Three Times to Consider God 101516
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. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
Three Times to Consider God 101516
Today’s scriptures give us three periods of time, or different times to consider God.
I’m not so much saying there are three special times to consider God, because what special time would one recommend not considering God?
Rather today’s scriptures each talks of considering God in three different times. Psalm 26 talks of God, and us, or you or me, in the present, as if we are talking to God right now, or in our prayers this evening.
Obadiah, which is one of my favorite Biblical names for a son, talks of the need immanent danger that result when we forget the ever-present God, and I can attest that this is really true—when you forget God—watch out. Things collapse and go to hell! But it is by a human’s own godless attitude, God doesn’t do it to you.
And Revelation speaks of eternity in heaven. Infinity and forever. But it has to be a metaphor, because actually the ‘heavenly choir’ as it is known actually has more guitars, fiddles, mandolins and banjos in it, since whenever a famous bluegrass or country music star dies it is said that God called them to join the heavenly band. Earl Scruggs, the banjoist, and Doc Watson, the singer and fantastic (blind) guitar player are two recent admittees to that heavenly band.
But my overall prayer/meditation is that, as Quantum Physicist proclaim, all time is now, and all time is eternal. And, in my quasi-quantum theology, since God is eternal and timeless, he not only does not keep track of time, he is truly ‘time-less’ and exists in all time at one time.
Pray for peace, in this moment and for all time,
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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The Message (MSG)
A David Psalm
26 Clear my name, God;
I’ve kept an honest shop.
I’ve thrown in my lot with you, God, and
I’m not budging.
2 Examine me, God, from head to foot,
order your battery of tests.
Make sure I’m fit
inside and out
3 So I never lose
sight of your love,
But keep in step with you,
never missing a beat.
4-5 I don’t hang out with tricksters,
I don’t pal around with thugs;
I hate that pack of gangsters,
I don’t deal with double-dealers.
6-7 I scrub my hands with purest soap,
then join hands with the others in the great circle,
dancing around your altar, God,
Singing God-songs at the top of my lungs,
8-10 God, I love living with you;
your house glows with your glory.
When it’s time for spring cleaning,
don’t sweep me out with the quacks and crooks,
Men with bags of dirty tricks,
women with purses stuffed with bribe-money.
11-12 You know I’ve been aboveboard with you;
now be aboveboard with me.
I’m on the level with you, God;
I bless you every chance I get.
The Message (MSG)
Your World Will Collapse
1 Obadiah’s Message to Edom
from God, the Master.
We got the news straight from God
by a special messenger sent out to the godless nations:
“On your feet, prepare for battle;
get ready to make war on Edom!
2-4 “Listen to this, Edom:
I’m turning you to a no-account,
the runt of the godless nations, despised.
You thought you were so great,
perched high among the rocks, king of the mountain,
Thinking to yourself,
‘Nobody can get to me! Nobody can touch me!’
Think again. Even if, like an eagle,
you hang out on a high cliff-face,
Even if you build your nest in the stars,
I’ll bring you down to earth.”
God’s sure Word.
5-14 “If thieves crept up on you,
they’d rob you blind—isn’t that so?
If they mugged you on the streets at night,
they’d pick you clean—isn’t that so?
Oh, they’ll take Esau apart, piece by piece,
empty his purse and pockets.
All your old partners will drive you to the edge.
Your old friends will lie to your face.
Your old drinking buddies will stab you in the back.
Your world will collapse. You won’t know what hit you.
So don’t be surprised”—it’s God’s sure Word!—
“when I wipe out all sages from Edom
and rid the Esau mountains of its famous wise men.
Your great heroes will desert you, Teman.
There’ll be nobody left in Esau’s mountains.
Because of the murderous history compiled
against your brother Jacob,
You will be looked down on by everyone.
You’ll lose your place in history.
On that day you stood there and didn’t do anything.
Strangers took your brother’s army into exile.
Godless foreigners invaded and pillaged Jerusalem.
You stood there and watched.
You were as bad as they were.
You shouldn’t have gloated over your brother
when he was down-and-out.
You shouldn’t have laughed and joked at Judah’s sons
when they were facedown in the mud.
You shouldn’t have talked so big
when everything was so bad.
You shouldn’t have taken advantage of my people
when their lives had fallen apart.
You of all people should not have been amused
by their troubles, their wrecked nation.
You shouldn’t have taken the shirt off their back
when they were knocked flat, defenseless.
And you shouldn’t have stood waiting at the outskirts
and cut off refugees,
And traitorously turned in helpless survivors
who had lost everything.
15-18 “God’s Judgment Day is near
for all the godless nations.
As you have done, it will be done to you.
What you did will boomerang back
and hit your own head.
Just as you partied on my holy mountain,
all the godless nations will drink God’s wrath.
They’ll drink and drink and drink—
they’ll drink themselves to death.
But not so on Mount Zion—there’s respite there!
a safe and holy place!
The family of Jacob will take back their possessions
from those who took them from them.
That’s when the family of Jacob will catch fire,
the family of Joseph become fierce flame,
while the family of Esau will be straw.
Esau will go up in flames,
nothing left of Esau but a pile of ashes.”
God said it, and it is so.
19-21 People from the south will take over the Esau mountains;
people from the foothills will overrun the Philistines.
They’ll take the farms of Ephraim and Samaria,
and Benjamin will take Gilead.
Earlier, Israelite exiles will come back
and take Canaanite land to the north at Zarephath.
Jerusalem exiles from the far northwest in Sepharad
will come back and take the cities in the south.
The remnant of the saved in Mount Zion
will go into the mountains of Esau
And rule justly and fairly,
a rule that honors God’s kingdom.
The Message (MSG)
9-12 I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there—all nations and tribes, all races and languages. And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches, standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing:
Salvation to our God on his Throne!
Salvation to the Lamb!
All who were standing around the Throne—Angels, Elders, Animals—fell on their faces before the Throne and worshiped God, singing:
The blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving,
The honor and power and strength,
To our God forever and ever and ever!
13-14 Just then one of the Elders addressed me: “Who are these dressed in white robes, and where did they come from?” Taken aback, I said, “O Sir, I have no idea—but you must know.”
14-17 Then he told me, “These are those who come from the great tribulation, and they’ve washed their robes, scrubbed them clean in the blood of the Lamb. That’s why they’re standing before God’s Throne. They serve him day and night in his Temple. The One on the Throne will pitch his tent there for them: no more hunger, no more thirst, no more scorching heat. The Lamb on the Throne will shepherd them, will lead them to spring waters of Life. And God will wipe every last tear from their eyes.”
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