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Life, space, zest—–that’s God! 032113
The first line of Psalm 27 provides today’s title, and it reminds me of how we’re supposed to be living this life in God. The last few days however, I had to deal with various insurance companies, doctors, pharmacists, etc straightening out a problem that arose because all the above can’t talk to one another, although their computers do communicate somehow, perhaps plotting a takeover. I was not happy, I did not feel had space to live, and I was not full of zest! I was angry, upset and tense.
The situation was not just complex—it was incomprehensible, and no one seemed willing to take any responsibility, since everyone could blame one another. Now, I have just a little education and understanding of how business works, and I could figure out no reason the problem had occurred or how to get agreement to solve it—it was a dead end, a brick wall. And what distresses me most that in this high-tech, complex, and uncaring world all these systems are getting worse and worse for people to work with and for people to seek solutions, when problems occur.
And in this world it seems that people are less and less educated and able to deal with incredibly complex problems, and in this world, the population as a whole is growing older and older. Who will help the elderly, the poor and the illiterate deal with the complexity of the world. I think a person could define their own career by offering to handle the medicare, social security and insurance coverage issues of the elderly and make a decent living do it, and by providing a needed service.
But back to God, where we started this blog post. What does our living in God have to do with this world and how difficult it is becoming. As followers of Jesus, and as individuals and part of Jesus’ church, I do believe we have to be the ones to stand up and protect the poor, the elderly and the weak against the interests of large companies, large governments, large organizations that grow to become more and more ungodly. We have the obligation to see large systems and their behavior as inappropriate for Christ-disciples, and respond.
We can begin, and I prayed today I can begin again, to see God’s world, our world as full of life, full of space for all living beings, and full of God’s zest.
Pray for peace, and plant a garden to give away food.
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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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)
27 Light, space, zest—
So, with him on my side I’m fearless,
afraid of no one and nothing.
9-10 You’ve always been right there for me;
don’t turn your back on me now.
Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me;
you’ve always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,
but God took me in.
11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
direct me along a well-lighted street;
show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,
those liars who are out to get me,
filling the air with their threats.
The Message (MSG)
5-7 Lot, who was traveling with Abram, was also rich in sheep and cattle and tents. But the land couldn’t support both of them; they had too many possessions. They couldn’t both live there—quarrels broke out between Abram’s shepherds and Lot’s shepherds. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living on the land at the time.
The Message (MSG)
2-6 Steer clear of the barking dogs, those religious busybodies, all bark and no bite. All they’re interested in is appearances—knife-happy circumcisers, I call them. The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry, filling the air with Christ’s praise as we do it. We couldn’t carry this off by our own efforts, and we know it—even though we can list what many might think are impressive credentials. You know my pedigree: a legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day; an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin; a strict and devout adherent to God’s law; a fiery defender of the purity of my religion, even to the point of persecuting the church; a meticulous observer of everything set down in God’s law Book.
7-9 The very credentials these people are waving around as something special, I’m tearing up and throwing out with the trash—along with everything else I used to take credit for. And why? Because of Christ. Yes, all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.
10-11 I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it.
12-14 I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.
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