This week’s guest blogger is Janet Trevino-Elizarraz
In God’s Care 082012
God’s care for God’s people comes in many different ways. It’s easy for us to read in the Psalms about God’s provision and expect for God to act & be the sole caregiver & problem solver for all our struggles in our life when we read “They drink their fill of the abundance of Your house; And You give them to drink of the river of Your delights.” But the mystery is this… God comes in many shapes & in different forms. Sometimes because we’ve been teased to believe in an individualistic religion that God’s river will come direct from heaven, when God actually does show up, it may come from the unexpected hand of a stranger… or from whom we perceive to be our enemy.
For the Patriarch Israel, he was comforted in sending for more grain for his family’s survival because Judah agreed to be the “surety,” guarantor, of his brother’s safety. I can imagine that for them it must have been extremely difficult to trust that abundance would be available to them when misunderstandings & relational conflicts were present between both the Egyptian leader & the Hebrews up to that point. Yet, God showed up to not only provide their daily bread, but to provide them a new homeland and to grow their nation in preparation for their future promise land. Here we see the unexpected hand that is God’s river provision as a single person in Joseph.
In Acts, the promise to be filled with God’s drink takes on a different form. It was not the direct blessing of God on the people nor was it by one man who’d provide for the widows’ needs but now we begin to see the way that community can also be God’s hands in the world. Here we see the community leadership growing to provide God’s abundance to all in need… and this leadership being diverse in culture and strengths to provide for the nuanced needs of this new & developing community. Here we see God showing up to do something new among God’s people! Unexpected, incarnate, transformative ways of God.
As you pray today for your needs or the needs of others, ask for your eyes to be opened to seeing God’s work in the world in a new way. How may God already be meeting your needs & you not know it or recognize it because it’s foreign to you. You may even find that you reject it because it’s not the “way” you’ve been taught to expect God. In gratefulness, thank God for already showing up… maybe then, it’ll become clearer to you.
About Our Guest Blogger This Week, Janet Trevino-Elizarraraz
If she’s not mediating the fights of her four children 7 and under or washing dishes constantly most of the day, Janet spends her time envisioning, organizing, and calling her local “tribe” into more deeply connecting themselves to their inward self, to the Earth, and to the invisible, powerful Presence that surrounds us.
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).
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Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.
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1Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in their hearts; there is no fear of God before their eyes.
2For they flatter themselves in their own eyes that their iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
3The words of their mouths are mischief and deceit; they have ceased to act wisely and do good.
4They plot mischief while on their beds; they are set on a way that is not good; they do not reject evil.
5Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.
7How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
8They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
9For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.
10O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!
11Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12There the evildoers lie prostrate; they are thrust down, unable to rise.
43Now the famine was severe in the land. 2And when they had eaten up the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little more food.” 3But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned us, saying, ‘You shall not see my face unless your brother is with you.’ 4If you will send our brother with us, we will go down and buy you food; 5but if you will not send him, we will not go down, for the man said to us, ‘You shall not see my face, unless your brother is with you.’“ 6Israel said, “Why did you treat me so badly as to tell the man that you had another brother?” 7They replied, “The man questioned us carefully about ourselves and our kindred, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Have you another brother?’ What we told him was in answer to these questions. Could we in any way know that he would say, ‘Bring your brother down’?” 8Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me, and let us be on our way, so that we may live and not die—you and we and also our little ones. 9I myself will be surety for him; you can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame forever. 10If we had not delayed, we would now have returned twice.”
11Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry them down as a present to the man—a little balm and a little honey, gum, resin, pistachio nuts, and almonds. 12Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the top of your sacks; perhaps it was an oversight. 13Take your brother also, and be on your way again to the man; 14may God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, so that he may send back your other brother and Benjamin. As for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.”
15So the men took the present, and they took double the money with them, as well as Benjamin. Then they went on their way down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.
6Now during those days, when the disciples were increasing in number, the Hellenists complained against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food. 2And the twelve called together the whole community of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should neglect the word of God in order to wait on tables. 3Therefore, friends, select from among yourselves seven men of good standing, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this task, 4while we, for our part, will devote ourselves to prayer and to serving the word.” 5What they said pleased the whole community, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, together with Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6They had these men stand before the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them. 7The word of God continued to spread; the number of the disciples increased greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
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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