Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Archive for March 9, 2012

Reading a Good Book for Lent 030912

Russian icon of St. Athanasius the Athonite (S...

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Reading a Good Book for Lent 030912

I decided it was time to start a new book for my daily reading besides the Bible, that is.

I am looking for a book that will bring me closer to God, and closer to Jesus for the season of Lent. I realize Lent is a man made holiday season, but we have to remember that holidays are HOLY-Days.

I tend to look for books that expand my sense of what it means to be a Christian disciple. I fear that the ‘modern church’, whatever that is, has taken a suggestion from modern media experts and tried to simplify or worse abbreviate the experience of a Christian disciple. I think that the relationship between God and man is so much more diverse and wonderful than any normal Sunday morning preacher normally discusses, and sometimes a simple direct sellable notion of who God and Jesus are to us has become predominant in the world’s Christian churches. Modern Christianity may be more sellable or saleable (capable of being sold—you know what I mean) but is also more flat, has less passion and doesn’t cause us to sell all we have and follow him.

So, for Lent, as part of one’s efforts to deepen the relationship with God and Jesus, I’m seeking a new book to read. Luckily, we have so many (neglected) books and writers. On my bookshelf are books by Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard de Bingen, and other writers. Luckily, the works of older writers may be online for free and all these writers are at the library for free (this makes old German skinflints very happy). The book called The Life of Anthony by Athanaius (313 AD)


is available free at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xvi.ii.i.html

and could be a good choice for Lent reading.

As and result, we should consider that some human institutions may not encourage us to learn and be all we can be as disciples of Christ. After all, what happens to our Facebook account if we go barefoot, wear long robes and walk a great deal?

As Romans 8 says today:  38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 For Lent, look at human institutions that may be keeping you from God, like the church for instance, or the media, or the….

Pray for the health of your relationship with God, and each other. Pray for this peace.


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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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 81:1-10

Leviticus 23:1-8

Romans 8:31-39

Psalm 81

1Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

2Raise a song, sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp.

3Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our festal day.

4For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

5He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known:

6“I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.

7In distress you called, and I rescued you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah

8Hear, O my people, while I admonish you; O Israel, if you would but listen to me!

9There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.

10I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

Leviticus 23:1-8

23The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: These are the appointed festivals of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations, my appointed festivals. 3Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work: it is a sabbath to the Lord throughout your settlements.

4These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall celebrate at the time appointed for them. 5In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering to the Lord, 6and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. 8For seven days you shall present the Lord’s offerings by fire; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation: you shall not work at your occupations.

Romans 8:31-39

31What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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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