Thanks to the New Testament 090112
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This week’s guest blogger is Jackie Casteel, a member of our congregation
Thanks to the New Testament 090112
Before my reflection on Exodus 34:8-28, I want to remember the right way to live that came from Isaiah 33:10-16. Isaiah asks us to live honestly, by not lying or gaining from extortion, and by not taking part in the evil contemplation of murder. And John 15:16 reminds us to love one another.
The words of Moses (after ordering his people to kill one another) seem to describe many of the things I feel strongly against as an activist, and I can see how these patterns of behavior and attitudes have survived in the actions of those throughout history. He talks of driving people out of their native lands, smashing their civilizations and disrespecting their culture. He mentions redeeming the firstborn of livestock and men, an idea that I am unfamiliar with until googling to find that I must pay money to someone when a son “openeth my womb” (although not if by cesarean section). At least I’m not instructed to break his neck!
It is amazing to see more carefully consider the differences in the vast time span between these books of the bible, and the varying messages that have been handed down. I can greater appreciate the Christian faith that has followed the path of living honestly, not charging interest on babies, and loving each and every being on this earth. I am eternally grateful for the alternative.
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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New King James Version (NKJV)
The Character of Those Who May Dwell with the Lord
A Psalm of David.
15 Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
2 He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
The Message (MSG)
8-9 At once, Moses fell to the ground and worshiped, saying, “Please, O Master, if you see anything good in me, please Master, travel with us, hard-headed as these people are. Forgive our iniquity and sin. Own us, possess us.”
10-12 And God said, “As of right now, I’m making a covenant with you: In full sight of your people I will work wonders that have never been created in all the Earth, in any nation. Then all the people with whom you’re living will see how tremendous God’s work is, the work I’ll do for you. Take careful note of all I command you today. I’m clearing your way by driving out Amorites, Canaanites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites, and Jebusites. Stay vigilant. Don’t let down your guard lest you make covenant with the people who live in the land that you are entering and they trip you up.
13-16 “Tear down their altars, smash their phallic pillars, chop down their fertility poles. Don’t worship any other god. God—his name is The-Jealous-One—is a jealous God. Be careful that you don’t make a covenant with the people who live in the land and take up with their sex-and-religion life, join them in meals at their altars, marry your sons to their women, women who take up with any convenient god or goddess and will get your sons to do the same thing.
17 “Don’t make molten gods for yourselves.
18 “Keep the Feast of Unraised Bread. Eat only unraised bread for seven days in the month of Abib—it was in the month of Abib that you came out of Egypt.
19 “Every firstborn from the womb is mine, all the males of your herds, your firstborn oxen and sheep.
20 “Redeem your firstborn donkey with a lamb. If you don’t redeem it you must break its neck.
“Redeem each of your firstborn sons.
“No one is to show up in my presence empty-handed.
21 “Work six days and rest the seventh. Stop working even during plowing and harvesting.
23-24 “All your men are to appear before the Master, the God of Israel, three times a year. You won’t have to worry about your land when you appear before your God three times each year, for I will drive out the nations before you and give you plenty of land. Nobody’s going to be hanging around plotting ways to get it from you.
25 “Don’t mix the blood of my sacrifices with anything fermented.
“Don’t leave leftovers from the Passover Feast until morning.
26 “Bring the finest of the firstfruits of your produce to the house of your God.
“Don’t boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”
27 God said to Moses: “Now write down these words, for by these words I’ve made a covenant with you and Israel.”
28 Moses was there with God forty days and forty nights. He didn’t eat any food; he didn’t drink any water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the Ten Words.
The Message (MSG)
The King of the Jews
28-29They led Jesus then from Caiaphas to the Roman governor’s palace. It was early morning. They themselves didn’t enter the palace because they didn’t want to be disqualified from eating the Passover. So Pilate came out to them and spoke. “What charge do you bring against this man?”
30They said, “If he hadn’t been doing something evil, do you think we’d be here bothering you?”
31-32Pilate said, “You take him. Judge him by your law.”
The Jews said, “We’re not allowed to kill anyone.” (This would confirm Jesus’ word indicating the way he would die.)
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
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