Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Father of the Pride

Father of the Pride (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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The Sin of Pride 060112

From the monthly magazine The Mennonite and online at www.themenonite.org comes this column titled ‘Purposeful Plan Needs An Eighth Priority’ (found at http://www.themennonite.org/issues/15-6/articles/Purposeful_Plan_needs_an_eighth_priority ):

“Whether we are conservative or liberal, rural or urban, Republican or Democrat, we can agree that three assumptions are at the core of prevailing American thought:

(1) U.S. military domination of the world is better than all available alternatives,

(2) catering to the corporate elite is necessary in order for the rest of us to get by and

(3) personal freedom and fulfillment is achieved by throwing off restraints and limitations.

To unleash the power of the seven recommended practices, we need to disassociate ourselves from these three deceptions. As a church, this will mean renouncing U.S. military domination of the world and declaring that even in this life, we do not find our security in the power of empire. It will mean ending our infatuation with Wall Street, affirming workers as the source of prosperity and committing ourselves to the support of an economy that creates opportunities for working people. It will mean bearing witness to the freedom and fulfillment we have found by binding ourselves to the way of Jesus, communities of faith and relationships of love and fidelity.

In our context, these identity markers will signify the saving power of our Lord. As we publicly embrace such nonconformity, the seven priorities contained in the Purposeful Plan will indeed do their work, making of us “an effective sign, instrument and foretaste of God’s kingdom.”

Berry Friesen is a member of East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pa.”

I’m proud, as a Mennonite minister that a congregant could speak and write so succinctly about what the priorities of the wider church should be, and proud that a magazine with our denominational name sees this as fit and worthy of publication.

But for many, it is also an example of what I call the Mennonite paradox. As far as I know no one else calls it that. The article excerpt above could be seen as extremely liberal, even radical on issues of social and economic justice, military power and empire and the role of money and greed in modern culture(s). Sometimes, as above Mennonites show, Mennonites and Christians can seem so liberal. Yet, in many many ways Mennonites are like an old country church I once knew that was biblically oriented and so studious that the congregation occasionally would stop a minister during a sermon to correct an error in the minister’s biblical interpretation! Strict reading and adherence to biblical teaching is foremost!

And sometimes a radical, liberal, even anarchist view of the world, and a Biblical conservatism go together. I’m proud of that and read today the words of Isaiah 2:4b:

“….they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.”

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 29

Isaiah 2:1-5

Romans 8:9-11


Psalm 29

The Voice of God in a Great Storm

A Psalm of David.
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy splendour.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forest bare;
and in his temple all say, ‘Glory!’
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Isaiah 2:1-5

The Future House of God

2The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
3   Many peoples 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.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!

Romans 8:9-11

9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 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: "The Sin of Pride 060112" (1)

  1. Thanks for the comments and the link to the Friesen article.

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