Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Christ’

“No other foundation…”

February 23, 2014 –– Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

Lectionary Scriptures:

Leviticus 19:1-18

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. 3You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. 4Do not turn to idols or make cast images for yourselves: I am the LORD your God. 5When you offer a sacrifice of well-being to the LORD, offer it in such a way that it is acceptable on your behalf. 6It shall be eaten on the same day you offer it, or on the next day; and anything left over until the third day shall be consumed in fire. 7If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination; it will not be acceptable. 8All who eat it shall be subject to punishment, because they have profaned what is holy to the LORD; and any such person shall be cut off from the people.9When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God.
11You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. 12And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the LORD. 13You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning. 14You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. 15You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. 16You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the LORD. 17You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Psalm 119:33-40

ה He (5th letter of the hebrew alphabet)

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.[a]
38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
Who is devoted to fearing You.
39 Turn away my reproach which I dread,
For Your judgments are good.
40 Behold, I long for Your precepts;
Revive me in Your righteousness.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23
10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.
11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. 14If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.
16Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
18Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
21So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours,22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, 23and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

Matthew 5:38-48
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Comments
In 1996 the Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church (Old Mennonite) published a commemorative fraktur for the 500th anniversary of the birth of Menno Simons. At the bottom of the fraktur, printed on the sturdy stones, is the Bible verse from First Corinthians 3:11:
11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ

This Bible verse was said to be Menno Simons’ favorite. The Mennonites were named after Menno Simons. He was one of the early Anabaptist leaders in Europe who survived persecution and lived long enough to have his name associated with the Anabaptist movement, sometimes referred to as the radical wing of the Great Reformation. Menno was born in 1496 and died peacefully in 1561. He became a Catholic priest in the Netherlands at the age of 28 and over the next dozen years or so he wrestled with the corruption of the church, the interpretation of the scriptures, and the social and nationalism movements of his day. His commitment to the reforms of the peaceful Anabaptist movement solidified when his brother, Peter Simons, was killed by authorities. Peter was part of a group who took over a monastery and attempted to hold it by force. Menno did not agree with using violence to bring about reform and changes but he sympathized with need to reform the church.
Author Phyllis Tickle believes the church is going through another period of upheaval similar to the Great Reformation of the 1500’s. In her book The Great Emergence (Baker, 2008) she notes that significant changes tend to come every five hundred or so years, including the coming of Christ in the first century, approximately 500 years after the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The temple was replaced by a different form of Judaism more centered in synagogue and scripture. The Jesus movement reinterpreted that understanding and the Christian church emerged. With the decline of the Roman Empire the church consolidated under Gregory the Great in the fifth and sixth centuries. Tickle argues that the pattern continues with the Great Schism of the 11th century which generated the Catholic and Orthodox streams, and the Reformation of the 16th century which generated many tributaries. From this historical trend, Tickle deduces that, here in the 2000s, we’re poised for another such seismic change. She calls it The Great Emergence.
What is at stake in these times of upheaval has been the question of authority. Where does the buck stop? Our denomination, the new Mennonite Church USA is engaged with that question with the latest round of discussions and actions related to how we deal with sexual minorities in the church. Some are convinced that the authority of the scripture says one thing. Some are convinced that the authority of scripture says something else. Some say the authority of the church documents are what we agree to follow. Others say, no, they are not those kind of documents. Where does the buck stop on this topic?
In some ways, the texts for this Sunday are foundational assertions. The Deuteronomy texts invoke the commandments given to Moses as authoritative. Psalm 119 affirms and celebrates the following of the law. The New Testament texts, of course, turn to Jesus the Christ as the foundation of faith.

The Apostle Paul declares to the church that they are the dwelling place of God. We have used this image in a more individualistic way to feel guilty about using our bodies in self-destructive ways – smoking, excessive eating, drinking, sexual excess and the variety of other ways we indulge our bodies in harmful ways. We have this idea that God’s temple should be a place of purity, holiness and moderation. Whether Paul is talking about our individual bodies or about the church, the community of Christ-followers, there is still a sense of intimacy with God’s Spirit that is conveyed. We are in union with God, a central truth of the Christian faith. This union leads to unconditional love and Paul’s words about that kind of love are expressed eloquently a few chapters later in his letter to the Corinthian church – “If I do not have love, I am nothing.”
The text from Matthew’s Gospel offers the teaching of Jesus on the everyday implications of living in union with God and expressing love for all, including enemies.
Walking in the way of Jesus, in union with God, led by God’s Spirit and driven by divine love, is a demanding standard for our individual lives and for the church. Is it the cornerstone of our faith?

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Aside

Take In the Frightened Children 110713

The happy children of The Little Field Home

The happy children of The Little Field Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Happy Children Playing Kids

Happy Children Playing Kids (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Galego: , Galicia Publish by= Luis Miguel Buga...

Galego: , Galicia Publish by= Luis Miguel Bugallo Sánchez. Self made. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Psalm 17:1-9 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2017:1-9%20&version=MSG

 

Genesis 38:1-26 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2038:1-26&version=MSG

 

Acts 24:10-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2024:10-23&version=MSG

 

Take In the Frightened Children 110713

 

Psalm 17:7 says it clearly:

 

Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies…

 

I’ve thought often about what exactly JesusKingdom of Heaven might look like. I suspect I strongly want the Kingdom of Heaven to come to be here earth between, among and beyond all of Jesus’ disciples, you and I, but also included everyone else.

But I really don’t KNOW what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like. I wish I did, folks, but I don’t. Still, there are a few basic ideas I expect to see in the Kingdom. One is in today’s Psalm, and that is the idea, the concept, the requirement within the Kingdom that puts forth that in the Kingdom there will not be fear. The poor will not fear eviction and foreclosure, the poor will not fear hunger and starvation, the sick will not go on without good medical care, children will not be raised in fear—no matter what. I’m beginning to believe also that even animals should not live in fear, and humans should consider that a good pot of beans is preferable to a hunk of slaughtered fearful animals.

Imagine a world, ruled by the law of Jesus! All of the life in the universe living with peace and justice as the ruling principles rather than greed and control! And what comes with this is a living world functioning without fear, and children living and growing with any fear in their lives.

Pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

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

Psalm 17:1-9

The Message (MSG)

A David Prayer

17 1-2 Listen while I build my case, God,
the most honest prayer you’ll ever hear.
Show the world I’m innocent—
in your heart you know I am.

3 Go ahead, examine me from inside out,
surprise me in the middle of the night—
You’ll find I’m just what I say I am.
My words don’t run loose.

4-5 I’m not trying to get my way
in the world’s way.
I’m trying to get your way,
your Word’s way.
I’m staying on your trail;
I’m putting one foot
In front of the other.
I’m not giving up.

6-7 I call to you, God, because I’m sure of an answer.
So—answer! bend your ear! listen sharp!
Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.

8-9 Keep your eye on me;
hide me under your cool wing feathers
From the wicked who are out to get me,
from mortal enemies closing in.

Genesis 38:1-26

The Message (MSG)

38 1-5 About that time, Judah separated from his brothers and hooked up with a man in Adullam named Hirah. While there, Judah met the daughter of a Canaanite named Shua. He married her, they went to bed, she became pregnant and had a son named Er. She got pregnant again and had a son named Onan. She had still another son; she named this one Shelah. They were living at Kezib when she had him.

6-7 Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn. Her name was Tamar. But Judah’s firstborn, Er, grievously offended God and God took his life.

8-10 So Judah told Onan, “Go and sleep with your brother’s widow; it’s the duty of a brother-in-law to keep your brother’s line alive.” But Onan knew that the child wouldn’t be his, so whenever he slept with his brother’s widow he spilled his semen on the ground so he wouldn’t produce a child for his brother. God was much offended by what he did and also took his life.

11 So Judah stepped in and told his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow at home with your father until my son Shelah grows up.” He was worried that Shelah would also end up dead, just like his brothers. So Tamar went to live with her father.

12 Time passed. Judah’s wife, Shua’s daughter, died. When the time of mourning was over, Judah with his friend Hirah of Adullam went to Timnah for the sheep shearing.

13-14 Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law has gone to Timnah to shear his sheep.” She took off her widow’s clothes, put on a veil to disguise herself, and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the road to Timnah. She realized by now that even though Shelah was grown up, she wasn’t going to be married to him.

15 Judah saw her and assumed she was a prostitute since she had veiled her face. He left the road and went over to her. He said, “Let me sleep with you.” He had no idea that she was his daughter-in-law.

16 She said, “What will you pay me?”

17 “I’ll send you,” he said, “a kid goat from the flock.”

She said, “Not unless you give me a pledge until you send it.”

18 “So what would you want in the way of a pledge?”

She said, “Your personal seal-and-cord and the staff you carry.”

He handed them over to her and slept with her. And she got pregnant.

19 She then left and went home. She removed her veil and put her widow’s clothes back on.

20-21 Judah sent the kid goat by his friend from Adullam to recover the pledge from the woman. But he couldn’t find her. He asked the men of that place, “Where’s the prostitute that used to sit by the road here near Enaim?”

They said, “There’s never been a prostitute here.”

22 He went back to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. The men there said there never has been a prostitute there.”

23 Judah said, “Let her have it then. If we keep looking, everyone will be poking fun at us. I kept my part of the bargain—I sent the kid goat but you couldn’t find her.”

24 Three months or so later, Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law has been playing the whore—and now she’s a pregnant whore.”

Judah yelled, “Get her out here. Burn her up!”

25 As they brought her out, she sent a message to her father-in-law, “I’m pregnant by the man who owns these things. Identify them, please. Who’s the owner of the seal-and-cord and the staff?”

26 Judah saw they were his. He said, “She’s in the right; I’m in the wrong—I wouldn’t let her marry my son Shelah.” He never slept with her again.

Acts 24:10-23

The Message (MSG)

10-13 The governor motioned to Paul that it was now his turn. Paul said, “I count myself fortunate to be defending myself before you, Governor, knowing how fair-minded you’ve been in judging us all these years. I’ve been back in the country only twelve days—you can check out these dates easily enough. I came with the express purpose of worshiping in Jerusalem on Pentecost, and I’ve been minding my own business the whole time. Nobody can say they saw me arguing in the Temple or working up a crowd in the streets. Not one of their charges can be backed up with evidence or witnesses.

14-15 “But I do freely admit this: In regard to the Way, which they malign as a dead-end street, I serve and worship the very same God served and worshiped by all our ancestors and embrace everything written in all our Scriptures. And I admit to living in hopeful anticipation that God will raise the dead, both the good and the bad. If that’s my crime, my accusers are just as guilty as I am.

16-19 “Believe me, I do my level best to keep a clear conscience before God and my neighbors in everything I do. I’ve been out of the country for a number of years and now I’m back. While I was away, I took up a collection for the poor and brought that with me, along with offerings for the Temple. It was while making those offerings that they found me quietly at my prayers in the Temple. There was no crowd, there was no disturbance. It was some Jews from around Ephesus who started all this trouble. And you’ll notice they’re not here today. They’re cowards, too cowardly to accuse me in front of you.

20-21 “So ask these others what crime they’ve caught me in. Don’t let them hide behind this smooth-talking Tertullus. The only thing they have on me is that one sentence I shouted out in the council: ‘It’s because I believe in the resurrection that I’ve been hauled into this court!’ Does that sound to you like grounds for a criminal case?”

22-23 Felix shilly-shallied. He knew far more about the Way than he let on, and could have settled the case then and there. But uncertain of his best move politically, he played for time. “When Captain Lysias comes down, I’ll decide your case.” He gave orders to the centurion to keep Paul in custody, but to more or less give him the run of the place and not prevent his friends from helping him.

Even This Friday is Good 061413

Cover of "Friday (New Line Platinum Serie...

Cover of Friday (New Line Platinum Series)

English: Friday prayer in Duraz Camera: Canon ...

English: Friday prayer in Duraz Camera: Canon EOS 7D License on Flickr (2011-08-02): CC-BY-SA-2.0 Flickr tags: Bahrain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday-Love!

Friday-Love! (Photo credit: Viewminder)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Psalm 32 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2032%20&version=MSG

 

2 Samuel 15:1-12 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Samuel%2015:1-12&version=MSG

 

Romans 11:1-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2011:1-10&version=MSG

 

Even This Friday is Good 061413

On Friday it seems like we get released from the world, and somehow distance ourselves from all that is not part of following Christ.

On Friday, we can look forward to the Lord’s day, and the sense of peace, security and community that surrounds the day, as distant as it can be from the workday week. At end, there is refuge in church on Sunday if you are lucky enough to be part of a physical, hugging, sharing church. If not we may find our Lord’s Day in being with family and friends.

Certainly, beginning Friday, we begin to let our being, as a follower of Christ, find peace and unity with God.

Pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

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

Psalm 32

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

32 Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.

2 Count yourself lucky—
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.

3 When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.

4 The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.

5 Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”

Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.

6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.

7 God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.

8 Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:

9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”

10 God-defiers are always in trouble;
God-affirmers find themselves loved
every time they turn around.

11 Celebrate God.
Sing together—everyone!
All you honest hearts, raise the roof!

2 Samuel 15:1-12

The Message (MSG)

15 1-2 As time went on, Absalom took to riding in a horse-drawn chariot, with fifty men running in front of him. Early each morning he would take up his post beside the road at the city gate. When anyone showed up with a case to bring to the king for a decision, Absalom would call him over and say, “Where do you hail from?”

And the answer would come, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”

3-6 Then Absalom would say, “Look, you’ve got a strong case; but the king isn’t going to listen to you.” Then he’d say, “Why doesn’t someone make me a judge for this country? Anybody with a case could bring it to me and I’d settle things fair and square.” Whenever someone would treat him with special honor, he’d shrug it off and treat him like an equal, making him feel important. Absalom did this to everyone who came to do business with the king and stole the hearts of everyone in Israel.

7-8 After four years of this, Absalom spoke to the king, “Let me go to Hebron to pay a vow that I made to God. Your servant made a vow when I was living in Geshur in Aram saying, ‘If God will bring me back to Jerusalem, I’ll serve him with my life.’”

9 The king said, “Go with my blessing.” And he got up and set off for Hebron.

10-12 Then Absalom sent undercover agents to all the tribes of Israel with the message, “When you hear the blast of the ram’s horn trumpet, that’s your signal: Shout, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron!’” Two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem. But they had been called together knowing nothing of the plot and made the trip innocently. While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he managed also to involve Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s advisor, calling him away from his hometown of Giloh. The conspiracy grew powerful and Absalom’s supporters multiplied.

Romans 11:1-10

The Message (MSG)

The Loyal Minority

11 1-2 Does this mean, then, that God is so fed up with Israel that he’ll have nothing more to do with them? Hardly. Remember that I, the one writing these things, am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham out of the tribe of Benjamin. You can’t get much more Semitic than that! So we’re not talking about repudiation. God has been too long involved with Israel, has too much invested, to simply wash his hands of them.

2-6 Do you remember that time Elijah was agonizing over this same Israel and cried out in prayer?

God, they murdered your prophets,
They trashed your altars;
I’m the only one left and now they’re after me!

And do you remember God’s answer?

I still have seven thousand who haven’t quit,
Seven thousand who are loyal to the finish.

It’s the same today. There’s a fiercely loyal minority still—not many, perhaps, but probably more than you think. They’re holding on, not because of what they think they’re going to get out of it, but because they’re convinced of God’s grace and purpose in choosing them. If they were only thinking of their own immediate self-interest, they would have left long ago.

7-10 And then what happened? Well, when Israel tried to be right with God on her own, pursuing her own self-interest, she didn’t succeed. The chosen ones of God were those who let God pursue his interest in them, and as a result received his stamp of legitimacy. The “self-interest Israel” became thick-skinned toward God. Moses and Isaiah both commented on this:

Fed up with their quarrelsome, self-centered ways,
God blurred their eyes and dulled their ears,
Shut them in on themselves in a hall of mirrors,
and they’re there to this day.

David was upset about the same thing:

I hope they get sick eating self-serving meals,
break a leg walking their self-serving ways.
I hope they go blind staring in their mirrors,
get ulcers from playing at god.

He’s Already a Friend with You 053013

The Message

The Message (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Flower dream

Flower dream (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

English: Forget-me-not flowers. Türkçe: Unutma...

English: Forget-me-not flowers. Türkçe: Unutma beni çiçekleri. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Flower sad

Flower sad (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Twin flowers of Ipomoea acuminata

Twin flowers of Ipomoea acuminata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

 

Psalm 96:1-9 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2096:1-9&version=MSG

 

1 Kings 6:23-38 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Kings%206:23-38&version=MSG

 

2 Corinthians 5:11-17 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Corinthians%205:11-17&version=MSG

 

He’s Already a Friend with You 053013

 

Today’s title comes from 2 Corinthians 20:

We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.”

Reading this entire gospel selection, translated or restated in The Message, we should be reminded that Eugene Peterson, the editor or ‘restater’ or translator of The Message intended it also to be read as poetry.

It doesn’t rhyme usually, and the lines aren’t always broken up into lines of equal length. But more than regularity, poetry is an oral tradition of speaking in important and significant thoughts. Poetry is surprising, and good poetry tells us something or points out something we should take note of, and to which attention should be paid.

2 Corinthians should be spoken aloud publicly. It should recited with music and enthusiasm, loudly. We need prophets and we need preachers, and that’s you and me—willing to speak the truth about peace, God and reality and the current and future state of this world.

Pray for peace

Pastor Bill

Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

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

Psalm 96:1-9

The Message (MSG)

96 1-2 Sing God a brand-new song!
Earth and everyone in it, sing!
Sing to God—worship God!

2-3 Shout the news of his victory from sea to sea,
Take the news of his glory to the lost,
News of his wonders to one and all!

4-5 For God is great, and worth a thousand Hallelujahs.
His terrible beauty makes the gods look cheap;
Pagan gods are mere tatters and rags.

5-6 God made the heavens—
Royal splendor radiates from him,
A powerful beauty sets him apart.

7 Bravo, God, Bravo!
Everyone join in the great shout: Encore!
In awe before the beauty, in awe before the might.

8-9 Bring gifts and celebrate,
Bow before the beauty of God,
Then to your knees—everyone worship!

1 Kings 6:23-38

The Message (MSG)

23-28 Then he made two cherubim, gigantic angel-like figures, from olivewood. Each was fifteen feet tall. The outstretched wings of the cherubim (they were identical in size and shape) measured another fifteen feet. He placed the two cherubim, their wings spread, in the Inner Sanctuary. The combined wingspread stretched the width of the room, the wing of one cherub touched one wall, the wing of the other the other wall, and the wings touched in the middle. The cherubim were gold-plated.

29-30 He then carved engravings of cherubim, palm trees, and flower blossoms on all the walls of both the Inner and the Main Sanctuary. And all the floors of both inner and outer rooms were gold-plated.

31-32 He constructed doors of olivewood for the entrance to the Inner Sanctuary; the lintel and doorposts were five-sided. The doors were also carved with cherubim, palm trees, and flowers, and then covered with gold leaf.

33-35 Similarly, he built the entrance to the Main Sanctuary using olivewood for the doorposts but these doorposts were four-sided. The doors were of cypress, split into two panels, each panel swinging separately. These also were carved with cherubim, palm trees, and flowers, and plated with finely hammered gold leaf.

36 He built the inner court with three courses of dressed stones topped with a course of planed cedar timbers.

37-38 The foundation for God’s Temple was laid in the fourth year in the month of Ziv. It was completed in the eleventh year in the month of Bul (the eighth month) down to the last detail, just as planned. It took Solomon seven years to build it.

2 Corinthians 5:11-20

The Message (MSG)

11-14 That keeps us vigilant, you can be sure. It’s no light thing to know that we’ll all one day stand in that place of Judgment. That’s why we work urgently with everyone we meet to get them ready to face God. God alone knows how well we do this, but I hope you realize how much and deeply we care. We’re not saying this to make ourselves look good to you. We just thought it would make you feel good, proud even, that we’re on your side and not just nice to your face as so many people are. If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. Christ’s love has moved me to such extremes. His love has the first and last word in everything we do.

A New Life

14-15 Our firm decision is to work from this focused center: One man died for everyone. That puts everyone in the same boat. He included everyone in his death so that everyone could also be included in his life, a resurrection life, a far better life than people ever lived on their own.

16-20 Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

Do We Still Need Domestic Servants? 051013

Welsh Maid

Welsh Maid (Photo credit: BasiliskSam)

Do We Still Need Domestic Servants? 051013

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

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the
very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by
http://www.commontexts.org/

Psalm 97 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2097%20&version=MSG

Exodus 33:12-17 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus%2033:12-17&version=MSG

Revelation 22:6-9 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2022:6-9&version=MSG

Do We Still Need Domestic Servants? 051013

Somewhere, without noticing where I heard it,someone said that someone who thinks themselves very important and grand, had expressed as a solution to
the immigration problem, that we should allow as many immigrants in as were needed to supply domestic servants for those wealthy who desire domestic servants.

Inresponse a second grand person had responded that neither she nor her family thought of themselves only as domestic servants, but had a life and spirit beyond simply being a domestic servant, as they once had been, before rising.

As Christians, we should question all of this, for several reasons. First, what Christian would think it right either to be so wealthy, so lazy, so consumptive of earth’s resources as to even need domestic servants. Christ completely erased all human and living hierarchies—we are no better and no less than any other living thing. In fact, we were given the task in Genesis, at the very
beginning to care for and protect all of earth.

Further, as a Christian who dare put themselves in a social class above anyone or anything. We don’t get to rank ourselves in the grand scheme of creation. In fact, the more we can operate as servants, the better (except it is wrong to lower ourselves in anyway, just because we choose to serve—but we must choose to serve—and not be relegated to service because what someone else falsely believes.

Revelation 22 screams to us in Verse 8 and 9:

I fell on my face to worship at the feet of the Angel who laid it all
out before me. He objected, “No you don’t! I’m a servant just
like you and your companions, the prophets, and all who keep the
words of this book. Worship God!”

Bless the Rich, because they need blessing. Better to be an humble workeror servant or farmer than suffer the sins of wealth.

"When I was a servant in Rosemary Lane......

“When I was a servant in Rosemary Lane…” Image by Jean-Étienne Liotard. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

Prayer List: Peace

Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @
peacemennonitechurch.net
(Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We
are following the prayer liturgy at
www.commonprayer.net
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

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

Psalm 97
The Message (MSG)

97 God rules: there’s something to shout over!
On the double,mainlands and islands—celebrate!

2 Bright clouds and storm clouds circle ’round him;
Right and justice anchor his rule.

3 Fire blazes out before him,
Flaming high up the craggy mountains.

4 His lightnings light up the world;
Earth, wide-eyed, trembles in fear.

5 The mountains take one look at God
And melt, melt like wax before earth’s Lord.

6 The heavens announce that he’ll set everything right,
And everyone will see it happen—glorious!

7-8 All who serve handcrafted gods will be sorry—
And they were so proud of their ragamuffin gods!

On your knees, all you gods—worship him!
And Zion, you listen and take heart!

Daughters of Zion,sing your hearts out:
God has done it all, has set everything
right.

9 You, God, are High God of the cosmos,
Far, far higher than any of the gods.

10 God loves all who hate evil,
And those who love him he keeps
safe, Snatches them from the grip of the wicked.

11 Light-seeds are planted in the souls of God’s people,
Joy-seeds are planted in good heart-soil.

12 So, God’s people, shout praise to God,
Give thanks to our Holy God!

Exodus

33:12-17

The Message (MSG)

12-13 Moses said to God, “Look, you tell me, ‘Lead this people,’ but you
don’t let me know whom you’re going to send with me. You tell me,
‘I know you well and you are special to me.’ If I am so special
to you, let me in on your plans. That way, I will continue being
special to you. Don’t forget, this is your people, your responsibility.”

14 Godsaid, “My presence will go with you. I’ll see the journey to the end.”

15-16 Moses said, “If your presence doesn’t take the lead here, call this
trip off right now. How else will it be known that you’re with me
in this, with me and your people? Are you traveling with us or not?

How else will we know that we’re special, I and your people, among
all other people on this planet Earth?”

17 God said to Moses: “All right. Just as you say; this also I will do,
for I know you well and you are special to me. I know you by name.”

Revelation 22:6-9

The Message (MSG)

Don’t Put It Away on the Shelf

6-7 The Angel said to me, “These are dependable and accurate words, every one.
The God and Master of the spirits of the prophets sent his Angel to
show his servants what must take place, and soon. And tell them,
‘Yes, I’m on my way!’ Blessed be the one who keeps the words of
the prophecy of this book.”

8-9 I, John, saw all these things with my own eyes, heard them with my ears.
Immediately when I heard and saw, I fell on my face to worship at the
feet of the Angel who laid it all out before me. He objected, “No
you don’t! I’m a servant just like you and your companions, the
prophets, and all who keep the words of this book. Worship God!”

The Religion of Ignorance 032613

Christ giving the communion to Saint Peter (sa...

Christ giving the communion to Saint Peter (sacristy panel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eucharist

Eucharist (Photo credit: hawaii)

Religion Stencil

Religion Stencil (Photo credit: murdelta)

3rd quarter of 16th century

3rd quarter of 16th century (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

Psalm 105:1-42 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20105:1-42&version=MSG

 

Numbers 14:10b-24 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Numbers%2014:10b-24&version=MSG

 

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%2010:1-13&version=MSG

 

The Religion of Ignorance 032613

 

Over the years and months I’ve published this blog, with the frequent help of the church and various other ministers, I think I’ve come to know and understand the blog’s subscribers and readers well enough to have some idea of the education and intelligence of those readers.

 

Something occurs to me, and it’s a strange thing to observe, but all of us, including me, are committed to a religion of ignorance. By this I mean that we hold our religion(s) sincerely, but we also hold to our ignorance just as strongly. Somehow the clinging to ignorance has become part of our religion.

 

This is a serious allegation! I am saying that we deliberately remain ignorant, that our religion depends on it and that our ignorance and religion are par tof each other.

 

I cam to this over-reaching conclusion in this manner. It was mentioned to me by a friend that even though we (in America for certain) we have access to more information than ever before in the history of people anywhere and in any time. Yet, at least for Americans, it is clear that we have virtually no comprehensive information of people, places and life anywhere else on the planet except our own locality.

 

To me, a key concept of Christ is communion—not just the ceremony with bread and wine, but the very act and life of ‘communion’ with all of creation, inanimate and animate, local and distant, human and not, on earth and into infinity—communion with the universe, and communion with God. Being ignorant of most of the universe doesn’t work with this! There is nothing we can exclude from the communion and still be in communion with Jesus.

 

Yet, because we are practicing a religion of ignorance, we limit the depth and breadth of our religion, by choosing to remain ignorant of most of life on this plant.

 

What is it like to live in Africa? To walk miles for fresh water, to labor all day to gather kindling for a cooking fire, to go days without food, and when we eat to struggle for every bite? We, in America, have no idea of what it is like to live and die anywhere on earth except in America (and it may also be we have little real or complete idea of what these are like for most Americans even.

 

It is difficult, disconcerting and quite a shock to realize completely the meaning of all life in the universe. We avoid these shocks by our own ignorance.

 

How different will our communion be when we come to know the fullness of all creation?

 

Pray for peace

Pastor Bill

Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

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

Psalm 105:1-42

The Message (MSG)

105 1-6 Hallelujah!

Thank God! Pray to him by name!
Tell everyone you meet what he has done!
Sing him songs, belt out hymns,
translate his wonders into music!
Honor his holy name with Hallelujahs,
you who seek God. Live a happy life!
Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works;
be alert for signs of his presence.
Remember the world of wonders he has made,
his miracles, and the verdicts he’s rendered—
O seed of Abraham, his servant,
O child of Jacob, his chosen.

7-15 He’s God, our God,
in charge of the whole earth.
And he remembers, remembers his Covenant—
for a thousand generations he’s been as good as his word.
It’s the Covenant he made with Abraham,
the same oath he swore to Isaac,
The very statute he established with Jacob,
the eternal Covenant with Israel,
Namely, “I give you the land.
Canaan is your hill-country inheritance.”
When they didn’t count for much,
a mere handful, and strangers at that,
Wandering from country to country,
drifting from pillar to post,
He permitted no one to abuse them.
He told kings to keep their hands off:
“Don’t you dare lay a hand on my anointed,
don’t hurt a hair on the heads of my prophets.”

16-22 Then he called down a famine on the country,
he broke every last blade of wheat.
But he sent a man on ahead:
Joseph, sold as a slave.
They put cruel chains on his ankles,
an iron collar around his neck,
Until God’s word came to the Pharaoh,
and God confirmed his promise.
God sent the king to release him.
The Pharaoh set Joseph free;
He appointed him master of his palace,
put him in charge of all his business
To personally instruct his princes
and train his advisors in wisdom.

23-42 Then Israel entered Egypt,
Jacob immigrated to the Land of Ham.
God gave his people lots of babies;
soon their numbers alarmed their foes.
He turned the Egyptians against his people;
they abused and cheated God’s servants.
Then he sent his servant Moses,
and Aaron, whom he also chose.
They worked marvels in that spiritual wasteland,
miracles in the Land of Ham.
He spoke, “Darkness!” and it turned dark—
they couldn’t see what they were doing.
He turned all their water to blood
so that all their fish died;
He made frogs swarm through the land,
even into the king’s bedroom;
He gave the word and flies swarmed,
gnats filled the air.
He substituted hail for rain,
he stabbed their land with lightning;
He wasted their vines and fig trees,
smashed their groves of trees to splinters;
With a word he brought in locusts,
millions of locusts, armies of locusts;
They consumed every blade of grass in the country
and picked the ground clean of produce;
He struck down every firstborn in the land,
the first fruits of their virile powers.
He led Israel out, their arms filled with loot,
and not one among his tribes even stumbled.
Egypt was glad to have them go—
they were scared to death of them.
God spread a cloud to keep them cool through the day
and a fire to light their way through the night;
They prayed and he brought quail,
filled them with the bread of heaven;
He opened the rock and water poured out;
it flowed like a river through that desert—
All because he remembered his Covenant,
his promise to Abraham, his servant.

Numbers 14:10-24

The Message (MSG)

10-12 But, up in arms now, the entire community was talking of hurling stones at them.

Just then the bright Glory of God appeared at the Tent of Meeting. Every Israelite saw it. God said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me like dirt? How long refuse to trust me? And with all these signs I’ve done among them! I’ve had enough—I’m going to hit them with a plague and kill them. But I’ll make you into a nation bigger and stronger than they ever were.”

13-16 But Moses said to God, “The Egyptians are going to hear about this! You delivered this people from Egypt with a great show of strength, and now this? The Egyptians will tell everyone. They’ve already heard that you are God, that you are on the side of this people, that you are present among them, that they see you with their own eyes in your Cloud that hovers over them, in the Pillar of Cloud that leads them by day and the Pillar of Fire at night. If you kill this entire people in one stroke, all the nations that have heard what has been going on will say, ‘Since God couldn’t get these people into the land which he had promised to give them, he slaughtered them out in the wilderness.’

17 “Now, please, let the power of the Master expand, enlarge itself greatly, along the lines you have laid out earlier when you said,

18 God, slow to get angry and huge in loyal love,
forgiving iniquity and rebellion and sin;
Still, never just whitewashing sin.
But extending the fallout of parents’ sins
to children into the third,
even the fourth generation.

19 “Please forgive the wrongdoing of this people out of the extravagance of your loyal love just as all along, from the time they left Egypt, you have been forgiving this people.”

20-23 God said, “I forgive them, honoring your words. But as I live and as the Glory of God fills the whole Earth—not a single person of those who saw my Glory, saw the miracle signs I did in Egypt and the wilderness, and who have tested me over and over and over again, turning a deaf ear to me—not one of them will set eyes on the land I so solemnly promised to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with such repeated contempt will see it.

24 “But my servant Caleb—this is a different story. He has a different spirit; he follows me passionately. I’ll bring him into the land that he scouted and his children will inherit it.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13

The Message (MSG)

10 1-5 Remember our history, friends, and be warned. All our ancestors were led by the providential Cloud and taken miraculously through the Sea. They went through the waters, in a baptism like ours, as Moses led them from enslaving death to salvation life. They all ate and drank identical food and drink, meals provided daily by God. They drank from the Rock, God’s fountain for them that stayed with them wherever they were. And the Rock was Christ. But just experiencing God’s wonder and grace didn’t seem to mean much—most of them were defeated by temptation during the hard times in the desert, and God was not pleased.

6-10 The same thing could happen to us. We must be on guard so that we never get caught up in wanting our own way as they did. And we must not turn our religion into a circus as they did—“First the people partied, then they threw a dance.” We must not be sexually promiscuous—they paid for that, remember, with 23,000 deaths in one day! We must never try to get Christ to serve us instead of us serving him; they tried it, and God launched an epidemic of poisonous snakes. We must be careful not to stir up discontent; discontent destroyed them.

11-12 These are all warning markers—danger!—in our history books, written down so that we don’t repeat their mistakes. Our positions in the story are parallel—they at the beginning, we at the end—and we are just as capable of messing it up as they were. Don’t be so naive and self-confident. You’re not exempt. You could fall flat on your face as easily as anyone else. Forget about self-confidence; it’s useless. Cultivate God-confidence.

13 No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.

The Dead Body/The Glorious Body 032213

Corcovado jesus

Corcovado jesus (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Philippi

Philippi (Photo credit: wallygrom)

English: Marcus Borg speaking in Mansfield Col...

English: Marcus Borg speaking in Mansfield College chapel. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

Psalm 27 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2027&version=MSG

Genesis 14:17-24 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2014:17-24&version=MSG

Philippians 3:17-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians%203:17-20&version=MSG

 

The Dead Body/The Glorious Body 032213

 The theologian Marcus Borg makes the point that we sometimes have to distinguish between what the New Testament says about or is by Jesus compared to what the New Testament expresses about 1st Century AD male, Palestinian, Jewish culture. Today’s gospel from Philippians may be an example of this: Philippians 3 says: “….Jesus Christ, …. will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own”

This reminds one, in the words of Paul, to leaving the earthly body behind in favor of a new body. But Jesus’ miracles were often about healing this earthly body, more than just replacing the old with a new, superior model. And although I can see and hear Jesus rejecting the world, I also can see and hear Jesus loving the earth, and all earth’s creations, including us.

Should we follow Jesus’ example of healing the body, or Paul’s idea of casting off the body?

Pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

Prayer List: Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd @ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse spam generators).

Pray with us!

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO Permission is granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

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

Psalm 27

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

27 Light, space, zest—
that’s God!
So, with him on my side I’m fearless,
afraid of no one and nothing.

2     When vandal hordes ride down
ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs
fall flat on their faces.

3 When besieged,
I’m calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,
I’m collected and cool.

4 I’m asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house.


my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
I’ll study at his feet.5 That’s the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
far from the buzz of traffic.

6 God holds me head and shoulders
above all who try to pull me down.
I’m headed for his place to offer

anthems
that will raise the roof!
Already I’m singing God-songs;
I’m making music to God.7-9

Listen, God, I’m calling at the top of my lungs:
“Be good to me! Answer me!”
When my heart whispered, “Seek God,”
my whole being replied,
“I’m seeking him!”
Don’t hide from me now!

9-10 You’ve always been right there for me;
don’t turn your back on me now.
Don’t throw me out, don’t abandon me;
you’ve always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,
but God took me in.

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
direct me along a well-lighted street;
show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,
those liars who are out to get me,
filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
Stay with God.

Genesis 14:17-24

The Message (MSG)

17-20 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and his allied kings, the king of Sodom came out to greet him in the Valley of Shaveh, the King’s Valley. Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine—he was priest of The High God—and blessed him:

Blessed be Abram by The High God,
Creator of Heaven and Earth.
And blessed be The High God,
who handed your enemies over to you.

Abram gave him a tenth of all the recovered plunder.

21 The king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me back the people but keep all the plunder for yourself.”

22-24 But Abram told the king of Sodom, “I swear to God, The High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth, this solemn oath, that I’ll take nothing from you, not so much as a thread or a shoestring. I’m not going to have you go around saying, ‘I made Abram rich.’ Nothing for me other than what the young men ate and the share of the men who went with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; they’re to get their share of the plunder.”

Philippians 3:17-21

The Message (MSG)

17-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

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