Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Awe

Awe (Photo credit: emorse04)

Continued Amazement 082812

 

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

This week’s guest blogger is Jackie Casteel, a member of our congregation and a true friend to all.

 

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:

 

Psalm 119:97-104  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20119:97-104&version=MSG

Nehemiah 9:16-31 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah%209:16-31&version=MSG

Ephesians 6:21-24 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%206:21-24&version=MSG

 

The first two lines of today’s psalm remind me of that wonderful feeling of awe that accompanies the daily experience of miracles that comes with faith in that inner voice, the Christ within. Whenever I manage to get past the multitude of expectations generated by my busy mind, I know I can listen to the wisdom in my heart to guide me down the right path daily. This is not always an easy task, but with practice I know I can feel the rest of the psalm. I know that grace makes my life flow with less effort, while touching those that need it along the way with hardly a thought from me. It would be impossible to do it better on my own, as my brain cannot comprehend this intricate web between all beings, although my heart can feel it.

Nehemiah 9:16-31, in a lengthy way, reminds me that despite the distractions of the material world around me, despite any choices I make, I will always be able to find God’s love, both within and in my surroundings. He will provide for me even when I may forget all that he has done, because of this love.

Ephesians 6:21-24 drives it all home with its reminder of faith and love. Looking to the heart to guide my actions and maintaining that fuzzy feeling throughout my day is the best way to invite the power of grace into my daily life. (But, it wouldn’t hurt to have a cheerleader like Tychicus around as well.)

With an intimidating schedule ahead of me today, I know I need this counsel and meditation. I’m going to keep in mind the teachings of Jesus, and more importantly, keep his love in my heart. I expect to witness many miracles. J

This week’s guest blogger: : Jackie Casteel considers herself a perpetual student of spirituality on this incredible journey of life. For many years she has been amazed by the ever changing, infinite possibilities in every moment, but has only in recent years started seeking the wisdom held within the bible. She continues to be amazed.

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).

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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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Psalm 119:97-104

The Message (MSG)

97-104 Oh, how I love all you’ve revealed;
I reverently ponder it all the day long.
Your commands give me an edge on my enemies;
they never become obsolete.
I’ve even become smarter than my teachers
since I’ve pondered and absorbed your counsel.
I’ve become wiser than the wise old sages
simply by doing what you tell me.
I watch my step, avoiding the ditches and ruts of evil
so I can spend all my time keeping your Word.
I never make detours from the route you laid out;
you gave me such good directions.
Your words are so choice, so tasty;
I prefer them to the best home cooking.
With your instruction, I understand life;
that’s why I hate false propaganda.

Nehemiah 9:16-31

The Message (MSG)

16-19 But they, our ancestors, were arrogant;
bullheaded, they wouldn’t obey your commands. They turned a deaf ear, they refused
to remember the miracles you had done for them; They turned stubborn, got it into their heads
to return to their Egyptian slavery. And you, a forgiving God,
gracious and compassionate, Incredibly patient, with tons of love—
you didn’t dump them. Yes, even when they cast a sculpted calf
and said, “This is your god Who brought you out of Egypt,”
and continued from bad to worse, You in your amazing compassion
didn’t walk off and leave them in the desert. The Pillar of Cloud didn’t leave them;
daily it continued to show them their route; The Pillar of Fire did the same by night,
showed them the right way to go.

20-23 You gave them your good Spirit
to teach them to live wisely. You never stinted with your manna,
gave them plenty of water to drink. You supported them forty years in that desert;
they had everything they needed; Their clothes didn’t wear out
and their feet never blistered. You gave them kingdoms and peoples,
establishing generous boundaries. They took over the country of Sihon king of Heshbon
and the country of Og king of Bashan. You multiplied children for them,
rivaling the stars in the night skies, And you brought them into the land
that you promised their ancestors
they would get and own.

24-25 Well, they entered all right,
they took it and settled in. The Canaanites who lived there
you brought to their knees before them. You turned over their land, kings, and peoples
to do with as they pleased. They took strong cities and fertile fields,
they took over well-furnished houses, Cisterns, vineyards, olive groves,
and lush, extensive orchards. And they ate, grew fat on the fat of the land;
they reveled in your bountiful goodness.

26-31 But then they mutinied, rebelled against you,
threw out your laws and killed your prophets, The very prophets who tried to get them back on your side—
and then things went from bad to worse. You turned them over to their enemies,
who made life rough for them. But when they called out for help in their troubles
you listened from heaven; And in keeping with your bottomless compassion
you gave them saviors: Saviors who saved them
from the cruel abuse of their enemies. But as soon as they had it easy again
they were right back at it—more evil. So you turned away and left them again to their fate,
to the enemies who came right back. They cried out to you again; in your great compassion
you heard and helped them again.
This went on over and over and over. You warned them to return to your Revelation,
they responded with haughty arrogance: They flouted your commands, spurned your rules
—the very words by which men and women live! They set their jaws in defiance,
they turned their backs on you and didn’t listen. You put up with them year after year
and warned them by your spirit through your prophets; But when they refused to listen
you abandoned them to foreigners. Still, because of your great compassion,
you didn’t make a total end to them. You didn’t walk out and leave them for good;
yes, you are a God of grace and compassion.

Ephesians 6:21-24

The Message (MSG)

21-22Tychicus, my good friend here, will tell you what I’m doing and how things are going with me. He is certainly a dependable servant of the Master! I’ve sent him not only to tell you about us but to cheer you on in your faith.

23-24Good-bye, friends. Love mixed with faith be yours from God the Father and from the Master, Jesus Christ. Pure grace and nothing but grace be with all who love our Master, Jesus Christ.

 

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