Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Christ giving the communion to Saint Peter (sa...

Christ giving the communion to Saint Peter (sacristy panel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eucharist

Eucharist (Photo credit: hawaii)

Religion Stencil

Religion Stencil (Photo credit: murdelta)

3rd quarter of 16th century

3rd quarter of 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 105:1-42 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20105:1-42&version=MSG

 

Numbers 14:10b-24 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2014:10b-24&version=MSG

 

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2010:1-13&version=MSG

 

The Religion of Ignorance 032613

 

Over the years and months I’ve published this blog, with the frequent help of the church and various other ministers, I think I’ve come to know and understand the blog’s subscribers and readers well enough to have some idea of the education and intelligence of those readers.

 

Something occurs to me, and it’s a strange thing to observe, but all of us, including me, are committed to a religion of ignorance. By this I mean that we hold our religion(s) sincerely, but we also hold to our ignorance just as strongly. Somehow the clinging to ignorance has become part of our religion.

 

This is a serious allegation! I am saying that we deliberately remain ignorant, that our religion depends on it and that our ignorance and religion are par tof each other.

 

I cam to this over-reaching conclusion in this manner. It was mentioned to me by a friend that even though we (in America for certain) we have access to more information than ever before in the history of people anywhere and in any time. Yet, at least for Americans, it is clear that we have virtually no comprehensive information of people, places and life anywhere else on the planet except our own locality.

 

To me, a key concept of Christ is communion—not just the ceremony with bread and wine, but the very act and life of ‘communion’ with all of creation, inanimate and animate, local and distant, human and not, on earth and into infinity—communion with the universe, and communion with God. Being ignorant of most of the universe doesn’t work with this! There is nothing we can exclude from the communion and still be in communion with Jesus.

 

Yet, because we are practicing a religion of ignorance, we limit the depth and breadth of our religion, by choosing to remain ignorant of most of life on this plant.

 

What is it like to live in Africa? To walk miles for fresh water, to labor all day to gather kindling for a cooking fire, to go days without food, and when we eat to struggle for every bite? We, in America, have no idea of what it is like to live and die anywhere on earth except in America (and it may also be we have little real or complete idea of what these are like for most Americans even.

 

It is difficult, disconcerting and quite a shock to realize completely the meaning of all life in the universe. We avoid these shocks by our own ignorance.

 

How different will our communion be when we come to know the fullness of all creation?

 

Pray for peace

Pastor 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).

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

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Psalm 105:1-42

The Message (MSG)

105 1-6 Hallelujah!

Thank God! Pray to him by name!
Tell everyone you meet what he has done!
Sing him songs, belt out hymns,
translate his wonders into music!
Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs,
you who seek God. Live a happy life!
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works;
be alert for signs of his presence.
Remember the world of wonders he has made,
his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered—
O seed of Abraham, his servant,
O child of Jacob, his chosen.

7-15 He’s God, our God,
in charge of the whole earth.
And he remembers, remembers his Covenant—
for a thousand generations he’s been as good as his word.
It’s the Covenant he made with Abraham,
the same oath he swore to Isaac,
The very statute he established with Jacob,
the eternal Covenant with Israel,
Namely, “I give you the land.
Canaan is your hill-country inheritance.”
When they didn’t count for much,
a mere handful, and strangers at that,
Wandering from country to country,
drifting from pillar to post,
He permitted no one to abuse them.
He told kings to keep their hands off:
“Don’t you dare lay a hand on my anointed,
don’t hurt a hair on the heads of my prophets.”

16-22 Then he called down a famine on the country,
he broke every last blade of wheat.
But he sent a man on ahead:
Joseph, sold as a slave.
They put cruel chains on his ankles,
an iron collar around his neck,
Until God’s word came to the Pharaoh,
and God confirmed his promise.
God sent the king to release him.
The Pharaoh set Joseph free;
He appointed him master of his palace,
put him in charge of all his business
To personally instruct his princes
and train his advisors in wisdom.

23-42 Then Israel entered Egypt,
Jacob immigrated to the Land of Ham.
God gave his people lots of babies;
soon their numbers alarmed their foes.
He turned the Egyptians against his people;
they abused and cheated God’s servants.
Then he sent his servant Moses,
and Aaron, whom he also chose.
They worked marvels in that spiritual wasteland,
miracles in the Land of Ham.
He spoke, “Darkness!” and it turned dark—
they couldn’t see what they were doing.
He turned all their water to blood
so that all their fish died;
He made frogs swarm through the land,
even into the king’s bedroom;
He gave the word and flies swarmed,
gnats filled the air.
He substituted hail for rain,
he stabbed their land with lightning;
He wasted their vines and fig trees,
smashed their groves of trees to splinters;
With a word he brought in locusts,
millions of locusts, armies of locusts;
They consumed every blade of grass in the country
and picked the ground clean of produce;
He struck down every firstborn in the land,
the first fruits of their virile powers.
He led Israel out, their arms filled with loot,
and not one among his tribes even stumbled.
Egypt was glad to have them go—
they were scared to death of them.
God spread a cloud to keep them cool through the day
and a fire to light their way through the night;
They prayed and he brought quail,
filled them with the bread of heaven;
He opened the rock and water poured out;
it flowed like a river through that desert—
All because he remembered his Covenant,
his promise to Abraham, his servant.

Numbers 14:10-24

The Message (MSG)

10-12 But, up in arms now, the entire community was talking of hurling stones at them.

Just then the bright Glory of God appeared at the Tent of Meeting. Every Israelite saw it. God said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me like dirt? How long refuse to trust me? And with all these signs I’ve done among them! I’ve had enough—I’m going to hit them with a plague and kill them. But I’ll make you into a nation bigger and stronger than they ever were.”

13-16 But Moses said to God, “The Egyptians are going to hear about this! You delivered this people from Egypt with a great show of strength, and now this? The Egyptians will tell everyone. They’ve already heard that you are God, that you are on the side of this people, that you are present among them, that they see you with their own eyes in your Cloud that hovers over them, in the Pillar of Cloud that leads them by day and the Pillar of Fire at night. If you kill this entire people in one stroke, all the nations that have heard what has been going on will say, ‘Since God couldn’t get these people into the land which he had promised to give them, he slaughtered them out in the wilderness.’

17 “Now, please, let the power of the Master expand, enlarge itself greatly, along the lines you have laid out earlier when you said,

18 God, slow to get angry and huge in loyal love,
forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin;
Still, never just whitewashing sin.
But extending the fallout of parents’ sins
to children into the third,
even the fourth generation.

19 “Please forgive the wrongdoing of this people out of the extravagance of your loyal love just as all along, from the time they left Egypt, you have been forgiving this people.”

20-23 God said, “I forgive them, honoring your words. But as I live and as the Glory of God fills the whole Earth—not a single person of those who saw my Glory, saw the miracle signs I did in Egypt and the wilderness, and who have tested me over and over and over again, turning a deaf ear to me—not one of them will set eyes on the land I so solemnly promised to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with such repeated contempt will see it.

24 “But my servant Caleb—this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately. I’ll bring him into the land that he scouted and his children will inherit it.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13

The Message (MSG)

10 1-5 Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.

6-10 The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.

11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

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