Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Archive for the ‘spirituality’ Category

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.

 

 

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/

 

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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

Singing a Spring Song 030812

A picture about the spring.

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Singing a Spring Song 030812

At first light today, there was little light. Rain clouds and thunderstorms darkened the sky. The small but vocal frogs called ‘spring peepers’ were loud.

Psalm 81 sings out to us this morning, like a spring song. It’s a song accompanied by musical instruments, and rejoices at the full moon, and coincidentally, there is now a full moon.

My joy this morning comes from God, but the natural world, the earth, is also God’s domain of joy. Celebrate the giving of beauty from God, and pray for the health of the environment and the earth.

Pray for environmental peace, and end the war on the environment.

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 81:1-10

Exodus 31:12-18

Acts 25:1-12

 

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.

Exodus 31:12-18

12The Lord said to Moses: 13You yourself are to speak to the Israelites: “You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, given in order that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you. 14You shall keep the sabbath, because it is holy for you; everyone who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it shall be cut off from among the people. 15Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. 16Therefore the Israelites shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. 17It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.” 18When God finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets of the covenant, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God.

Acts 25:1-12

25Three days after Festus had arrived in the province, he went up from Caesarea to Jerusalem 2where the chief priests and the leaders of the Jews gave him a report against Paul. They appealed to him 3and requested, as a favor to them against Paul, to have him transferred to Jerusalem. They were, in fact, planning an ambush to kill him along the way. 4Festus replied that Paul was being kept at Caesarea, and that he himself intended to go there shortly. 5“So,” he said, “let those of you who have the authority come down with me, and if there is anything wrong about the man, let them accuse him.” 6After he had stayed among them not more than eight or ten days, he went down to Caesarea; the next day he took his seat on the tribunal and ordered Paul to be brought. 7When he arrived, the Jews who had gone down from Jerusalem surrounded him, bringing many serious charges against him, which they could not prove. 8Paul said in his defense, “I have in no way committed an offense against the law of the Jews, or against the temple, or against the emperor.” 9But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, asked Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and be tried there before me on these charges?” 10Paul said, “I am appealing to the emperor’s tribunal; this is where I should be tried. I have done no wrong to the Jews, as you very well know. 11Now if I am in the wrong and have committed something for which I deserve to die, I am not trying to escape death; but if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can turn me over to them. I appeal to the emperor.” 12Then Festus, after he had conferred with his council, replied, “You have appealed to the emperor; to the emperor you will go.”

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.

 

 

The People Who Walked In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light 122411

English: Our beloved Lady Saint Mary with Her ...

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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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Dec 24    Nativity of the Lord I

Isaiah 9:2-7

Psalm 96

Titus 2:11-14

Luke 2:1-20

The People Who Walked In Darkness Have Seen A Great Light 122411

2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined.

This is first verse of Isaiah 9, our first reading for today. The sharp change in us when we moved from darkness into the great light of Jesus Christ know what thissimple sentence really says. For me, it recalls when I lived in darkness, then came to know Jesus Christ. An unspeakable and great joy began to glow and burst forward in me….it continues to grow, to fill me with joy, and to be really unspeakable. But I suspect that all Christians know and feel this same joy, or something like it…..and our joy is too great to speak of it.

This Christmas Eve, we expect Jesus to be born once more. Once more you and I are to be reborn in Jesus Christ in the morning, and the light will begin to return.

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

 

Isaiah 9:2-7

2The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness— on them light has shined. 3You have multiplied the nation, you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as people exult when dividing plunder. 4For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 5For all the boots of the tramping warriors and all the garments rolled in blood shall be burned as fuel for the fire. 6For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Psalm 96

1O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

2Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.

4For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.

5For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

6Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

8Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.

9Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.

10Say among the nations, “The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.”

11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

12let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy

13before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Titus 2:11-14

11For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, 12training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, 13while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 14He it is who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds.

Luke 2:1-20

2In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3All went to their own towns to be registered. 4Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

8In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

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.

 

Gratifying the Flesh 122211

Birth of Jesus, South transept window

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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 96

Zephaniah 3:14-20

Romans 13:11-14

 

Gratifying the Flesh 122211

I read the verses from Romans this morning, and began to laugh.

14Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Instead, what we tend to do is to drive ourselves mad in gratifying the flesh! Instead, what can we do to make Christmas the quietest and most holy of our days?

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

Psalm 96

1O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

2Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.

4For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.

5For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

6Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

8Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.

9Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.

10Say among the nations, “The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.”

11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

12let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy

13before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Zephaniah 3:14-20

14Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem! 15The Lord has taken away the judgments against you, he has turned away your enemies. The king of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst; you shall fear disaster no more. 16On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. 17The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing 18as on a day of festival. I will remove disaster from you, so that you will not bear reproach for it. 19I will deal with all your oppressors at that time. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. 20At that time I will bring you home, at the time when I gather you; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your eyes, says the Lord.

Romans 13:11-14

11Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; 12the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; 13let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

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.

 

Sing a New Song 122211

Frank Tengle, an Alabama sharecropper, and fam...

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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 96

Zephaniah 3:8-13

Romans 10:5-13

Sing a New Song 122211

It is no small thing to learn an old song, and to actually to sing any song is great. But Psalms today asks us to sing a new song to God.

And it is incredibly difficult. To actually open our mouths and lungs, to trust God, and to express our wonder and love for God in music tones is amazing.

Yet, by trusting God, we can do it! I do prefer an empty barn, or a large empty field to sing any song, but they are also good for these new songs!

Have you ever tried singing a silly made-up tune to your children, grandchildren and great grand children? If they’re awake they usually laugh at me, and that’s great, but sometimes it comforts the little ones, and they sleep.

So, if its okay to sing to babies and infants, why not to God?

Pray for peace,

(brother) Bill

 

Psalm 96

1O sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth.

2Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.

3Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples.

4For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be revered above all gods.

5For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

6Honor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

8Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts.

9Worship the Lord in holy splendor; tremble before him, all the earth.

10Say among the nations, “The Lord is king! The world is firmly established; it shall never be moved. He will judge the peoples with equity.”

11Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

12let the field exult, and everything in it. Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy

13before the Lord; for he is coming, for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with his truth.

Zephaniah 3:8-13

8Therefore wait for me, says the Lord, for the day when I arise as a witness. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all the heat of my anger; for in the fire of my passion all the earth shall be consumed. 9At that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call on the name of the Lord and serve him with one accord. 10From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia my suppliants, my scattered ones, shall bring my offering. 11On that day you shall not be put to shame because of all the deeds by which you have rebelled against me; for then I will remove from your midst your proudly exultant ones, and you shall no longer be haughty in my holy mountain. 12For I will leave in the midst of you a people humble and lowly. They shall seek refuge in the name of the Lord— 13the remnant of Israel; they shall do no wrong and utter no lies, nor shall a deceitful tongue be found in their mouths. Then they will pasture and lie down, and no one shall make them afraid.

Romans 10:5-13

5Moses writes concerning the righteousness that comes from the law, that “the person who does these things will live by them.” 6But the righteousness that comes from faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) 7“or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). 8But what does it say? “The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved. 11The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”

12For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. 13For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

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.

Imitation and Worship 122011

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Luke 1:46b-55

1 Samuel 1:19-28

Hebrews 8:1-13

 

Imitation and Worship 122011

In this particular week, the week of Christmas, one can deepen one’s spiritual formation, and come ever closer to God and Jesus.

The past few days I’ve begun reading the Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis. Written 500 years ago, the book has become a primer of sorts for those interested in spiritual formation. The insights provided by the book have made our worship different and new. This comes in part it seems, from meditating on the insights in the book.

There seems to be a common thread that runs from worship to knowledge to imitation, and by imitating Christ in our lives, we worship, and we learn.

Follow this path in your prayer and worship. Come closer to Christ.

Pray for peace

(brother) Bill

 

 

 

 

Luke 1:46b-55

46And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; 49for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. 50His mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. 51He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. 52He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; 53he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty. 54He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, 55according to the promise he made to our ancestors, to Abraham and to his descendants forever.”

1 Samuel 1:19-28

19They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. 20In due time Hannah conceived and bore a son. She named him Samuel, for she said, “I have asked him of the Lord.” 21The man Elkanah and all his household went up to offer to the Lord the yearly sacrifice, and to pay his vow. 22But Hannah did not go up, for she said to her husband, “As soon as the child is weaned, I will bring him, that he may appear in the presence of the Lord, and remain there forever; I will offer him as a nazirite for all time.” 23Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Do what seems best to you, wait until you have weaned him; only—may the Lord establish his word.” So the woman remained and nursed her son, until she weaned him. 24When she had weaned him, she took him up with her, along with a three-year-old bull, an ephah of flour, and a skin of wine. She brought him to the house of the Lord at Shiloh; and the child was young. 25Then they slaughtered the bull, and they brought the child to Eli. 26And she said, “Oh, my lord! As you live, my lord, I am the woman who was standing here in your presence, praying to the Lord. 27For this child I prayed; and the Lord has granted me the petition that I made to him. 28Therefore I have lent him to the Lord; as long as he lives, he is given to the Lord.” She left him there for the Lord.

Hebrews 8:1-13

8Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, 2a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent that the Lord, and not any mortal, has set up. 3For every high priest is appointed to offer gifts and sacrifices; hence it is necessary for this priest also to have something to offer. 4Now if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are priests who offer gifts according to the law. 5They offer worship in a sanctuary that is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent, was warned, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

6But Jesus has now obtained a more excellent ministry, and to that degree he is the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted through better promises. 7For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need to look for a second one. 8God finds fault with them when he says: “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; 9not like the covenant that I made with their ancestors, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; for they did not continue in my covenant, and so I had no concern for them, says the Lord. 10This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11And they shall not teach one another or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” 13In speaking of “a new covenant,” he has made the first one obsolete. And what is obsolete and growing old will soon disappear.

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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