Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of

Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

God the Father 16

God the Father 16 (Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

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 5 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%205%09&version=MSG

Nehemiah 1:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah%201:1-11%09&version=MSG

Acts 3:1-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%203:1-10%09&version=MSG

God in Our Imagination 060413

As spring wears into very early summer, I’ve begun considering the

nature of God. The flowers of spring and the rampant green growth

usually (every year!) lead me into a vibrant,alive spirituality. I

love God in the springtime for what he has done. And when I see the

beauty of spring, I love God. I love God for what it looks like he

has created. If instead, spring was filled with concrete,

overpopulated cities, despoiled hazardous waste landfills, blackened

and poisonous rivers and streams—if that’s all there was, would I

not love God?

A friend of mine basically left the church—all churches—because he

concluded that God was ultimately,a product of my imagination. He

saw, he said, that we didn’t know God, or know if there was a God,

because God was really, JUST a product of our imagination. He was a minster, and I hope he returns eventually to

being a minister again; he was good at it.

But, when I think about what my old friend had said and thought, I can’t

say I disagree much, except I do not limit God to my small ideas. God

exists independently of my mind, thankfully.

But God is still not clear to me—if I have a vision of God, it is

probably my own idea. For instance, I normally call God a man, and

seldom a woman, but neither is for sure. Gender is not necessarily

part of God’s being.

Despite acknowledging that my idea of God is basically of my imagination, I

still see my idea as proof that I love God, and that God is so far

beyond anything I could imagine, that my own ideas prove that God is

far bigger, more ‘infinite’ and unlimited, and more beautiful and

creative than any human or living mind can envision. Our limitations

prove the unlimitedness of God. So, I do not see this God as a

negative. Instead, a God that is forever infinitely beyond me is

exactly the kind of God I can love and worship.

I realize the above might not make sense, but that’s okay too. One’s

spirituality dos not have to be logical. Think about God, but not too

hard.

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  Can we pray with you and for you?

(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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Psalm 5

The Message (MSG)

A

David Psalm

5 1-3 Listen, God!
Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
King-God, I need your help.
Every morning you’ll hear me at
it again.
Every morning I lay out the
pieces of my life on your altar
and

7 Lucky Gods of japan

7 Lucky Gods of japan (Photo credit: Steve-kun)

watch for fire to descend.

4-6 You

don’t socialize with Wicked,
or invite

Evil over as your houseguest.
Hot-Air-Boaster collapses in front

of you;
you shake your head over

Mischief-Maker.
God destroys Lie-Speaker;
Blood-Thirsty

and Truth-Bender disgust you.

7-8 And

here I am, your invited guest—
it’s

incredible!
I enter your house; here I am,
prostrate

in your inner sanctum,
Waiting for directions
to

get me safely through enemy lines.

9-10 Every

word they speak is a land mine;
their

lungs breathe out poison gas.
Their throats are gaping

graves,
their tongues slick as

mudslides.
Pile on the guilt, God!
Let

their so-called wisdom wreck them.
Kick them out! They’ve had

their chance.

11-12 But

you’ll welcome us with open arms
when we

run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
Stand

guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming

God-seekers,
for decking us out in

delight.

Nehemiah 1:1-11

The Message (MSG)

1 1-2 The

memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

It was the month of Kislev in the

twentieth year. At the time I was in the palace complex at Susa.

Hanani, one of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some

fellow Jews. I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there

who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem.

3 They

told me, “The exile survivors who are left there in the province

are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is

still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.”

4 When

I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and

praying before the God-of-Heaven.

5-6 I

said, “God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his

covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands:

Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your

servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your

servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of

Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those

who have sinned against you.

7-9 “We’ve

treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t

followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you

gave to Moses your servant. All the same, remember the warning you

posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you

to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you,

I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended

up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.’

10-11 “Well,

there they are—your servants, your people whom you so powerfully

and impressively redeemed. O Master, listen to me, listen to your

servant’s prayer—and yes, to all your servants who delight in

honoring you—and make me successful today so that I get what I want

from the king.”

I was cupbearer to the king.

Acts 3:1-10

The Message (MSG)

3 1-5 One

day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their

way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a

man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down

at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going

into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the

Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked

him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up,

expecting to get something from them.

6-8 Peter

said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I

give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He

grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his

feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.

8-10 The

man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing

and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising

God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple’s

Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing

what they were seeing.

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