To Be Present with One’s Own Loneliness 082412
This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO
Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also:
This week’s guest blogger is Janet Trevino-Elizarraz
It’s easy for us as humans once we believe that we have come unto the “truth” of God and how we should live that we begin comparing ourselves to others and unto the slippery slope into judgment. What is it about knowledge and obedience that we suddenly feel responsible to make sure others are living their life like us?
I recently heard from a friend on Facebook that she detests when Christians evangelize her. The evangelization that she had experienced carries a superiority and arrogance that actually turned her away from being able to listen or hear the heart behind the message. I can imagine from what I hear the psalmist say that if that is actually true, that God turns away and condemns the “others,” that when Christians share their faith, it’s out of love and concern for “salvation is nearer to us than when we believed.”
That same zealousness for community is experienced in the book of Joshua when the Israelites are ready to go to war with their brothers for taking an action they have yet to understand or question. We as Christians fall into judgment way sooner than love for we feel most responsible and we carry the burden it seems that God’s truth be defended and known by all.
The tragedy is that we forget that what matters most is not that all know God’s truth either in the Bible or in “right” living, but what is most important is living God’s love.
If it were that easy, though, huh? I’m the first one to raise my hand & say that I have very little understanding on what that would even look like. I can admit here that my heart is protected and guarded not allowing myself to be known fully and give love freely. So, let to my own devices, I would probably agree that the evil had it comin’ like the psalmist describes; I’m no different that the Israelites that attack their family; and I would be standing on the street corner yelling to “lay aside your deeds of darkness.”
And it is here that I realize how very lost I am and I need God’s all in my life. To be still and receive more. To be present with all the hate, anger, frustration, loneliness that is present within me, and see God come in and sit with me in it all. God is not only willing, God is waiting for me to finally just sit! It will be then and only then that I can come to allow love into my own heart, and when I see another, only love to be given to them. Love is instruction enough.
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.
Prayer List: 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 for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
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15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.
An Altar by the Jordan
10 And when they came to the region of the Jordan which is in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh built an altar there by the Jordan—a great, impressive altar. 11 Now the children of Israel heard someone say, “Behold, the children of Reuben, the children of Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh have built an altar on the frontier of the land of Canaan, in the region of the Jordan—on the children of Israel’s side.” 12 And when the children of Israel heard of it, the whole congregation of the children of Israel gathered together at Shiloh to go to war against them.
13 Then the children of Israel sent Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest to the children of Reuben, to the children of Gad, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, 14 and with him ten rulers, one ruler each from the chief house of every tribe of Israel; and each one was the head of the house of his father among the divisions[a] of Israel. 15 Then they came to the children of Reuben, to the children of Gad, and to half the tribe of Manasseh, to the land of Gilead, and they spoke with them, saying, 16 “Thus says the whole congregation of the Lord: ‘What treachery is this that you have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that you have built for yourselves an altar, that you might rebel this day against the Lord? 17 Is the iniquity of Peor not enough for us, from which we are not cleansed till this day, although there was a plague in the congregation of the Lord, 18 but that you must turn away this day from following the Lord? And it shall be, if you rebel today against the Lord, that tomorrow He will be angry with the whole congregation of Israel. 19 Nevertheless, if the land of your possession is unclean, then cross over to the land of the possession of the Lord, where the Lord’s tabernacle stands, and take possession among us; but do not rebel against the Lord, nor rebel against us, by building yourselves an altar besides the altar of the Lord our God. 20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? And that man did not perish alone in his iniquity.’”
- Joshua 22:14 Literally thousands
Put on Christ
11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
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