Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

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

 

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/

 

Psalm 72  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2072%20%20&version=MSG

 

Isaiah 6:1-5 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%206:1-5&version=MSG

 

Acts 7:44-53 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%207:44-53%20&version=MSG

 

Why is God so difficult to talk about?

 

Acts 7 today talks about the reality that we all have taken the Holy Spirit and squandered it, and ‘deliberately ignored’ the Holy Spirit.

 

Isaiah 6 echoes this sentiment:

 

“Doom! It’s Doomsday!
I’m as good as dead!
Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted—
blasphemous even!
And the people I live with talk the same way,
using words that corrupt and desecrate
.”

 

And the fact asserts itself. Talking about God is illegal some places in the world, and in the United States it is considered rude or embarrassing to bring up the subject of God, or to talk about the soul. Many times I have seen it be more acceptable to be a wildcat insurance salesman, or an used car salesman in a public gathering than to attempt to engage others in a conversation about God.

 

There’s a lot I don’t understand, and I don’t really understand why God is a rather uncomfortable topic. In this, the subject of God may be equal or surpass politics as uncomfortable and inappropriate topics to discuss in public.

 

But politics and religion are exactly the two most important topics to discuss in public, as long as ‘discussion’ still means ‘a free and public interchange of ideas’, and is not meant to be a public harangue and brow-beating of others. Fear and free do not fit together in the same idea.

 

Perhaps everyone fears retribution from speaking truthfully in public about religion or politics. When people do not agree with you in matters of politics and religion they can make your life an intolerant hell, and we all fear this intolerance from others.

 

But if we are all sitting about and fearing to talk because of others, they are also fearing to speak because of fear everyone but themselves, which includes me, then perhaps I’m not just a victim of fear; I am also potentially an intolerant one, and so are you.

 

What can we do to spread the love of Jesus for us, to others? We have to tolerant, and love their ideas, and ensure that they are everyone is absolutely free of fear, and free to think and believe as they will. When that occurs we will have learned how to talk about God in public, without difficulty.

 

Pray for peace,

Bill

 

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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Psalm 72

Isaiah 6:1-5

Acts 7:44-53

 

Psalm 72

The Message (MSG)

A Solomon Psalm

72 1-8 Give the gift of wise rule to the king, O God,
the gift of just rule to the crown prince.
May he judge your people rightly,
be honorable to your meek and lowly.
Let the mountains give exuberant witness;
shape the hills with the contours of right living.
Please stand up for the poor,
help the children of the needy,
come down hard on the cruel tyrants.
Outlast the sun, outlive the moon—
age after age after age.
Be rainfall on cut grass,
earth-refreshing rain showers.
Let righteousness burst into blossom
and peace abound until the moon fades to nothing.
Rule from sea to sea,
from the River to the Rim.

9-14 Foes will fall on their knees before God,
his enemies lick the dust.
Kings remote and legendary will pay homage,
kings rich and resplendent will turn over their wealth.
All kings will fall down and worship,
and godless nations sign up to serve him,
Because he rescues the poor at the first sign of need,
the destitute who have run out of luck.
He opens a place in his heart for the down-and-out,
he restores the wretched of the earth.
He frees them from tyranny and torture—
when they bleed, he bleeds;
when they die, he dies.

15-17 And live! Oh, let him live!
Deck him out in Sheba gold.
Offer prayers unceasing to him,
bless him from morning to night.
Fields of golden grain in the land,
cresting the mountains in wild exuberance,
Cornucopias of praise, praises
springing from the city like grass from the earth.
May he never be forgotten,
his fame shine on like sunshine.
May all godless people enter his circle of blessing
and bless the One who blessed them.

18-20 Blessed God, Israel’s God,
the one and only wonder-working God!
Blessed always his blazing glory!
All earth brims with his glory.
Yes and Yes and Yes.

Isaiah 6:1-8

The Message (MSG)

Holy, Holy, Holy!

1-8 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Master sitting on a throne—high, exalted!—and the train of his robes filled the Temple. Angel-seraphs hovered above him, each with six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two their feet, and with two they flew. And they called back and forth one to the other,

Holy, Holy, Holy is God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
His bright glory fills the whole earth.

The foundations trembled at the sound of the angel voices, and then the whole house filled with smoke. I said,

“Doom! It’s Doomsday!
I’m as good as dead!
Every word I’ve ever spoken is tainted—
blasphemous even!
And the people I live with talk the same way,
using words that corrupt and desecrate.
And here I’ve looked God in the face!
The King! God-of-the-Angel-Armies!”

Then one of the angel-seraphs flew to me. He held a live coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. He touched my mouth with the coal and said,

“Look. This coal has touched your lips.
Gone your guilt,
your sins wiped out.”
And then I heard the voice of the Master:
“Whom shall I send?
Who will go for us?”
I spoke up,
“I’ll go.


The Message (MSG)

Acts 7:44-53

44-47 “And all this time our ancestors had a tent shrine for true worship, made to the exact specifications God provided Moses. They had it with them as they followed Joshua, when God cleared the land of pagans, and still had it right down to the time of David. David asked God for a permanent place for worship. But Solomon built it.

48-50 “Yet that doesn’t mean that Most High God lives in a building made by carpenters and masons. The prophet Isaiah put it well when he wrote,

“Heaven is my throne room;
I rest my feet on earth.
So what kind of house
will you build me?” says God.
“Where I can get away and relax?
It’s already built, and I built it.”

51-53 “And you continue, so bullheaded! Calluses on your hearts, flaps on your ears! Deliberately ignoring the Holy Spirit, you’re just like your ancestors. Was there ever a prophet who didn’t get the same treatment? Your ancestors killed anyone who dared talk about the coming of the Just One. And you’ve kept up the family tradition—traitors and murderers, all of you. You had God’s Law handed to you by angels—gift-wrapped!—and you squandered it!”

 

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