Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Archive for the ‘public affairs’ Category

Aside

Substance and Rumor 040412

 

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Marti...

President Lyndon B. Johnson and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. meet at the White House, 1966 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Substance and Rumor 040412

Today is the death date of Reverend Martin Luther King. It concerns me, as I think about his assassination in 1968 as the reflection of an underlying racism in America, and perhaps around the world. Even though America now has a black president, and many black notables—each an accomplished person in their field,  far too many of our poor, disadvantaged and discarded people are black. I also wonder if political opposition to Barack Obama is partly the result of racism.

Yet, when people talk of Martin Luther King, they speak with love or hate about him. People speak of leadership of a race, for good or evil, but not of his role as a minister. Seldom do we hear about the substance of the man’s soul. In a sermon he reflected: “Every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral. Every now and then I ask myself, ‘What is it that I want said?’ I’d like somebody to mention that day, that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. I’d like for somebody to say that day, that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody. I want you to say that day, that I tried to be right on the war question. I want you to be able to say that day, that I did try to feed the hungry. And I want you to be able to say that day, that I did try, in my life, to clothe those who were naked. I want you to say, on that day, that I did try, in my life, to visit those who were in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.” (as quoted by www.commonprayer.net for April 4, 2012)

This worries me, because in the same way we all often hear from people who don’t seem to be ‘getting it’ when they speak of Jesus. It seems there is a media image that has been created for Jesus, and he is spokeperson for this or that church, or government, or economic system or culture, while forgetting that he spoke to us for God alone.

So, I have to question my motives and understanding and your motives and understanding. Do we really get it? Do we really listen to Jesus telling us who he is?

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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Wednesday of Holy Week

Isaiah 50:4-9a

Psalm 70

Hebrews 12:1-3

John 13:21-32

Isaiah 50:4-9a

4The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word. Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught. 5The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backward. 6I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard; I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. 7The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; 8he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me. 9It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty? All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

Psalm 70

1Be pleased, O God, to deliver me. O Lord, make haste to help me!

2Let those be put to shame and confusion who seek my life. Let those be turned back and brought to dishonor who desire to hurt me.

3Let those who say, “Aha, Aha!” turn back because of their shame.

4Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. Let those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”

5But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay!

Hebrews 12:1-3

12Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God. 3Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart.

John 13:21-32

21After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, “Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.” 22The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, “Lord, who is it?” 26Jesus answered, “It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.” So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. 27After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “Do quickly what you are going to do.” 28Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, “Buy what we need for the festival”; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.

31When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. 32If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.

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.

 

 

Aside

A Restful Sunday/16 Dead In Afghanistan 031212

" O Lord, praise to You! You are the ligh...

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

A Restful Sunday/16 Dead In Afghanistan 031212

Yesterday was the most restful day I can remember. It began raining after church and rained until midnight. I felt as though I was catching up  on lost sleep from decades ago, and I almost slept the day away, even though I slept well the night before.

But when I sat down to compose the day’s blog and checked a news website, I read the story of a soldier who killed 16 civilians in their sleep last night in Afghanistan. There appears to be no reason for the killings, but what reason could there be for 16 deaths?

But I’m not complaining that the news disturbed my restful mood. Instead, I feel that sometimes when God gives us a gift we expect it to continue forever, and forget that the work of those who follow Jesus is never ending.

We call for peace in Afghanistan, peace for the soldier or soldiers who were the killers, and for the families of the victims. We all know something is very wrong in Afghanistan, and everyone is at fault. Can we pray for peace, reconciliation and forgiveness for all?

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 84

1 Kings 6:1-4, 21-22

1 Corinthians 3:10-23

 

Psalm 84

1How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

2My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

4Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah

5Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

6As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.

7They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

8O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

9Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.

10For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.

11For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.

12O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.

1 Kings 6:1-4, 21-22

6In the four hundred eightieth year after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the Lord. 2The house that King Solomon built for the Lord was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. 3The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits wide, across the width of the house. Its depth was ten cubits in front of the house. 4For the house he made windows with recessed frames. 21Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold, then he drew chains of gold across, in front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold. 22Next he overlaid the whole house with gold, in order that the whole house might be perfect; even the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.

1 Corinthians 3:10-23

10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.

11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. 14If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.

16Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

18Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”

21So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours, 22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, 23and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

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.

 

 

Come Saturday, or Listen to the Voice of the Poor 121011

Habakkuk the prophet, Russian icon from first ...

Image via Wikipedia

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

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).

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 126

Habakkuk 3:13-19

Matthew 21:28-32

Come Saturday, or Listen to the Voice of the Poor 121011

This holiday season (Advent!) has already been glorious for us here at home. For some reason, known to us as Jesus Christ, my wife and I have been growing spiritually so much in the last few days.

Part of it has to do with visiting an old friend. The friends lives in such a way that he could be called destitute. He basically is living in a unfinished basement room that is separated from outside only by a doubled sheet of plastic sheeting; he heats with a small boxwood heater that heats really well for a few moments, but cools off quickly. Many people might be judgmental at the living shelter, and be repulsed by the potential lack of a formal kitchen, bath, living room and bedroom. His space was more like a teepee space, or like a large cardboard box. The market value of the home is probably less than zero.

Yet he was obviously and clearly a free person, a Godly person and a happy person.

What are we doing wrong? Christmas, sadly, is a time Christians must consider the ugly, rampant, diseased consumption that celebrates the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ. If Jesus had not lived, prayed, worshipped and taught about his and our father God, this knowledge of God and the universe would not be part of our lives, and we would be living and walking around like the dead—dead to God.

Destroying humanity’s love for one another, destroying the environment and causing financial stress for so many people is not the purpose of Jesus Christ.

Spend some time with the poor, and talk it over with Jesus.

Pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

Psalm 126

1When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.

2Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”

3The Lord has done great things for us, and we rejoiced.

4Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses in the Negeb.

5May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy.

6Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves.

Habakkuk 3:13-19

13You came forth to save your people, to save your anointed. You crushed the head of the wicked house, laying it bare from foundation to roof. Selah 14You pierced with his own arrows the head of his warriors, who came like a whirlwind to scatter us, gloating as if ready to devour the poor who were in hiding. 15You trampled the sea with your horses, churning the mighty waters.

16I hear, and I tremble within; my lips quiver at the sound. Rottenness enters into my bones, and my steps tremble beneath me. I wait quietly for the day of calamity to come upon the people who attack us. 17Though the fig tree does not blossom, and no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold and there is no herd in the stalls, 18yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the God of my salvation. 19God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, and makes me tread upon the heights. To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments.

Matthew 21:28-32

28“What do you think? A man had two sons; he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29He answered, ‘I will not’; but later he changed his mind and went. 30The father went to the second and said the same; and he answered, ‘I go, sir’; but he did not go. 31Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are going into the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him; and even after you saw it, you did not change your minds and believe him.

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.

 

 

World Wide Instructions 112811

The 5th Day of Advent

Afghanistan Observes 2007 International Peace Day

 

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

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).

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 79

Micah 4:1-5

Revelation 15:1-8

World Wide Instructions 112811

The book of Micah speaks clearly today that a time will come when the instructions of God are heard by all nations and not just the nation of Israel and it seems that this day is coming, we pray. Nearly every nation knows what is right and wrong, and in many ways it is a Christian ethic that has permeated their society, even in those nations that see themselves as atheist, Muslim, Buddhist, or Hindu. The Christian idea of mercy, fairness, gentleness and peace is a global ethic now.

This makes it even more important that the ‘Western’ nations serve as a model or example of Christian ethics in their dealings with their own people and on the world stage.

In times of economic inequality and distress it is even more important—what will we do with the poor? and what will we do with poor nations? Our willingness and ability to eventually abolish suffering on this earth are driven by our love for God and by Jesus Christ, as we follow him.

Pray for peace today, and read Micah!

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 79

1O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.

2They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the air for food, the flesh of your faithful to the wild animals of the earth.

3They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.

4We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.

5How long, O Lord? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealous wrath burn like fire?

6Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call on your name.

7For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.

8Do not remember against us the iniquities of our ancestors; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.

9Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and forgive our sins, for your name’s sake.

10Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes.

11Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power preserve those doomed to die.

12Return sevenfold into the bosom of our neighbors the taunts with which they taunted you, O Lord!

13Then we your people, the flock of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Micah 4:1-5

4In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised up above the hills. Peoples shall stream to it, 2and many nations shall come and say: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. 3He shall judge between many peoples, and shall arbitrate between strong nations far away; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; 4but they shall all sit under their own vines and under their own fig trees, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. 5For all the peoples walk, each in the name of its god, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever.

Revelation 15:1-8

15Then I saw another portent in heaven, great and amazing: seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is ended. 2And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. 3And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Great and amazing are your deeds, Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, King of the nations! 4Lord, who will not fear and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your judgments have been revealed.”

5After this I looked, and the temple of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, 6and out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues, robed in pure bright linen, with golden sashes across their chests. 7Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever; 8and the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were ended.0

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.

 

Responsible Christians 111611

Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach. The Protestant...

Image via Wikipedia

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

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).

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 83:1-4, 9-10, 17-18

Job 16:1-21

Matthew 24:45-51

 

Responsible Christians 111611

The book of Matthew brings us the gospel, the good news, but in today’s verses, we should be feeling the weight of our mission on our shoulders. As Christians, Jesus us asks us to care for others, (even non-Christians!). And if Christians ever appear somber and serious, it is because we have felt the trust and love Jesus has put in us to carry forward the kingdom.

This might be in conflict with the modern institutional church, that directs young Christians to be called to a career as ministers and clergy. But it’s not like a regular career, I think. First, it often does not pay money, and all Christians are called to care for Jesus’ people, not just a select few. We are a ‘priesthood of all believers’ as Martin Luther said.

Instead of expecting a few called men and women to lead us as Christians, maybe all Christians should reappraise their belief, as Matthew 24 calls us. Maybe we all should see ourselves as called to be monks, and live out our Christianity (perhaps in the spirit of Shane Claiborne’s New Monaticism.

Meanwhile, while considering this and considering what should be the mission of Christians in this world, today, it occurs to me (and to many others) that unless we all take environmental damage seriously, quickly! the fatal crush of too many people, not enough food and water and weather uncertainty and alarm, too many wars and conflicts may bring the end of time, or be the end of time. What should be a Christian’s response to all this?

Pray for peace, and keep praying,

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 83

1O God, do not keep silence; do not hold your peace or be still, O God!

2Even now your enemies are in tumult; those who hate you have raised their heads.

3They lay crafty plans against your people; they consult together against those you protect.

4They say, “Come, let us wipe them out as a nation; let the name of Israel be remembered no more.”

9Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera and Jabin at the Wadi Kishon,

10who were destroyed at En-dor, who became dung for the ground.

17Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace.

18Let them know that you alone, whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth.

Job 16:1-21

16Then Job answered: 2“I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all. 3Have windy words no limit? Or what provokes you that you keep on talking? 4I also could talk as you do, if you were in my place; I could join words together against you, and shake my head at you. 5I could encourage you with my mouth, and the solace of my lips would assuage your pain.

6“If I speak, my pain is not assuaged, and if I forbear, how much of it leaves me? 7Surely now God has worn me out; he has made desolate all my company. 8And he has shriveled me up, which is a witness against me; my leanness has risen up against me, and it testifies to my face. 9He has torn me in his wrath, and hated me; he has gnashed his teeth at me; my adversary sharpens his eyes against me. 10They have gaped at me with their mouths; they have struck me insolently on the cheek; they mass themselves together against me. 11God gives me up to the ungodly, and casts me into the hands of the wicked. 12I was at ease, and he broke me in two; he seized me by the neck and dashed me to pieces; he set me up as his target; 13his archers surround me. He slashes open my kidneys, and shows no mercy; he pours out my gall on the ground. 14He bursts upon me again and again; he rushes at me like a warrior. 15I have sewed sackcloth upon my skin, and have laid my strength in the dust. 16My face is red with weeping, and deep darkness is on my eyelids,

17though there is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure. 18“O earth, do not cover my blood; let my outcry find no resting place. 19Even now, in fact, my witness is in heaven, and he that vouches for me is on high. 20My friends scorn me; my eye pours out tears to God, 21that he would maintain the right of a mortal with God, as one does for a neighbor.

Matthew 24:45-51

45“Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? 46Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. 47Truly I tell you, he will put that one in charge of all his possessions. 48But if that wicked slave says to himself, ‘My master is delayed,’ 49and he begins to beat his fellow slaves, and eats and drinks with drunkards, 50the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour that he does not know. 51He will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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.

 

Learning to Accept Others 111511

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Psalm 9:1-14

Zechariah 1:7-17

Romans 2:1-11

 

Learning to Accept Others 111511

Romans 2 today is scary, particularly for people like me who are judgmental. It is so very hard not to judge when we are raised to be judgmental, taught in school to be judgmental and told again every day to be judgmental.

Still, Christ calls us all to do a handful of impossible things each day. We are to love God, while Satan’s world tells us to love the world. We are love and care for one another, even when it puts oneself in a hazardous situation. We are even to love the ‘other’, those who are not us, and not like us.

Can we pray to do this today? Can we pray for and love someone who is not at all like us?

Pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 9

1I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.

2I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High.

3When my enemies turned back, they stumbled and perished before you.

4For you have maintained my just cause; you have sat on the throne giving righteous judgment.

5You have rebuked the nations, you have destroyed the wicked; you have blotted out their name forever and ever.

6The enemies have vanished in everlasting ruins; their cities you have rooted out; the very memory of them has perished.

7But the Lord sits enthroned forever, he has established his throne for judgment.

8He judges the world with righteousness; he judges the peoples with equity.

9The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

10And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you.

11Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion. Declare his deeds among the peoples.

12For he who avenges blood is mindful of them; he does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

13Be gracious to me, O Lord. See what I suffer from those who hate me; you are the one who lifts me up from the gates of death,

14so that I may recount all your praises, and, in the gates of daughter Zion, rejoice in your deliverance.

Zechariah 1:7-17

7On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berechiah son of Iddo; and Zechariah said, 8In the night I saw a man riding on a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in the glen; and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. 9Then I said, “What are these, my lord?” The angel who talked with me said to me, “I will show you what they are.” 10So the man who was standing among the myrtle trees answered, “They are those whom the Lord has sent to patrol the earth.” 11Then they spoke to the angel of the Lord who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have patrolled the earth, and lo, the whole earth remains at peace.” 12Then the angel of the Lord said, “O Lord of hosts, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which you have been angry these seventy years?” 13Then the Lord replied with gracious and comforting words to the angel who talked with me. 14So the angel who talked with me said to me, Proclaim this message: Thus says the Lord of hosts; I am very jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion. 15And I am extremely angry with the nations that are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they made the disaster worse. 16Therefore, thus says the Lord, I have returned to Jerusalem with compassion; my house shall be built in it, says the Lord of hosts, and the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem. 17Proclaim further: Thus says the Lord of hosts: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity; the Lord will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.

Romans 2:1-11

2Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. 2You say, “We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.” 3Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? 4Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? 5But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. 6For he will repay according to each one’s deeds: 7to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. 9There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek, 10but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. 11For God shows no partiality.

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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