Oh, My God! 090612
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Oh, My God! 090612
The title of today’s is also a common exclamation, so common it is abbreviated and said without meaning.
But it is not a mere expression of surprise for me this morning—it is my deep feeling after reading today’s selection from Romans. It slaps me awake; it causes me to tear up, once more, at all the evil I allow in my life, and the evil I allow to creep into the hearts and minds of all of us in the congregation (the larger, global congregation, that is)..
The paraphrase of the Bible in The Message wakes me this morning ‘It takes one to know one’ it says, and ‘God makes up his own mind’ tells me once again that there is no comfort in Christ; there is challenge, hard work and struggle. Sometimes we may think we’ve accomplished something, by being a good Christian disciple, and calling oneself a disciple. But discipleship is always one step ahead of us, and always something we need to become. There is no accomplished ‘discipleship status’ that begins to make us think we have some kind of seniority in following Christ. Instead, it seems like each day is a new day, with Christ.
Pray for peace today in Syria, in North Africa, and in Iran. Steer us away from more war, and guide us all to a way of peace, and help us to work for lives without fear, all around the world.
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 follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
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Hallelujah! O my soul, praise God!
All my life long I’ll praise God,
singing songs to my God as long as I live.
3-9 Don’t put your life in the hands of experts
who know nothing of life, of salvation life.
Mere humans don’t have what it takes;
when they die, their projects die with them.
Instead, get help from the God of Jacob,
put your hope in God and know real blessing!
God made sky and soil,
sea and all the fish in it.
He always does what he says—
he defends the wronged,
he feeds the hungry.
God frees prisoners—
he gives sight to the blind,
he lifts up the fallen.
God loves good people, protects strangers,
takes the side of orphans and widows,
but makes short work of the wicked.
10 God’s in charge—always.
Zion’s God is God for good!
The Message (MSG)
27-28Look, God’s on his way,
and from a long way off!
Smoking with anger,
immense as he comes into view,
Words steaming from his mouth,
searing, indicting words!
A torrent of words, a flash flood of words
sweeping everyone into the vortex of his words.
He’ll shake down the nations in a sieve of destruction,
herd them into a dead end.
29-33But you will sing,
sing through an all-night holy feast!
Your hearts will burst with song,
make music like the sound of flutes on parade,
En route to the mountain of God,
on the way to the Rock of Israel.
God will sound out in grandiose thunder,
display his hammering arm,
Furiously angry, showering sparks—
cloudburst, storm, hail!
Oh yes, at God’s thunder
Assyria will cower under the clubbing.
Every blow God lands on them with his club
is in time to the music of drums and pipes,
God in all-out, two-fisted battle,
fighting against them.
Topheth‘s fierce fires are well prepared,
ready for the Assyrian king.
The Topheth furnace is deep and wide,
well stoked with hot-burning wood.
God’s breath, like a river of burning pitch,
starts the fire.
The Message (MSG)
God Is Kind, but Not Soft
1-2 Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.
3-4You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.
5-8You’re not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it’s going to blaze hot and high, God’s fiery and righteous judgment. Make no mistake: In the end you get what’s coming to you—Real Life for those who work on God’s side, but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!
9-11If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
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