Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Archive for the ‘The Simple Church’ Category

Aside

Psalms Are Not Always Calming 070312

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Psalms Are Not Always Calming 070312

Psalm 52 sounds more like a protest against an opposing tyrant, a mighty one. It raises a question I’ve had for some time—if my family and I were even poorer than we are, even more desperate and lived in Africa or Latin America, and did not have white skin, would we remember the same Psalms as we do now, and say the same prayers?

If we were hungry, would we thank the Lord for our daily bread, bread which might not come today? Do we sometimes try to make our God, and our Jesus into the Gods for white men alone?

Maybe some folks do become Christians and worship God because it confirms their status and racism, but Jesus can turn even these ideas into true love for all humanity.

Maybe we should remember that what we think God will do, is really supposed to be what we together, as the Kingdom of God on earth should do if we love God and love Jesus Christ.

Pray fro peace and your reconciliation with God

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 52

Jeremiah 21:11-14

Revelation 21:22—22:5

Psalm 52

1Why do you boast, O mighty one, of mischief done against the godly? All day long

2you are plotting destruction. Your tongue is like a sharp razor, you worker of treachery.

3You love evil more than good, and lying more than speaking the truth. Selah

4You love all words that devour, O deceitful tongue.

5But God will break you down forever; he will snatch and tear you from your tent; he will uproot you from the land of the living. Selah

6The righteous will see, and fear, and will laugh at the evildoer, saying,

7“See the one who would not take refuge in God, but trusted in abundant riches, and sought refuge in wealth!”

8But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.

9I will thank you forever, because of what you have done. In the presence of the faithful I will proclaim your name, for it is good.

Jeremiah 21:11-14

11To the house of the king of Judah say: Hear the word of the Lord, 12O house of David! Thus says the Lord: Execute justice in the morning, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed, or else my wrath will go forth like fire, and burn, with no one to quench it, because of your evil doings. 13See, I am against you, O inhabitant of the valley, O rock of the plain, says the Lord; you who say, “Who can come down against us, or who can enter our places of refuge?” 14I will punish you according to the fruit of your doings, says the Lord; I will kindle a fire in its forest, and it shall devour all that is around it.

Revelation 21:22—22:5

22I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. 25Its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. 26People will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practices abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

22Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; 4they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.

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

The Community of Christ 052912

English: A submersion baptism of the Community...

English: A submersion baptism of the Community of Christ, in Pichilemu, Chile. (Las Terrazas Beach) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

The Community of Christ 052912

A friend once remarked when we were discussing coming to church, that she didn’t want to attend a church where she would be missed if she wasn’t there. In a small church like ours, that’s impossible, maybe sitting in the back row of a 2,000 seat auditorium is more like it!

 

The community of Christ, or as Paul says ‘the body of Christ’ knows when you’re there and when you are not, and your spiritual presence is an important part of the body, that can’t be overlooked.

 

It’s hard to be an anonymous Christian. It’s harder to be a ‘lone Christian’ than to be the Lone Ranger, but even he had Tonto, and had to wear a mask.

 

To be a Christian, 1 Corinthians is discussing, means to be a part of community. I personally think that a huge church would prevent or obstruct community, but then again, there is almost no way to prevent community, and the community of Christ arises where there are believers and disciples, no matter where or when.

 

Christ is with us.

 

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 104:24-34, 35b

Genesis 11:1-9

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

 

Psalm 104:24-34, 35b

24O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

25Yonder is the sea, great and wide, creeping things innumerable are there, living things both small and great.

26There go the ships, and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

27These all look to you to give them their food in due season;

28when you give to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

29When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.

30When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground.

31May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works—

32who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke.

33I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

34May my meditation be pleasing to him, for I rejoice in the Lord.

35Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and let the wicked be no more. Bless the Lord, O my soul. Praise the Lord!

Genesis 11:1-9

11Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

5The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. 6And the Lord said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

1 Corinthians 12:12-27

12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. 14Indeed, the body does not consist of one member but of many. 15If the foot would say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16And if the ear would say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? 18But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20As it is, there are many members, yet one body. 21The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22On the contrary, the members of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23and those members of the body that we think less honorable we clothe with greater honor, and our less respectable members are treated with greater respect; 24whereas our more respectable members do not need this. But God has so arranged the body, giving the greater honor to the inferior member, 25that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. 26If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.

27Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of 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.

 

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

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

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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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.

 

Imitation and Worship 122011

Cover of "The Imitation of Christ (Pure G...

Cover via Amazon

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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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.

 

Magnificat 121911

English: Song Thrush at Carreg Dhu gardens, St...

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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Luke 1:46b-55

1 Samuel 1:1-18

Hebrews 9:1-14

 

Magnificat 121911

Mary’s Song, called the Magnificat, is today’s scripture from Luke. Even in translation from Aramaic into Greek into English, the verses are still poetic, and by their music can reach us deeply.

The word magnificat means ‘to magnify’. And this particular verse means so much, but I’m not sure exactly how to explain it. It seems to me, and I say it humbly, that this scripture is mystical in its meaning and in its effect.

How can my soul magnify the Lord? I am small and God is infinite! Yet I understand this to mean that even though my soul is small, somehow my soul, life and the love of my heart all serve to reflect the magnificence of God. That sounds simple, but it is confusing to me.

And I think it is true, although I don’t know exactly why or how.

Pray for peace this week, the week of the birth of Jesus Christ. We all come closer to bringing God’s peace to earth by our prayer and our lives.

(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 1:1-18

1There was a certain man of Ramathaim, a Zuphite from the hill country of Ephraim, whose name was Elkanah son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite. 2He had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3Now this man used to go up year by year from his town to worship and to sacrifice to the Lord of hosts at Shiloh, where the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were priests of the Lord. 4On the day when Elkanah sacrificed, he would give portions to his wife Peninnah and to all her sons and daughters; 5but to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her, though the Lord had closed her womb. 6Her rival used to provoke her severely, to irritate her, because the Lord had closed her womb. 7So it went on year by year; as often as she went up to the house of the Lord, she used to provoke her. Therefore Hannah wept and would not eat. 8Her husband Elkanah said to her, “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? Why is your heart sad? Am I not more to you than ten sons?”

9After they had eaten and drunk at Shiloh, Hannah rose and presented herself before the Lord. Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat beside the doorpost of the temple of the Lord. 10She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord, and wept bitterly. 11She made this vow: “O Lord of hosts, if only you will look on the misery of your servant, and remember me, and not forget your servant, but will give to your servant a male child, then I will set him before you as a nazirite until the day of his death. He shall drink neither wine nor intoxicants, and no razor shall touch his head.” 12As she continued praying before the Lord, Eli observed her mouth. 13Hannah was praying silently; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard; therefore Eli thought she was drunk. 14So Eli said to her, “How long will you make a drunken spectacle of yourself? Put away your wine.” 15But Hannah answered, “No, my lord, I am a woman deeply troubled; I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but I have been pouring out my soul before the Lord. 16Do not regard your servant as a worthless woman, for I have been speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation all this time.” 17Then Eli answered, “Go in peace; the God of Israel grant the petition you have made to him.” 18And she said, “Let your servant find favor in your sight.” Then the woman went to her quarters, ate and drank with her husband, and her countenance was sad no longer.

Hebrews 9:1-14

9Now even the first covenant had regulations for worship and an earthly sanctuary. 2For a tent was constructed, the first one, in which were the lampstand, the table, and the bread of the Presence; this is called the Holy Place. 3Behind the second curtain was a tent called the Holy of Holies. 4In it stood the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant overlaid on all sides with gold, in which there were a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tablets of the covenant; 5above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat. Of these things we cannot speak now in detail. 6Such preparations having been made, the priests go continually into the first tent to carry out their ritual duties; 7but only the high priest goes into the second, and he but once a year, and not without taking the blood that he offers for himself and for the sins committed unintentionally by the people.

8By this the Holy Spirit indicates that the way into the sanctuary has not yet been disclosed as long as the first tent is still standing. 9This is a symbol of the present time, during which gifts and sacrifices are offered that cannot perfect the conscience of the worshiper, 10but deal only with food and drink and various baptisms, regulations for the body imposed until the time comes to set things right. 11But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), 12he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living 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.

 

 

There is Hope, Hope, Hope 121511

English: Mennonite Church of Canada Logo

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.

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Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26

2 Samuel 6:1-11

Hebrews 1:1-4

 

There is Hope, Hope, Hope 121511

 

In the midst of international peace and personal healing, it is clear to me that Jesus is part of my personal life and the life of the world. I feel Jesus with me, especially when I’m doing manual labor—farming or carpentry for instance. The animals are calmed when I pray before working by kneeling in the unplowed field or kneeling in the midst of construction materials and tools.

 

And amazing grace, but I can once again kneel! Just a week ago if I knelt, it would take a cane, two people and a tow truck to get me back up on my feet. (It is small but I’ve got diseases that cause stiffness to develop, and make rising and sitting difficult. But I’ve somehow been healed and I know it is Jesus, because I’ve been calling for him to heal my old bones.!)

 

And internationally, we have been praying for the peace that begins today in Iraq. American and other foreign troops will be withdrawn from Iraq today. May God come to them again, that they reestablish Godliness in their homeland.

 

Pray for peace and pray for hope (the small gentle voice of God)

(brother) Bill

Psalm 89

1I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord, forever; with my mouth I will proclaim your faithfulness to all generations.

2I declare that your steadfast love is established forever; your faithfulness is as firm as the heavens.

3You said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to my servant David:

4‘I will establish your descendants forever, and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah

19Then you spoke in a vision to your faithful one, and said: “I have set the crown on one who is mighty, I have exalted one chosen from the people.

20I have found my servant David; with my holy oil I have anointed him;

21my hand shall always remain with him; my arm also shall strengthen him.

22The enemy shall not outwit him, the wicked shall not humble him.

23I will crush his foes before him and strike down those who hate him.

24My faithfulness and steadfast love shall be with him; and in my name his horn shall be exalted.

25I will set his hand on the sea and his right hand on the rivers.

26He shall cry to me, ‘You are my Father, my God, and the Rock of my salvation!’

 Samuel 6:1-11

6David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. 2David and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned on the cherubim. 3They carried the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart 4with the ark of God; and Ahio went in front of the ark. 5David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the Lord with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.

6When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah reached out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen shook it. 7The anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah; and God struck him there because he reached out his hand to the ark; and he died there beside the ark of God. 8David was angry because the Lord had burst forth with an outburst upon Uzzah; so that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day. 9David was afraid of the Lord that day; he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come into my care?” 10So David was unwilling to take the ark of the Lord into his care in the city of David; instead David took it to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. 11The ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months; and the Lord blessed Obed-edom and all his household.

Hebrews 1:1-4

1Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, 2but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds. 3He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

4having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs.

 

Good News Comes In a Cup 121311

Lord lovelace bridge

Image by wimbledonian via Flickr

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.

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Psalm 125

2 Kings 2:9-22

Acts 3:17—4:4

 

Good News Comes In a Cup 121311

This time of year, I sometimes find myself staying up too late. Luckily, there is absolutely nothing on 400 channels of television to watch, so listened to classical music, some opera, and occasionally some bluegrass and read, studied and wrote until very late.

When I woke this morning I hear rain. Rain has become a sound of good news here, and around much of the world I suspect, because water is becoming even more a sign of prosperity and survival. If you have water you are rich, or could be rich from it.

The majority of the world is thirsty, and not just for a cup of crude oil, but for a cup of water, and God’s water at that. I have drank only water for nearly thirty years, except for an occasional hot cup of water darkened by coffee beans! When I realized my soul was thirsty, I knew it was as if I was thirsty for the water of God. I sought God and Jesus before I knew their names.

In 2 Kings today, Elijah and Elisha received the gift of a good well, a well from God of fresh, sparkling water.

There is no sin on earth worse than poisoning a well, or poisoning the love of God. So, when the God gave Jericho a well, they knew they had received the greatest gift on earth.

From where in your life does your water come? Protect the earth, the water and the Holy Spirit. Have a good glass of water with us.

Pray for Peace

(brother) Bill

Psalm 125

1Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.

2As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore.

3For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, so that the righteous might not stretch out their hands to do wrong.

4Do good, O Lord, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts.

5But those who turn aside to their own crooked ways the Lord will lead away with evildoers. Peace be upon Israel!

2 Kings 2:9-22

9When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” 10He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” 11As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

13He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over. 15When the company of prophets who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16They said to him, “See now, we have fifty strong men among your servants; please let them go and seek your master; it may be that the spirit of the Lord has caught him up and thrown him down on some mountain or into some valley.” He responded, “No, do not send them.” 17But when they urged him until he was ashamed, he said, “Send them.” So they sent fifty men who searched for three days but did not find him. 18When they came back to him (he had remained at Jericho), he said to them, “Did I not say to you, Do not go?”

19Now the people of the city said to Elisha, “The location of this city is good, as my lord sees; but the water is bad, and the land is unfruitful.” 20He said, “Bring me a new bowl, and put salt in it.” So they brought it to him. 21Then he went to the spring of water and threw the salt into it, and said, “Thus says the Lord, I have made this water wholesome; from now on neither death nor miscarriage shall come from it.” 22So the water has been wholesome to this day, according to the word that Elisha spoke.

Acts 3:17—4:4

17“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. 18In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. 19Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, 20so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah appointed for you, that is, Jesus, 21who must remain in heaven until the time of universal restoration that God announced long ago through his holy prophets. 22Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you from your own people a prophet like me. You must listen to whatever he tells you. 23And it will be that everyone who does not listen to that prophet will be utterly rooted out of the people.’ 24And all the prophets, as many as have spoken, from Samuel and those after him, also predicted these days. 25You are the descendants of the prophets and of the covenant that God gave to your ancestors, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your descendants all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ 26When God raised up his servant, he sent him first to you, to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.”

4While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, 2much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead. 3So they arrested them and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. 4But many of those who heard the word believed; and they numbered about five thousand.

 

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.

 

 

Nothing 120811

English: Icon of Jesus Christ

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).

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Psalm 126

Habakkuk 2:1-5

Philippians 3:7-11

Nothing 120811

Several times in my short life I have been confronted with having nothing, absolutely nothing except the clothes on one’s back,  and realized I needed nothing.

In Philippians, Paul writes of the same situation and his feelings. The only persistent, and supreme gain is to know Jesus as our savior, as our personal savior to each of us. We would not know God or have anything of value if Jesus had not made him known to the world by his execution.

Practice assigning value to things—then compare these things to the love of Jesus Christ for us.

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 2:1-5

2I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint. 2Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. 3For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. 4Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith.

5Moreover, wealth is treacherous; the arrogant do not endure. They open their throats wide as Sheol; like Death they never have enough. They gather all nations for themselves, and collect all peoples as their own.

Philippians 3:7-11

7Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. 8More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ

9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, 11if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

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.

Is Knowing Any Better? 120411

The 10th day of Advent, Week 2

 

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.

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Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13

Ezekiel 36:24-28

Mark 11:27-33

 

Is Knowing Any Better? 120411

In the book of Mark today Jesus quips back and forth with the chief priests, the scribes and the elders. This group would have possessed considerable learning and practice in the religious texts of Judaism, in the law of Moses and the Prophets. For them to even bother talking with Jesus is amazing, since Jesus was probably an illiterate, transitory working class peasant and not at all one worthy of such an intellectual exchange.

But Jesus asks the question that eventually must be answered. Is knowing exactly who or what Jesus is as important as learning the amazing and continually profound depth of his teaching. Jesus eventually needs no explanation; what Jesus teaches establishes its own worth.

Eventually, one can appreciate and love Jesus for the spirituality of his teachings. It is not just Jesus as messiah, or even Jesus as political scientist, or Jesus as economist. Instead it is Jesus speaking to us and teaching us the truth about God and about our own relationship with God.

I don’t really completely understand who Jesus is, and I may never know. In the meantime I’ll try to understand what Jesus says to me.

Pray for peace (of this we’re sure)

(brother) Bill

Psalm 85

1Lord, you were favorable to your land; you restored the fortunes of Jacob.

2You forgave the iniquity of your people; you pardoned all their sin. Selah

8Let me hear what God the Lord will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.

9Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.

10Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.

11Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.

12The Lord will give what is good, and our land will yield its increase.

13Righteousness will go before him, and will make a path for his steps.

Ezekiel 36:24-28

24I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land.

25I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances. 28Then you shall live in the land that I gave to your ancestors; and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.

Mark 11:27-33

27Again they came to Jerusalem. As he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him 28and said, “By what authority are you doing these things? Who gave you this authority to do them?” 29Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. 30Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin? Answer me.” 31They argued with one another, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 32But shall we say, ‘Of human origin’?” —they were afraid of the crowd, for all regarded John as truly a prophet. 33So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.”

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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