Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Archive for the ‘Christian’ Category

A Day of Grace 032112

Children, Baby new born

Children, Baby new born (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

A Day of Grace 032112

I seldom mention anything personal on this blog, because the focus is the Bible, and daily prayer by each of us, so it is more about God, Jesus and you than me.

But overnight our first great-grandchild was born. She has been named Grace.

We pray for this child, as we would for any child. We hope the earth survives human destruction, we hope there will be food and water and safety for this child, as well as for all children.

As a potentially old person I worry how her parents will figure out how to raise her, feed her and keep her clean and safe. But Grandma and I were able to figure it out at her parent’s ages, or younger. So, we pray God will be with them and Grace as all they all begin a wonderful, new family together.

Grace is a gift from God.

Pray for Grace and her parents, and pray for peace for all parents.

Bill

 

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.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 107:1-16

Isaiah 60:15-22

John 8:12-20

Psalm 107

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble

and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town;

hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;

he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town.

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.

Some sat in darkness and in gloom, prisoners in misery and in irons,

for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor; they fell down, with no one to help.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress;

he brought them out of darkness and gloom, and broke their bonds asunder.

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

For he shatters the doors of bronze, and cuts in two the bars of iron.

Isaiah 60:15-22

Whereas you have been forsaken and hated, with no one passing through, I will make you majestic forever, a joy from age to age. You shall suck the milk of nations, you shall suck the breasts of kings; and you shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob. Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will appoint Peace as your overseer and Righteousness as your taskmaster. Violence shall no more be heard in your land, devastation or destruction within your borders; you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise. The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night; but the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun shall no more go down, or your moon withdraw itself; for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of mourning shall be ended. Your people shall all be righteous; they shall possess the land forever. They are the shoot that I planted, the work of my hands, so that I might be glorified. The least of them shall become a clan, and the smallest one a mighty nation; I am the Lord; in its time I will accomplish it quickly.

John 8:12-20

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.” Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I come from or where I am going. You judge by human standards; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who sent me testifies on my behalf.” Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.” He spoke these words while he was teaching in the treasury of the temple, but no one arrested him, because his hour had not yet come.

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Prayer for the Environment 032012

Clean stream water

Clean stream water (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Prayer for the Environment 032012

Numbers 20 tells the story of Moses striking the rock, as God commanded, and allowing water to pour from the rock for the thirst of the Jews and all their livestock. fleeing Pharaoh.

Wandering in the desert, they had become desperate and angry at being led into the desert, apparently to die of thirst.

Of course, we know that water is scarce in Africa, and certain desert regions worldwide, but with human population now racing toward 7 billion people (that’s 7,000,000,000 people!) we all want a glass of cool water for ourselves and for our babies and families. But there is a water problem in California, in Texas, in the Midwest American plain, and water scarcity in southern England is also appearing. It is a global problem.

If we as Christians love all of humanity and all of earth as Jesus taught us, it is time to think of global death due to water shortages, and do what we can as engineers, as farmers, as leaders to address all the global problems with all the talents and resources provided to us by God. Our skills and talents should save the earth.

Pray for the environment today; pray for the suffering earth.

Pray for peace.

Bill

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.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 107:1-16

Numbers 20:1-13

1 Corinthians 10:6-13

 

 

Psalm 107

1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble

3and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

4Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town;

5hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.

6Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;

7he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town.

8Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

9For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.

10Some sat in darkness and in gloom, prisoners in misery and in irons,

11for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

12Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor; they fell down, with no one to help.

13Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress;

14he brought them out of darkness and gloom, and broke their bonds asunder.

15Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

16For he shatters the doors of bronze, and cuts in two the bars of iron.

Numbers 20:1-13

20The Israelites, the whole congregation, came into the wilderness of Zin in the first month, and the people stayed in Kadesh. Miriam died there, and was buried there. 2Now there was no water for the congregation; so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron. 3The people quarreled with Moses and said, “Would that we had died when our kindred died before the Lord! 4Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness for us and our livestock to die here? 5Why have you brought us up out of Egypt, to bring us to this wretched place? It is no place for grain, or figs, or vines, or pomegranates; and there is no water to drink.” 6Then Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting; they fell on their faces, and the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 8Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and your brother Aaron, and command the rock before their eyes to yield its water. Thus you shall bring water out of the rock for them; thus you shall provide drink for the congregation and their livestock. 9So Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he had commanded him. 10Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Listen, you rebels, shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11Then Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff; water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their livestock drank. 12But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust in me, to show my holiness before the eyes of the Israelites, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and by which he showed his holiness.

1 Corinthians 10:6-13

6Now these things occurred as examples for us, so that we might not desire evil as they did. 7Do not become idolaters as some of them did; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and they rose up to play.” 8We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day. 9We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did, and were destroyed by serpents. 10And do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. 12So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. 13No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it.

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

Waiting for Rain 031912

 

The Lord is my Good Shepherd

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This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Waiting for Rain 031912

Whenever you wait for rain, there is an electricity inside, and an electricity that is on the skin. This morning, I’ve had that feeling, and I’ve had it all day yesterday.

I think the feeling comes from the New Testament, as well as from spring and brings the realization that God and Jesus have promised to bring us more of themselves. That means that the unity and closeness we have with God and Jesus is still growing, that we will continue to grow and learn of our unity with God and Jesus.

Psalm 107 says this morning: 15Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.  The entire Psalm sings of expectation and promises fulfilled.

Are you expecting to grow closer to God today?

Pray for peace,

Bill

 

 

 

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.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 107:1-16

Exodus 15:22-27

Hebrews 3:1-6

 

Psalm 107

1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble

3and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

4Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town;

5hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.

6Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress;

7he led them by a straight way, until they reached an inhabited town.

8Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

9For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.

10Some sat in darkness and in gloom, prisoners in misery and in irons,

11for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

12Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor; they fell down, with no one to help.

13Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress;

14he brought them out of darkness and gloom, and broke their bonds asunder.

15Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

16For he shatters the doors of bronze, and cuts in two the bars of iron.

Exodus 15:22-27

22Then Moses ordered Israel to set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter. That is why it was called Marah. 24And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25He cried out to the Lord; and the Lord showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made for them a statute and an ordinance and there he put them to the test. 26He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in his sight, and give heed to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will not bring upon you any of the diseases that I brought upon the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” 27Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees; and they camped there by the water.

Hebrews 3:1-6

3Therefore, brothers and sisters, holy partners in a heavenly calling, consider that Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses also “was faithful in all God’s house.” 3Yet Jesus is worthy of more glory than Moses, just as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4(For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that would be spoken later. 6Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope.

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

Nothing to Say 031612

St Francis in Prayer (copia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Nothing to Say 031612

My wife will never believe it, but today I have nothing to say. It’s finally happened; I’m speechless!

The reason is that an incredible feeling of peace, and a sense of peace has swept over me. It began last evening when I visited a local homeless shelter, run for decades by a Catholic Worker Group, and it is a Catholic Worker House, in the tradition of Dorothy Day. On Thursday evenings, the staff, and some residents sit down for a few moments of prayer, scripture reading and discussion. A ‘guest’ church hosts the meeting, and our small church has been asked to host this meeting several times. We feel quite welcome!

I always enjoy talking about the simplest, most direct of Jesus’ words. So, I choose to read and talk a little about the Beatitudes. But my goal was to get them to talk about the Beatitudes. After a few minutes of discussion, I began to feel that the blessings of the Beatitudes applied to the selfless workers at the homeless house, who had given freely of their lives to live, cook for, clean for and care for homeless persons and families, and I felt moved to share the feeling that God was daily blessing them for what they do.

A deep sense of peace came physically, literally into our presence.

Pray for peace,

Bill

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.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

 

Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22

Daniel 12:5-13

Ephesians 1:7-14

 

Psalm 107

1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble

3and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

17Some were sick through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities endured affliction;

18they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death.

19Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress;

20he sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from destruction.

21Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

22And let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices, and tell of his deeds with songs of joy.

Daniel 12:5-13

5Then I, Daniel, looked, and two others appeared, one standing on this bank of the stream and one on the other. 6One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was upstream, “How long shall it be until the end of these wonders?” 7The man clothed in linen, who was upstream, raised his right hand and his left hand toward heaven. And I heard him swear by the one who lives forever that it would be for a time, two times, and half a time, and that when the shattering of the power of the holy people comes to an end, all these things would be accomplished. 8I heard but could not understand; so I said, “My lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” 9He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are to remain secret and sealed until the time of the end. 10Many shall be purified, cleansed, and refined, but the wicked shall continue to act wickedly. None of the wicked shall understand, but those who are wise shall understand. 11From the time that the regular burnt offering is taken away and the abomination that desolates is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred ninety days. 12Happy are those who persevere and attain the thousand three hundred thirty-five days. 13But you, go your way, and rest; you shall rise for your reward at the end of the days.”

Ephesians 1:7-14

7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight 9he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, 10as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, 12so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. 13In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; 14this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

Reading a Good Book for Lent 030912

Russian icon of St. Athanasius the Athonite (S...

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Reading a Good Book for Lent 030912

I decided it was time to start a new book for my daily reading besides the Bible, that is.

I am looking for a book that will bring me closer to God, and closer to Jesus for the season of Lent. I realize Lent is a man made holiday season, but we have to remember that holidays are HOLY-Days.

I tend to look for books that expand my sense of what it means to be a Christian disciple. I fear that the ‘modern church’, whatever that is, has taken a suggestion from modern media experts and tried to simplify or worse abbreviate the experience of a Christian disciple. I think that the relationship between God and man is so much more diverse and wonderful than any normal Sunday morning preacher normally discusses, and sometimes a simple direct sellable notion of who God and Jesus are to us has become predominant in the world’s Christian churches. Modern Christianity may be more sellable or saleable (capable of being sold—you know what I mean) but is also more flat, has less passion and doesn’t cause us to sell all we have and follow him.

So, for Lent, as part of one’s efforts to deepen the relationship with God and Jesus, I’m seeking a new book to read. Luckily, we have so many (neglected) books and writers. On my bookshelf are books by Thomas Merton, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Meister Eckhart, Hildegard de Bingen, and other writers. Luckily, the works of older writers may be online for free and all these writers are at the library for free (this makes old German skinflints very happy). The book called The Life of Anthony by Athanaius (313 AD)

 

is available free at http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf204.xvi.ii.i.html

and could be a good choice for Lent reading.

As and result, we should consider that some human institutions may not encourage us to learn and be all we can be as disciples of Christ. After all, what happens to our Facebook account if we go barefoot, wear long robes and walk a great deal?

As Romans 8 says today:  38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 For Lent, look at human institutions that may be keeping you from God, like the church for instance, or the media, or the….

Pray for the health of your relationship with God, and each other. Pray for this peace.

Bill

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.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Subscribe to our blog! Delivery daily by e-mail. Click the button on the right.

 

Psalm 81:1-10

Leviticus 23:1-8

Romans 8:31-39

Psalm 81

1Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

2Raise a song, sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp.

3Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our festal day.

4For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

5He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known:

6“I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.

7In distress you called, and I rescued you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah

8Hear, O my people, while I admonish you; O Israel, if you would but listen to me!

9There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.

10I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

Leviticus 23:1-8

23The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 2Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: These are the appointed festivals of the Lord that you shall proclaim as holy convocations, my appointed festivals. 3Six days shall work be done; but the seventh day is a sabbath of complete rest, a holy convocation; you shall do no work: it is a sabbath to the Lord throughout your settlements.

4These are the appointed festivals of the Lord, the holy convocations, which you shall celebrate at the time appointed for them. 5In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, at twilight, there shall be a passover offering to the Lord, 6and on the fifteenth day of the same month is the festival of unleavened bread to the Lord; seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. 7On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall not work at your occupations. 8For seven days you shall present the Lord’s offerings by fire; on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation: you shall not work at your occupations.

Romans 8:31-39

31What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? 33Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. 35Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

Aside

Selling The Jar Of Oil 021812

 

English: Egyptian alabaster unguent jar with t...

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Selling The Jar Of Oil 021812

Reading the jar of oil story in Matthew today, I’m always confused by why the oil wasn’t sold and the money given to the poor. Certainly it would be good to honor Jesus, if his body and flesh were here, but why didn’t Jesus request the oil be sold and the money given to the poor instead of just pouring it on his head?

If we apply this as a metaphor (which is our only choice—the woman with the alabaster jar is not here now) then this story might mean that Jesus is saying ‘you could have sold the oil at any time and helped the poor, but you choose to prepare me for death instead’. Jesus was also one of those poor, and maybe using the oil on his head was giving it to the poor.

I also _think_ we sometimes hear the absolutely clear voice of Jesus as a human being only, and not as the voice of God. Jesus remained human. And here Jesus speaks with compassion about the woman who loved him enough to use the precious oil on his head to prepare him for death. To know that an ordinary woman loved him and wished to bless him and prepare for his death moved him deeply, as it might any of us.

Some have said we should not be concerned so much by the poor, and that no matter what we do Jesus has ‘guaranteed’ they will be with us always. But I hope we are careful using Jesus’ words this way. It may be blasphemous to believe Jesus said we should not be so concerned with the poor because of this, when Jesus had spent his entire ministry caring for the poor, and he came from a religion that for thousands of years had spoken for the poor.

I’m left with only one alternative: to care for the poor as Jesus said, and to honor Jesus in his (human) death.

Pray for the poor and pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

 

 

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.

Scriptures follow the meditation and thoughts. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

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Psalm 30

Leviticus 14:21-32

Matthew 26:6-13

Psalm 30

1I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me.

2O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me.

3O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

4Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name.

5For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.

6As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.”

7By your favor, O Lord, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed.

8To you, O Lord, I cried, and to the Lord I made supplication:

9“What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?

10Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me! O Lord, be my helper!”

11You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

12so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Leviticus 14:21-32

21But if he is poor and cannot afford so much, he shall take one male lamb for a guilt offering to be elevated, to make atonement on his behalf, and one-tenth of an ephah of choice flour mixed with oil for a grain offering and a log of oil; 22also two turtledoves or two pigeons, such as he can afford, one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering. 23On the eighth day he shall bring them for his cleansing to the priest, to the entrance of the tent of meeting, before the Lord; 24and the priest shall take the lamb of the guilt offering and the log of oil, and the priest shall raise them as an elevation offering before the Lord. 25The priest shall slaughter the lamb of the guilt offering and shall take some of the blood of the guilt offering, and put it on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of the right hand, and on the big toe of the right foot. 26The priest shall pour some of the oil into the palm of his own left hand, 27and shall sprinkle with his right finger some of the oil that is in his left hand seven times before the Lord. 28The priest shall put some of the oil that is in his hand on the lobe of the right ear of the one to be cleansed, and on the thumb of the right hand, and the big toe of the right foot, where the blood of the guilt offering was placed. 29The rest of the oil that is in the priest’s hand he shall put on the head of the one to be cleansed, to make atonement on his behalf before the Lord. 30And he shall offer, of the turtledoves or pigeons such as he can afford, 31one for a sin offering and the other for a burnt offering, along with a grain offering; and the priest shall make atonement before the Lord on behalf of the one being cleansed. 32This is the ritual for the one who has a leprous disease, who cannot afford the offerings for his cleansing.

Matthew 26:6-13

6Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, 7a woman came to him with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment, and she poured it on his head as he sat at the table. 8But when the disciples saw it, they were angry and said, “Why this waste? 9For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” 10But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you trouble the woman? She has performed a good service for me. 11For you always have the poor with you, but you will not always have me. 12By pouring this ointment on my body she has prepared me for burial. 13Truly I tell you, wherever this good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.”

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

 

Care of Refugees 021412

 

English: Elisha raising the Shunammites Son

Image via Wikipedia

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Care of Refugees 021412

It surprises me, upon reading 2 Kings 8 this morning that the woman who son Elisha restored to life fled her home readily to escape drought. She was vulnerable, her savings accounts, money market and investment accounts and her 401K were all depleted. But her son was now alive again, thanks to Elisha, and she readily picks up and moves as a refugee widow with child to a strange land.

We all think, of course, that we are permanent here on our land and in our homes. We are permanent here since the prior permanent ‘owners’ were stricken with disease distributed on Army blankets (purposefully) and soldiers drove them away or killed them.

The woman was wise to trust instantly Elisha and God and leave all behind except her living breathing son.

If God warned us a time of horrible drought and poverty was coming, would we listen, and become a refugee in a strange land? We must remember that our God, and Jesus cares for the refugees and downtrodden and expects us to do the same.

Pray for peace, and pray for rain (a drought is in progress in the middle US).

(brother) Bill

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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Psalm 102:12-28

2 Kings 8:1-6

Acts 15:36-41

Psalm 102:12-28

12But you, O Lord, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations.

13You will rise up and have compassion on Zion, for it is time to favor it; the appointed time has come.

14For your servants hold its stones dear, and have pity on its dust.

15The nations will fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth your glory.

16For the Lord will build up Zion; he will appear in his glory.

17He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and will not despise their prayer.

18Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord:

19that he looked down from his holy height, from heaven the Lord looked at the earth,

20to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die;

21so that the name of the Lord may be declared in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem,

22when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the Lord.

23He has broken my strength in midcourse; he has shortened my days.

24“O my God,” I say, “do not take me away at the mid-point of my life, you whose years endure throughout all generations.”

25Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.

26They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away;

27but you are the same, and your years have no end.

28The children of your servants shall live secure; their offspring shall be established in your presence.

 2 Kings 8:1-6

8Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, “Get up and go with your household, and settle wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and it will come on the land for seven years.” 2So the woman got up and did according to the word of the man of God; she went with her household and settled in the land of the Philistines seven years. 3At the end of the seven years, when the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, she set out to appeal to the king for her house and her land. 4Now the king was talking with Gehazi the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me all the great things that Elisha has done.” 5While he was telling the king how Elisha had restored a dead person to life, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and her land. Gehazi said, “My lord king, here is the woman, and here is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” 6When the king questioned the woman, she told him. So the king appointed an official for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, together with all the revenue of the fields from the day that she left the land until now.”

Acts 15:36-41

36After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Come, let us return and visit the believers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38But Paul decided not to take with them one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them in the work. 39The disagreement became so sharp that they parted company; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. 40But Paul chose Silas and set out, the believers commending him to the grace of the Lord. 41He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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