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/
As a creature of many habits, I try to encourage you , me and everyone to simply read the Bible, and to pray, every day.
But it just so happens that also read several daily newspapers, on newsprint, on paper. I one of these daily journals, published in New York City, the Friday morning daily edition contains a special section which praises, celebrates and attempts to sell some very expensive homes. From Friday’s edition this last Friday I recall one property which had lowered it as price ‘another 30%, as if it had already been lowered 30% a first time. The price after the deep, deep discounts was $31.5 million dollars.
But this house was only one of many advertised and discussed that day. There were pictures and descriptions of maybe thirty other homes. One boasted 25 bathrooms.
At various times in my life I’ve lived in homes with no bathroom, and all water for cleaning and consumption had to be carried in by hand and shoulders. In summer, one enjoys watching the moon rise, or listening to night birds. It is a joy people seldom receive anymore. It is being part of nature while—being part of nature, and fertilizing and composting may be the greatest good we ever accomplish.
And recall the last time you went to a homeless shelter, 200 people had to use three toilets cooperatively—one room for men, a second for women, and a third for families. These rich people‘s homes that were advertised could be homes or apartments could be homes for at least 30 families each.
But rich people condemn themselves to a special hell. How can you be a regular human being and celebrate the godliness of humility, service and poverty if you are filthy, filthy rich—so rich that to live in a gross, flashy, ostentatious and glut of wealth, while so many are hungry, without food, water, medical comfort and secure shelter. Is there any moral, ethical or religious right to live in this way, and watch the poor suffer?
Now, many will voice a dozen reasons why it is okay to be wealthy and to experience overwhelming wealth and power. But it is not right.\, and reasons are much like excuses. Have you discussed this with Jesus?
Pray for the peace of poverty and sharing,
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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Sa2/2 Psalm 71:1-6
2 Chronicles 36:11-21
The Message (MSG)
71 1-3 I run for dear life to God,
I’ll never live to regret it.
Do what you do so well:
get me out of this mess and up on my feet.
Put your ear to the ground and listen,
give me space for salvation.
Be a guest room where I can retreat;
you said your door was always open!
You’re my salvation—my vast, granite fortress.
4-7 My God, free me from the grip of Wicked,
from the clutch of Bad and Bully.
You keep me going when times are tough—
my bedrock, God, since my childhood.
I’ve hung on you from the day of my birth,
the day you took me from the cradle;
I’ll never run out of praise.
Many gasp in alarm when they see me,
but you take me in stride.
2 Chronicles 36:11-21
The Message (MSG)
11-13 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he started out as king. He was king in Jerusalem for eleven years. As far as God was concerned, he was just one more evil king; there wasn’t a trace of contrition in him when the prophet Jeremiah preached God’s word to him. Then he compounded his troubles by rebelling against King Nebuchadnezzar, who earlier had made him swear in God’s name that he would be loyal. He became set in his own stubborn ways—he never gave God a thought; repentance never entered his mind.
14 The evil mindset spread to the leaders and priests and filtered down to the people—it kicked off an epidemic of evil, repeating the abominations of the pagans and polluting The Temple of God so recently consecrated in Jerusalem.
15-17 God, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent warning messages to them. Out of compassion for both his people and his Temple he wanted to give them every chance possible. But they wouldn’t listen; they poked fun at God’s messengers, despised the message itself, and in general treated the prophets like idiots. God became more and more angry until there was no turning back—God called in Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who came and killed indiscriminately—and right in The Temple itself; it was a ruthless massacre: young men and virgins, the elderly and weak—they were all the same to him.
18-20 And then he plundered The Temple of everything valuable, cleaned it out completely; he emptied the treasuries of The Temple of God, the treasuries of the king and his officials, and hauled it all, people and possessions, off to Babylon. He burned The Temple of God to the ground, knocked down the wall of Jerusalem, and set fire to all the buildings—everything valuable was burned up. Any survivor was taken prisoner into exile in Babylon and made a slave to Nebuchadnezzar and his family. The exile and slavery lasted until the kingdom of Persia took over.
The Message (MSG)
43-44 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. When he got there, he ran across Philip and said, “Come, follow me.” (Philip’s hometown was Bethsaida, the same as Andrew and Peter.)
45-46 Philip went and found Nathanael and told him, “We’ve found the One Moses wrote of in the Law, the One preached by the prophets. It’s Jesus, Joseph’s son, the one from Nazareth!” Nathanael said, “Nazareth? You’ve got to be kidding.”
But Philip said, “Come, see for yourself.”
47 When Jesus saw him coming he said, “There’s a real Israelite, not a false bone in his body.”
48 Nathanael said, “Where did you get that idea? You don’t know me.”
Jesus answered, “One day, long before Philip called you here, I saw you under the fig tree.”
49 Nathanael exclaimed, “Rabbi! You are the Son of God, the King of Israel!”
50-51 Jesus said, “You’ve become a believer simply because I say I saw you one day sitting under the fig tree? You haven’t seen anything yet! Before this is over you’re going to see heaven open and God’s angels descending to the Son of Man and ascending again.”
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