Preparing for the Lord’s Day 071412
People are sometimes so busy on Saturday that it is difficult to prepare for Sunday, but let’s slow down some. But it is partly a habit, a remnant of a time when _everything_ was closed on Sunday for the Lord’s Day. No gasoline, no convenience stores, no grocery stores, and originally, no movie theaters. And there really wasn’t anything on TV, after it was invented to watch on Sunday, until the evening when Disney came on, and then The Ed Sullivan Show.
So, because of it, many people in this North American culture anyway, got used to hurrying around to get everything on Saturday that was needed for Sunday. Imagine what it would be like to find yourself without disposable diapers! Oh, they weren’t even invented until more recently, but people for many years have seen Saturday as ‘going to town’ day, or as shopping day.
By contrast, on this Saturday, in preparation for Sunday, I’m trying to finish the Sunday sermon, and it takes time. It takes slow time and it takes the patient voice of prayer.
But why is the minister the only one preparing for Sunday, if that is the case? For Mennonites, the minister’s role, the pastor’s role is greatly reduced, and greatly humbled. Until recently, many Mennonite churches refused to pay a minister anything, (and I prefer that custom) since it was answering the call of God. Ministers were selected from the congregation usually, and giving the preacher a hog, a side of beef or produce from the garden was more common than a paycheck.
So, it is all our job to prepare for Sunday, the church belongs to Jesus and all his disciples.
While we encourage the reading of scriptures daily today’s selection from Amos—well, it’s god to know it’s in the Bible, but it’s not my favorite verse, and even the gospel from Luke doesn’t inspire me—it’s one of those passages that tries to establish Jesus as a larger than life myth, and to be honest, I don’t care for it, because I know Jesus personally, and we don’t need to inflate the myth. He is sufficient. Read and pray the Psalm however—it will lift us up.
Pray for peace
PeaceMennoniteChurchkeeps 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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1Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.
2You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin. Selah
3You withdrew all your wrath; you turned from your hot anger.
4Restore us again, O God of our salvation, and put away your indignation toward us.
5Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?
6Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you?
7Show us your steadfast love, O Lord, and grant us your salvation.
8Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.
9Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.
10Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
11Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
12The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.
13Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.
6I gave you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and lack of bread in all your places, yet you did not return to me, says the Lord. 7And I also withheld the rain from you when there were still three months to the harvest; I would send rain on one city, and send no rain on another city; one field would be rained upon, and the field on which it did not rain withered; 8so two or three towns wandered to one town to drink water, and were not satisfied; yet you did not return to me, says the Lord. 9I struck you with blight and mildew; I laid waste your gardens and your vineyards; the locust devoured your fig trees and your olive trees; yet you did not return to me, says the Lord. 10I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt; I killed your young men with the sword; I carried away your horses; and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils; yet you did not return to me, says the Lord. 11I overthrew some of you, as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and you were like a brand snatched from the fire; yet you did not return to me, says the Lord. 12Therefore thus I will do to you, O Israel; because I will do this to you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel! 13For lo, the one who forms the mountains, creates the wind, reveals his thoughts to mortals, makes the morning darkness, and treads on the heights of the earth— the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name!
57Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. 58Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. 59On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. 60But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” 61They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.” 62Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. 63He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. 64Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. 65Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea. 66All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
67Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: 68“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. 69He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, 70as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, 71that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. 72Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, 73the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us 74that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, 75in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 76And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, 77to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. 78By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, 79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” 80The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day he appeared publicly toIsrael.
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.