Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Birth of Mennonite movement

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Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

Proverbs 12:10-21

Galatians 5:2-15

Manual Labor Has Its Reward 020912

 

Proverbs 12:14 says ‘….and manual labor has its reward.

This time of year I have regular contact with farmers in a local Amish community. They sell vegetable seeds and plants and so we cross paths often as I try to garden.

The Amish and my ancestor Mennonites were once the same denomination, and I think I still share something with them spiritually. When I’m around them Jesus’ ideas of social justice, love and equality and equanimity become real. It is apparent in actions and speech that they practice a daily profound life with Jesus and each other.

Yesterday I had to go by a friend’s house very early, and I thought I might catch him drinking coffee, but he had been up for hours doing chores and carrying firewood, then repairing equipment for spring farm work. All his children were around helping and working in some way, and then his older sons dropped by to help rebuilding an old wagon. And all of them were happy, sometimes even singing and whistling.

There is no doubt they live a life filled with continual manual labor, and I think they are rewarded.

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

Psalm 147

1Praise the Lord! How good it is to sing praises to our God; for he is gracious, and a song of praise is fitting.

2The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the outcasts of Israel.

3He heals the brokenhearted, and binds up their wounds.

4He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

5Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.

6The Lord lifts up the downtrodden; he casts the wicked to the ground.

7Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre.

8He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth, makes grass grow on the hills.

9He gives to the animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry.

10His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;

11but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

20He has not dealt thus with any other nation; they do not know his ordinances. Praise the Lord!

Proverbs 12:10-21

10The righteous know the needs of their animals,
but the mercy of the wicked is cruel.
11Those who till their land will have plenty of food,
but those who follow worthless pursuits have no sense.
12The wicked covet the proceeds of wickedness,
but the root of the righteous bears fruit.
13The evil are ensnared by the transgression of their lips,
but the righteous escape from trouble.
14From the fruit of the mouth one is filled with good things,
and manual labor has its reward.
15Fools think their own way is right,
but the wise listen to advice.
16Fools show their anger at once,
but the prudent ignore an insult.
17Whoever speaks the truth gives honest evidence,
but a false witness speaks deceitfully.
18Rash words are like sword thrusts,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
19Truthful lips endure forever,
but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.
20Deceit is in the mind of those who plan evil,
but those who counsel peace have joy.
21No harm happens to the righteous,
but the wicked are filled with trouble.

Galatians 5:2-15

2Listen! I, Paul, am telling you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. 3Once again I testify to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obliged to obey the entire law. 4You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. 5For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything; the only thing that counts is faith working through love. 7You were running well; who prevented you from obeying the truth? 8Such persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 9A little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough. 10I am confident about you in the Lord that you will not think otherwise. But whoever it is that is confusing you will pay the penalty. 11But my friends, why am I still being persecuted if I am still preaching circumcision? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12I wish those who unsettle you would castrate themselves!

13For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.

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.

Comments on: "Manual Labor Has Its Reward 020912" (2)

  1. The Amish way of life does have an upside to it.

    • The upside I notice mostly is the community of Christ, that is, that they live so close in community as part of their Christian life of discipleship. We all have our way of working this out, but it good to see and learn from their community-mindedness.

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