In The Congregation 073112
Psalm 111:1 started me thinking. The final three words are ‘in the congregation’. The whole idea of community is an old one, and apparently recognizable in pre-Jesus Jewish worship. Psalm 111 as a song of praise was a memorized hymn in the temple.
It seems that the tradition of Judaism and Christianity is that religion somehow works better in a community, or in some kind of group. Why is that? In both religions, the tradition emphasizes the necessity for justice, and justice itself, or lack of it are social concepts and it occurs in groups of people.
A problem that arises is that modern Christians in many parts of the world live in isolated, quasi-independent situations. We don’t live in communities or even in the same area as many persons in our churches, and we have little social interaction between Sundays. What do we remember about community from the past, and what do we still know? We all need people to talk about the spirit of our heart with.
Pray for peace in Syria as violence is causing people to flee in the thousands.
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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1Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
2Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.
3Full of honor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.
4He has gained renown by his wonderful deeds; the Lord is gracious and merciful.
5He provides food for those who fear him; he is ever mindful of his covenant.
6He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.
7The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
8They are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.
9He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name.
10The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
24Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship at a distance. 2Moses alone shall come near the Lord; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.” 3Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words that the Lord has spoken we will do.” 4And Moses wrote down all the words of the Lord. He rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. 5He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well-being to the Lord. 6Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar. 7Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” 8Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, “See the blood of the covenant that the Lord has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
9Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11God did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; also they beheld God, and they ate and drank.
22This is the reason that I have so often been hindered from coming to you. 23But now, with no further place for me in these regions, I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you 24when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while. 25At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem in a ministry to the saints; 26for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. 27They were pleased to do this, and indeed they owe it to them; for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material things. 28So, when I have completed this, and have delivered to them what has been collected, I will set out by way of you to Spain; 29and I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing of Christ.
30I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in earnest prayer to God on my behalf, 31that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my ministry to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, 32so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company. 33The God of peace be with all of you. Amen.
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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- God’s Heart For Your Increase and Blessing (todaysfreshmanna.wordpress.com)
- Of Sabbath Sticks & Stones (gentlereformation.org)
- The Bible In Our World (Part 8) (thebiblemeditator.wordpress.com)
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- Chapter Seven, Soul Deceiver, Don’t Be Late for the Wedding! (read Second) (lynleahz.com)
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- “Replacement theology” critics have it backwards (truebook.wordpress.com)