going to the temple to pray at the hour of prayer, 3:00 pm, but the original text (and some translations, specify this as the 9th hour of the day. The Jewish day was 12 hours long, for the daylight hours only.

Morning prayer was at 9:00 am, and the evening prayer was at 3:00 pm. Clarke’s Commentary on The Bible says:

“The rabbins believed that Abraham instituted the time of morning prayer; Isaac, that at noon; and Jacob, that of the evening: for which they quote several scriptures, which have little reference to the subject in behalf of which they are produced. Others of the rabbins, particularly Tanchum, made a more natural division. Men should pray,

1. When the sun rises;

2. when the sun has gained the meridian;

3. when the sun has set, or passed just under the horizon.

At each of these three times they required men to offer prayer to God; and I should be glad to know that every Christian in the universe observed the same rule: it is the most natural division of the day; and he who conscientiously observes these three stated times of prayer will infallibly grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord.” (http://clarke.biblecommenter.com/acts/3.htm)

These are difficult hours of the day for us now. Many people start work at 8:00 am or even 7:00 am, and the morning prayer would come in the middle of the morning’s work, and the 3:00 pm prayer might come in the middle of wrapping up the day’s supposed work.

But wait a minute! Are we saying that the schedule of the world is more important and takes precedence over the appointed hour for regular prayer? Yes, it does, it seems, and for all of us who work for a boss, or a master who is not Christian, etc we may well find ourselves forbidden to engage in practices such as prayer in the middle of an otherwise really important day.

We live in a post-Christian world, and what spiritual practices we chose to practice must be done in secret, in private so as not to embarrass anyone. This is called religious freedom, but it does feel free or even relaxed.

We discussed in Sunday church the practice of regular prayer that we are encouraging, using the book of Common Prayer and www.commonprayer.net It is difficult to pray three times a day, especially when one must pray in secrecy and solitude only. No one will remind you or miss you if you don’t make it to prayer time. Still, we hope we can restablish the Christian pattern of prayer in common, three times a day.

As for Peter and John, they were able to heal a crippled beggar, on the way to prayer. What would they feel like after prayer and who else might they heal?

Like Peter and John remember an afternoon time to pray. Don’t just fit it in, but make an effort to walk outside, or away, and for a time, be with God.

Pray for Peace in the Middle East and that all find a way to talk to each other in respect.

(brother) Bill

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).

Pray with us!

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 6

2 Chronicles 26:1-21

Acts 3:1-10

 

 

Psalm 6

1O Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger, or discipline me in your wrath.

2Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; O Lord, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.

3My soul also is struck with terror, while you, O Lord—how long?

4Turn, O Lord, save my life; deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.

5For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who can give you praise?

6I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.

7My eyes waste away because of grief; they grow weak because of all my foes.

8Depart from me, all you workers of evil, for the Lord has heard the sound of my weeping.

9The Lord has heard my supplication; the Lord accepts my prayer.

10All my enemies shall be ashamed and struck with terror; they shall turn back, and in a moment be put to shame.

2 Chronicles 26:1-21

26Then all the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was sixteen years old, and made him king to succeed his father Amaziah. 2He rebuilt Eloth and restored it to Judah, after the king slept with his ancestors. 3Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned fifty-two years in Jerusalem. His mother’s name was Jecoliah of Jerusalem. 4He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, just as his father Amaziah had done. 5He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God; and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him prosper. 6He went out and made war against the Philistines, and broke down the wall of Gath and the wall of Jabneh and the wall of Ashdod; he built cities in the territory of Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. 7God helped him against the Philistines, against the Arabs who lived in Gur-baal, and against the Meunites. 8The Ammonites paid tribute to Uzziah, and his fame spread even to the border of Egypt, for he became very strong. 9Moreover Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at the Corner Gate, at the Valley Gate, and at the Angle, and fortified them. 10He built towers in the wilderness and hewed out many cisterns, for he had large herds, both in the Shephelah and in the plain, and he had farmers and vinedressers in the hills and in the fertile lands, for he loved the soil. 11Moreover Uzziah had an army of soldiers, fit for war, in divisions according to the numbers in the muster made by the secretary Jeiel and the officer Maaseiah, under the direction of Hananiah, one of the king’s commanders. 12The whole number of the heads of ancestral houses of mighty warriors was two thousand six hundred. 13Under their command was an army of three hundred seven thousand five hundred, who could make war with mighty power, to help the king against the enemy. 14Uzziah provided for all the army the shields, spears, helmets, coats of mail, bows, and stones for slinging. 15In Jerusalem he set up machines, invented by skilled workers, on the towers and the corners for shooting arrows and large stones. And his fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped until he became strong.

16But when he had become strong he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was false to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the Lord to make offering on the altar of incense. 17But the priest Azariah went in after him, with eighty priests of the Lord who were men of valor; 18they withstood King Uzziah, and said to him, “It is not for you, Uzziah, to make offering to the Lord, but for the priests the descendants of Aaron, who are consecrated to make offering. Go out of the sanctuary; for you have done wrong, and it will bring you no honor from the Lord God.” 19Then Uzziah was angry. Now he had a censer in his hand to make offering, and when he became angry with the priests a leprous disease broke out on his forehead, in the presence of the priests in the house of the Lord, by the altar of incense. 20When the chief priest Azariah, and all the priests, looked at him, he was leprous in his forehead. They hurried him out, and he himself hurried to get out, because the Lord had struck him. 21King Uzziah was leprous to the day of his death, and being leprous lived in a separate house, for he was excluded from the house of the Lord. His son Jotham was in charge of the palace of the king, governing the people of the land.

Acts 3:1-10

3One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the hour of prayer, at three o’clock in the afternoon. 2And a man lame from birth was being carried in. People would lay him daily at the gate of the temple called the Beautiful Gate so that he could ask for alms from those entering the temple. 3When he saw Peter and John about to go into the temple, he asked them for alms. 4Peter looked intently at him, as did John, and said, “Look at us.” 5And he fixed his attention on them, expecting to receive something from them. 6But Peter said, “I have no silver or gold, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, stand up and walk.” 7And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong. 8Jumping up, he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. 9All the people saw him walking and praising God, 10and they recognized him as the one who used to sit and ask for alms at the Beautiful Gate of the temple; and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

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.

 

Aside

Selling The Jar Of Oil 021812

 

English: Egyptian alabaster unguent jar with t...

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Selling The Jar Of Oil 021812

Reading the jar of oil story in Matthew today, I’m always confused by why the oil wasn’t sold and the money given to the poor. Certainly it would be good to honor Jesus, if his body and flesh were here, but why didn’t Jesus request the oil be sold and the money given to the poor instead of just pouring it on his head?

If we apply this as a metaphor (which is our only choice—the woman with the alabaster jar is not here now) then this story might mean that Jesus is saying ‘you could have sold the oil at any time and helped the poor, but you choose to prepare me for death instead’. Jesus was also one of those poor, and maybe using the oil on his head was giving it to the poor.

I also _think_ we sometimes hear the absolutely clear voice of Jesus as a human being only, and not as the voice of God. Jesus remained human. And here Jesus speaks with compassion about the woman who loved him enough to use the precious oil on his head to prepare him for death. To know that an ordinary woman loved him and wished to bless him and prepare for his death moved him deeply, as it might any of us.

Some have said we should not be concerned so much by the poor, and that no matter what we do Jesus has ‘guaranteed’ they will be with us always. But I hope we are careful using Jesus’ words this way. It may be blasphemous to believe Jesus said we should not be so concerned with the poor because of this, when Jesus had spent his entire ministry caring for the poor, and he came from a religion that for thousands of years had spoken for the poor.

I’m left with only one alternative: to care for the poor as Jesus said, and to honor Jesus in his (human) death.

Pray for the poor and pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

 

 

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).

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Psalm 30

Leviticus 14:21-32

Matthew 26:6-13

Psalm 30

1I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me.

2O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

3O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

4Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.

5For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

6As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”

7By your favor, O Lord, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed.

8To you, O Lord, I cried, and to the Lord I made supplication:

9“What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?

10Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!”

11You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Leviticus 14:21-32

21But if he is poor and cannot afford so much, he shall take one male lamb for a guilt offering to be elevated, to make atonement on his behalf, and one-tenth of an ephah of choice flour mixed with oil for a grain offering and a log of oil; 22also two turtledoves or two pigeons, such as he can afford, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 23On the eighth day he shall bring them for his cleansing to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, before the Lord; 24and the priest shall take the lamb of the guilt offering and the log of oil, and the priest shall raise them as an elevation offering before the Lord. 25The priest shall slaughter the lamb of the guilt offering and shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering, and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of the right hand, and on the big toe of the right foot. 26The priest shall pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand, 27and shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the Lord. 28The priest shall put some of the oil that is in his hand on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot, where the blood of the guilt offering was placed. 29The rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement on his behalf before the Lord. 30And he shall offer, of the turtledoves or pigeons such as he can afford, 31one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, along with a grain offering; and the priest shall make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one being cleansed. 32This is the ritual for the one who has a leprous disease, who cannot afford the offerings for his cleansing.

Matthew 26:6-13

6Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? 9For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” 10But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of 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.

 

 

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