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/
A Dispute About the Poor 091913
One of the current debates amongst our political representatives (who are not our leaders) about cutting or eliminating funds to the poorest of our nation’s people. The program is called SNAP, the acronym for ‘Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.’ Many might agree that the poor who receive these benefits could do better for themselves, and that SNAP doesn’t help as much as could because the poor ‘always buy unhealthy, high carbohydrate foods’. But being poor causes one to acquire the habits of poverty, that is, if you are poor you tend to buy cheap, high-carbohydrate foods that cause one to feel full easier than fruit, vegetables or meat, nutritious foods.
Do you see malnourished children on a daily basis, close up? Has a member of your family ever suffered malnourishment or extreme hunger? It is impossible to not carry a profound, daily, omnipresent ache in one’s soul knowing of these things in the world.
Accompany a hungry person, or stay with a person in pain and get down on your knees and pray for peace.
Read today’s scripture and notice whenever the word ‘poor’ is used.
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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The Message (MSG)
113 1-3 Hallelujah!
You who serve God, praise God!
Just to speak his name is praise!
Just to remember God is a blessing—
now and tomorrow and always.
From east to west, from dawn to dusk,
keep lifting all your praises to God!
4-9 God is higher than anything and anyone,
outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God,
so majestically enthroned,
Surveying his magnificent
heavens and earth?
He picks up the poor from out of the dirt,
rescues the wretched who’ve been thrown out with the trash,
Seats them among the honored guests,
a place of honor among the brightest and best.
He gives childless couples a family,
gives them joy as the parents of children.
The Message (MSG)
23 1-3 “Don’t pass on malicious gossip.
“Don’t link up with a wicked person and give corrupt testimony. Don’t go along with the crowd in doing evil and don’t fudge your testimony in a case just to please the crowd. And just because someone is poor, don’t show favoritism in a dispute.
4-5 “If you find your enemy’s ox or donkey loose, take it back to him. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you lying helpless under its load, don’t walk off and leave it. Help it up.
6 “When there is a dispute concerning your poor, don’t tamper with the justice due them.
7 “Stay clear of false accusations. Don’t contribute to the death of innocent and good people. I don’t let the wicked off the hook.
8 “Don’t take bribes. Bribes blind perfectly good eyes and twist the speech of good people.
9 “Don’t take advantage of a stranger. You know what it’s like to be a stranger; you were strangers in Egypt.
The Message (MSG)
3 1-2 So what difference does it make who’s a Jew and who isn’t, who has been trained in God’s ways and who hasn’t? As it turns out, it makes a lot of difference—but not the difference so many have assumed.
2-6 First, there’s the matter of being put in charge of writing down and caring for God’s revelation, these Holy Scriptures. So, what if, in the course of doing that, some of those Jews abandoned their post? God didn’t abandon them. Do you think their faithlessness cancels out his faithfulness? Not on your life! Depend on it: God keeps his word even when the whole world is lying through its teeth. Scripture says the same:
Your words stand fast and true;
Rejection doesn’t faze you.
But if our wrongdoing only underlines and confirms God’s rightdoing, shouldn’t we be commended for helping out? Since our bad words don’t even make a dent in his good words, isn’t it wrong of God to back us to the wall and hold us to our word? These questions come up. The answer to such questions is no, a most emphatic No! How else would things ever get straightened out if God didn’t do the straightening?
7-8 It’s simply perverse to say, “If my lies serve to show off God’s truth all the more gloriously, why blame me? I’m doing God a favor.” Some people are actually trying to put such words in our mouths, claiming that we go around saying, “The more evil we do, the more good God does, so let’s just do it!” That’s pure slander, as I’m sure you’ll agree.