The Difference Between 041712
While reading today’s scriptures from top to bottom the difference between the end of the selection from Daniel and the beginning of the selection from 1 John are striking.
Daniel ends with King Darius executing Daniel’s accusers, their wives and children. The lions in the den break their bones before they reach the bottom. No one expresses horror.
But in 1John 12 ‘… your sins are forgiven on account of his name.’
And with these words, we know the difference between history before Jesus, and history after Jesus. It seems before Jesus that no one thought that executing a group of people including women and children ‘by lion’s den’ was excessive, unjust or horrible.
But after Jesus we have forgiveness, instead of death. And we are expected to forgive those who we think have sinned.
Pray for this peace of Jesus Christ in our lives.
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
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Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
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1 John 2:12-17
1Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; give praise, O servants of the Lord,
2you that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.
3Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for he is gracious.
4For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.
5For I know that the Lord is great; our Lord is above all gods.
6Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
7He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.
8He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both human beings and animals;
9he sent signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.
10He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings—
11Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan—
12and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.
13Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.
14For the Lord will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants.
15The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
16They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see;
17they have ears, but they do not hear, and there is no breath in their mouths.
18Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them.
19O house of Israel, bless the Lord! O house of Aaron, bless the Lord!
20O house of Levi, bless the Lord! You that fear the Lord, bless the Lord!
21Blessed be the Lord from Zion, he who resides in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!
6It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred twenty satraps, stationed throughout the whole kingdom, 2and over them three presidents, including Daniel; to these the satraps gave account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 3Soon Daniel distinguished himself above all the other presidents and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king planned to appoint him over the whole kingdom. 4So the presidents and the satraps tried to find grounds for complaint against Daniel in connection with the kingdom. But they could find no grounds for complaint or any corruption, because he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption could be found in him. 5The men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”
6So the presidents and satraps conspired and came to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an interdict, that whoever prays to anyone, divine or human, for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions. 8Now, O king, establish the interdict and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 9Therefore King Darius signed the document and interdict. 10Although Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem, and to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously.
11The conspirators came and found Daniel praying and seeking mercy before his God. 12Then they approached the king and said concerning the interdict, “O king! Did you not sign an interdict, that anyone who prays to anyone, divine or human, within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions?” The king answered, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13Then they responded to the king, “Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the interdict you have signed, but he is saying his prayers three times a day.” 14When the king heard the charge, he was very much distressed. He was determined to save Daniel, and until the sun went down he made every effort to rescue him. 15Then the conspirators came to the king and said to him, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no interdict or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.” 16Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!” 17A stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, so that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.
18Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no food was brought to him, and sleep fled from him. 19Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. 20When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21Daniel then said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.” 23Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24The king gave a command, and those who had accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. Before they reached the bottom of the den the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.
25Then King Darius wrote to all peoples and nations of every language throughout the whole world: “May you have abundant prosperity! 26I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: For he is the living God, enduring forever. His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion has no end. 27He delivers and rescues, he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth; for he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.
1 John 2:12-17
12I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven on account of his name. 13I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, because you have conquered the evil one. 14I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 15Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; 16for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.
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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