Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

 

Icon of the Pentecost

Icon of the Pentecost (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Pentecost, Prayer And Memorial Day 052812

The title of today’s blog began with idea to talk about the scriptures from Joel 2:18-29 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 that each speak directly about the day of Pentecost. It is an important day, but one which the institutional church has had a hard time ‘celebrating’.

 

Memorial Day is also a difficult day for Christians to celebrate, because modern American Christians are so divided on the celebration of military service, or in some circumstances the celebration of military power.

In the midst and middle of these two difficult days to celebrate is ‘Prayer’.

After Ascension, Jesus’ family and disciples gathered in the upper room to wait for Jesus and to wait as instructed, for the Holy Spirit, the Advocate to come. While the waited, they prayed.

I am somewhat in the same position as those disciples and family members in that I’m waiting for the Holy Spirit to come. But we have not be denied the Holy Spirit so far, and the Holy Spirit definitely is with our small church—when we pray. But even with the Holy Spirit coming before, I should be always waiting and always praying for the Holy Spirit to come. (But it is a hard holiday to decorate for, and what exactly should go on the bulletin’s cover page this week?) As focused as Jesus was in his prayer and the Holy Spirit, we are sometimes a church that has difficulty practicing and leading the congregation in a life of pursuit, waiting and meditative prayer waiting and expecting the Holy Spirit.

Memorial Day is also a difficult day for Christians, globally.  There Christians worldwide and they are each a brother and sister in Christ. Many of them may not celebrate American military power at all, and may fear it terribly. Worldwide Christians are known for their pacifism—they reject violence and all military violence, as did Jesus.

Mennonites are pacifist, and I am a pacifist. I believe Jesus called for us to be peacemakers now. It is morally difficult however to live in America and watch the spectacle of a military celebration, and also realize that I, my family and everyone I know benefits greatly from American military power.

Additionally, some family members, and many friends served with pride in American wars, and I am proud of their service. They had the courage to do what they thought was right (and I won’t judge their decisions).

I recall my great-grandmother who passed away at the age of 107 in 1963. She was old enough to remember seeing men come home from the American Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War 1, World War II and the Korean War. She talked about offering fresh water to men walking the road by her childhood farm whether they wore grey trousers or blue trousers as their previous uniform.

When I asked her what we should do about all these men, and all these wars, she said ‘Pray’. Pray for the warriors, pray for peace and pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit.

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 104:24-34, 35b

Joel 2:18-29

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

 

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

24O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.

26There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

27These all look to you to give them their food in due season;

28when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

29When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

30When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.

31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—

32who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.

33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

34May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.

35Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!

Joel 2:18-29

18Then the Lord became jealous for his land, and had pity on his people. 19In response to his people the Lord said: I am sending you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied; and I will no more make you a mockery among the nations. 20I will remove the northern army far from you, and drive it into a parched and desolate land, its front into the eastern sea, and its rear into the western sea; its stench and foul smell will rise up. Surely he has done great things! 21Do not fear, O soil; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord has done great things! 22Do not fear, you animals of the field, for the pastures of the wilderness are green; the tree bears its fruit, the fig tree and vine give their full yield. 23O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the Lord your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. 24The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil. 25I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent against you. 26You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame. 27You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame.

28Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. 29Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

4Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

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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Comments on: "Pentecost, Prayer And Memorial Day 052812" (3)

  1. Praise God… The Holy Spirit has arrived! And… I just witnessed [saw the witness of] Him, in the reading of this letter/post. [I still have goosebumps from reading it]

    THANK YOU BROTHER BILL… So BEAUTIFUL! [And might I add… a wise woman your great-grandmother!]

    GOD has BLESSED US… with days of Pentecost, Prayer, & Memorial. And in all, He says ‘Remember ME!’ …

    “I PRAY IT SO!”
    … jams4JESUS

  2. Memorial Day is a difficult day for me as a veteran. Thanks for your words acknowledging the struggle.

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