Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Easter’

“Mountaintop Experience”

March 2, 2014– Transfiguration Sunday

 

Exodus 24:12-18

12The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.” 15Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. 16The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. 17Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights.

Psalm 99

The Lord reigns;
Let the peoples tremble!
He dwells between the cherubim;
Let the earth be moved!
The Lord is great in Zion,
And He is high above all the peoples.
Let them praise Your great and awesome name—
He is holy.

The King’s strength also loves justice;
You have established equity;
You have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His footstool—
He is holy.

Moses and Aaron were among His priests,
And Samuel was among those who called upon His name;
They called upon the Lord, and He answered them.
He spoke to them in the cloudy pillar;
They kept His testimonies and the ordinance He gave them.

You answered them, O Lord our God;
You were to them God-Who-Forgives,
Though You took vengeance on their deeds.
Exalt the Lord our God,
And worship at His holy hill;
For the Lord our God is holy.

2 Peter 1:16-21

16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” 18We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.

19So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed. You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of one’s own interpretation, 21because no prophecy ever came by human will, but men and women moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.

Matthew 17:1-9

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. 2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. 3Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 5While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” 6When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. 7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” 8And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone. 9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

 

 

Comments

Transfiguration Sunday marks the end of the season of Epiphany, the series of weeks after Christmas when the church lingers on the significance of the appearance of Jesus on the stage of human history.  With the Transfiguration story, the church turns toward the season of Lent and Easter, a time of reflecting on the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus.  The luminosity of the transfiguration story reaches toward the vision of God as transcendent, other worldly, mysterious and dimly apprehended.

The story of the transfiguration of Jesus on the mountaintop is found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.  The Matthew and Mark versions are very similar.  Luke’s version varies a bit and has Jesus praying and Moses and Elijah’s words are described as saying something about Jesus’ impending death in Jerusalem.  The transfiguration story is not in the Gospel of John.  The word “transfiguration” is used to translate the Greek word METAMORPHOO in Matthew and Mark.

The setting of the story has Jesus fully aware that his journey is toward suffering and death.  The disciples, initially feeling very good about being with Jesus and having this mountaintop experience, end up being fearful and not sure about the future.  Jesus touches them and tells them not to be afraid.  I think this is the heart of the story.

Through the ages this story has influenced Christian spirituality.  The Eastern Christian Church interpreted the story as representative of the human transformation possible in Christ.  Western Christianity tended to emphasize the cross experience of Jesus.

The appearance of Moses and Elijah with Jesus opens the awareness of God’s presence in the lives of previous heroes of the faith. The mountaintop experience of Moses and the mountaintop experience of Elijah are well known narratives of Israel.

After encountering a burning bush on the mountaintop, Moses leads the transformation of a slave people toward self-determination.  After encountering God on the smoky, fiery mountaintop, Moses helps Israel find its character and vision as a people of law and justice and shalom.  Moses’ final mountaintop experience was overlooking the Promised Land before his death.

Elijah’s mountaintop experience was different.  The sheer sound of silence, or a small inner voice, guided Elijah in speaking God’s word to the powerful and to those in need.

Jesus in conversation with these figures reminds the reader of the long history of God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the establishment of a covenant community and the sometimes irksome habit of God calling and raising up prophets to remind everyone of this intersection of divine and human activity and the ongoing dream of humankind’s transformation.

A few years ago a prophet appeared in the life of this nation and offered these words:

I have a dream…

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.

Martin Luther King Junior was a modern prophet who helped this nation move toward a more expansive view of humanity.  The “I Have a Dream” speech was a mountaintop experience for many of that generation and continues to inspire.  King was giving a speech to 250,000 people who had marched to WashingtonD.C. to demonstrate for civil rights.  As King was speaking Mahalia Jackson called out, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.”  And he did.

What is the expansive vision we need today?

  • Care of creation?
  • Narrowing the gap between the rich and the poor?
  • Including sexual minorities fully in the church and society?

Some Christian spiritualties, if not all of them, have emphasized the role of prayer in Jesus’ transfiguration.  Jesus and the disciples going to an isolated setting is interpreted to mean they spent time in prayer and meditation.  The disciplines of prayer and meditation as a ways of raising awareness of the divine presence and mystery have motivated many to work at disciplined ways of finding the presence of God.  Controlled breathing, chanting, meditating on words and phrases, observing extended times of silence, fasting, and praying have been pathways to mountaintop experiences for many through the ages.  As we struggle to stay afloat in the deluge of the information age and navigate the complexities of the 21st century, we often long for the focus and simplicity of a quiet place and a method to journey into God’s presence.

The disciples thought they had found that place.  “Wow! This is good, Jesus.  We’ll stay right here.  We will build new institutions to commemorate and perpetuate this mountaintop experience.”  As they are speaking and carrying on and planning, they are interrupted by divine speech.  “This is my beloved with whom I am well-pleased.  Listen to him.”

Almost the same words were heard at Jesus Baptism and the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness for 40 days of testing.

This time, God’s voice declares, “Listen to him.” Then there is a series of exorcisms, confrontations with the authorities, healings, teachings and parables by Jesus as he continues his ministry among the people and continues the journey toward Jerusalem and his death.  This the Jesus we listen to.

We are not a people called to linger long on mountaintop experiences.  If we listen to Jesus, we will be a people who are transformed as we engage in the work of creating a world as God intended it to be.

 

Maybe the ultimate transformation is the movement from loving our idea and image of God to loving our neighbors in all their variety of colors, social class, physical appearance, gender, sexual orientation and circumstances.

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He Has Ascended! 050913

 

attribuito a Dosso Dossi (Ferrara c. 1490 - 15...

attribuito a Dosso Dossi (Ferrara c. 1490 – 1541/1542) Ascensione di Cristo (venduto) Tecnica: olio su tavola Dimensioni: cm. 128 x 95.5 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The ascension of Jesus

The ascension of Jesus (Photo credit: BrianMKA)

 

He Has Ascended! 050913

 

 

 

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/

 

 

 

Ascension of the Lord

 

 

 

Acts 1:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%201:1-11&version=MSG

 

 

 

Psalm 47 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2047&version=MSG

 

 

 

Ephesians 1:15-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201:15-23&version=MSG

 

 

 

Luke 24:44-53 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2024:44-53&version=MSG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Has Ascended! 050913

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascension of the Lord

 

 

 

Acts 1:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%201:1-11&version=MSG

 

 

 

Psalm 47 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2047&version=MSG

 

 

 

Ephesians 1:15-23http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%201:15-23&version=MSG

 

 

 

Luke 24:44-53 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%2024:44-53&version=MSG

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Has Ascended! 050913

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is Ascension Day, the 39th day since Easter. On this, the 40th day of Easter, the celebration and memory of Jesus’ ascension to heaven is remembered.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is odd that the day is not more widely, or universally observed by not only the church, at large, or by individual disciples like you and me (and that’s really all there is—there is just a church if we decide to organize our love of Jesus that way).

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the Ascension was the earliest known Christian ‘holiday’. On Ascension day, Jesus ascended to heaven through a parting in the clouds, in the presence of his disciples. To me, the ascension is a real reason to celebrate. Even Easter and Good Friday are less joyous to me, since Jesus was executed on the one day, and the Easter Bunny tends to rule the other day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Besides,the ascension is demonstration of a fundamental fact we believe—that Jesus opened the way to heaven for you and I. Jesus erased the big
sin (and maybe the only sin—our voluntary separation from God) I don’t believe that Jesus was the atonement or the sacrifice to pay the blood price for this sin, although I understand many people believe this. Instead, I simply think that Jesus erased the sin of our separation from God, in all its sinful variations, by showing us how to be forgiven for our sins and reunited with God.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascension is also the earliest holiday to be celebrated by early Christians,and somehow that makes it more valid to me (and to others I think).In 68 CE, those Christians were celebrating today! If Jesus was executed in 32 AD the beginning of the tradition of celebrating Ascension day began just 3 decades later.

 

 

 

Iimagine (and my own imagination is a great part of my religion) that those early Christians did not need to celebrate Good Friday and Easter because the memory of that Holy Weekend was still, culturally and ethnically with them—they were the earliest Christian Jewish people, before Christianity was clearly a new religion and not just a Jewish sub-group. The exact date of Christmas might not have been known, and there were not yet Wal-Mart Stores, K-Mart stores and Target at which to barter or buy plastic junk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ascension day was in a sense, and still is to me, a date for celebration by common people. On this date, Jesus did not just come to earth or rise from the dead! Those are each fantastic stories and express important ideas about Jesus and God, but I cannot participate directly in them. I have already come to earth, and I do not expect to rise from the dead—Jesus did those things but I cannot follow his act. But when Jesus, in my heart, ascends to heaven by rising through the clouds I feel like he is leading the way, showing the way, for me to follow after.

 

 

 

 

 

 

By the way, the Old Order Amish are the only religious group or Christian church or assembly to observe Ascension Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pray for Peace,

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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granted for one-time non-commercial use with proper attribution.

 

 

 

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Acts
1:1-11

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

To
the Ends of the World

 

 

 

1 1-5 Dear Theophilus, in the first volume of this book I wrote on everything
that Jesus began to do and teach until the day he said good-bye to
the apostles, the ones he had chosen through the Holy Spirit, and was
taken up to heaven. After his death, he presented himself alive to
them in many different settings over a period of forty days. In
face-to-face meetings, he talked to them about things concerning the
kingdom of God. As they met and ate meals together, he told them that
they were on no account to leave Jerusalem but “must wait for what
the Father promised: the promise you heard from me. John baptized in
water; you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit. And soon.”

 

 

 

6 When they were together for the last time they asked, “Master, are you
going to restore the kingdom to Israel now? Is this the time?”

 

 

 

7-8 He told them, “You don’t get to know the time. Timing is the
Father’s business. What you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when
the Holy Spirit comes on you, you will be able to be my witnesses in
Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria, even to the ends of the
world.”

 

 

 

9-11 These were his last words. As they watched, he was taken up and disappeared
in a cloud. They stood there, staring into the empty sky. Suddenly
two men appeared—in white robes! They said, “You Galileans!—why
do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky? This very Jesus
who was taken up from among you to heaven will come as certainly—and
mysteriously—as he left.”

 

 

 

Psalm 47

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah

 

 

 

47 1-9 Applause,
everyone. Bravo, bravissimo!
Shout
God-songs at the top of your lungs!
God Most High is
stunning,
astride land and ocean.
He crushes hostile people,
puts nations at
our feet.
He set us at the head of the line,
prize-winning
Jacob, his favorite.
Loud cheers as God climbs the mountain,
a ram’s horn blast at the summit.
Sing songs to God, sing
out!
Sing to our King, sing praise!
He’s Lord over earth,
so sing your best songs
to God.
God is Lord of godless nations—
sovereign,
he’s King of the mountain.
Princes from all over are
gathered, people of Abraham’s God.
The powers of earth are God’s—
he soars over all.

 

 

 

Ephesians
1:15-23

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

15-19 That’s why, when I heard of the solid trust you have in the Master Jesus and
your outpouring of love to all the followers of Jesus, I couldn’t
stop thanking God for you—every time I prayed, I’d think of you
and give thanks. But I do more than thank. I ask—ask the God of our
Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory—to make you intelligent and
discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so
that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasp
the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for his followers,
oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him—endless
energy, boundless strength!

 

 

 

20-23 All this energy issues from Christ: God raised him from death and set him
on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe,
everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt
from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever.
He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the
center of all this, Christ rules the church. The church, you see, is
not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church.
The church is Christ’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which
he fills everything with his presence.

 

 

 

Luke 24:44-53

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

You’re the Witnesses

 

 

 

44 Then he said, “Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the
things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in
the Psalms have to be fulfilled.”

 

 

 

45-49 He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them
how to read their Bibles this way. He said, “You can see now how it
is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third
day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is
proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from
Jerusalem! You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the
witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my
Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives,
until you’re equipped with power from on high.”

 

 

 

50-51 He then led them out of the city over to Bethany. Raising his hands he
blessed them, and while blessing them, took his leave, being carried
up to heaven.

 

 

 

52-53 And they were on their knees, worshiping him. They returned to Jerusalem
bursting with joy. They spent all their time in the Temple praising
God. Yes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Breath of Spring 050513 Sermon

Mennonite Buggy

Mennonite Buggy (Photo credit: *Muhammad*)

Ministry of the Apostles, a complex multi-figu...

Ministry of the Apostles, a complex multi-figure icon with a full-height image of Jesus Christ, surrounded by sectors with scenes of His disciples’ calling, ministry and martyrdom. Icon from the Yaroslavl Museum Preserve. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A

Breath of Spring 050513 Sermon

 

 

 

 

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/

 

 

 

Sixth Sunday of Easter

 

 

Acts 16:9-15
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2016:9-15&version=MSG

 

 

 

Psalm 67
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2067&version=MSG

 

 

 

Revelation 21:10, 22—22:5
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2021:10,%2022%E2%80%9422:5!&version=MSG

 

 

 

John 14:23-29
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2014:23-29&version=MSG

 

 

 

 

A Breath of Spring 050513 Sermon

 

 

 

Good Sunday morning to each of you in the name of Jesus Christ., if it is finally spring! But people are starting to act like it’s spring, and so are plants and animals. These sudden cold spells, and even late snow, make us all wonder.\ what’s going on. I saw a local photograph of snow covering a purple Lilac
in bloom.

 

 

People, including myself tend to feel spring in exuberant ways—sometimes celebrating or singing out loud, but almost always we tend to reappraise our lives,
our careers and maybe even our relationships and start off like spring—rapidly, with great energy and intent. It’s hard to remember to do this, but can I suggest that each of us take the time to ask God for direction this spring. Paul, in Acts 16, hears God telling him, leading him to go Europe, to preach the good news to the Macedonians
(the Greeks) and to cross over from Asia Minor to the coast of Europe, in Macedonia. We are so schooled into thinking that Paul was a woman-hating, racist man that we are not
accustomed to recognizing that for a Jew to be called and to go to the land of the Greeks and to Europe was very radical and extreme. To do what Paul and his friends did in Acts required the voice of God. It was a direction and a mission likely to lead to execution, arrest,starvation and shipwreck. For Paul it led to all of these.

 

 

With this spring, I hope for God to speak clearly to each of us—to lead each of us in a newdirection, a new mission for us all.

 

 

For one, I am praying for a church, a communion of disciples that seeks to know Jesus Christ,and to follow him. It has been said that Christian churches are self-serving lodges of self-serving people—who come together for socializing and food, but forget to feed the poor, the widows and orphans and forget to visit those in prison.

 

 

So, I;m trying to envision a church that is NOT what I desire, but would be a church to serve others and designed to serve others rather than to serve the
desires of the founders , the leaders, the elders.

 

 

In John 14:31 Jesus says “Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.” and maybe it is—maybe it is time for all of us disciples to leave behind what
church has become, and begin to be something new.

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

 

 

 

 

 

Subscribe to our blog!

Delivery daily by e-mail.

Click the button on the right.

 

 

Acts 16:9-15

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

9-10 That night Paul had a dream:

A Macedonian stood on the far shore and called across the sea, “Come

over to Macedonia and help us!” The dream gave Paul his map. We
went to work at once getting things ready to cross over to Macedonia.

All the pieces had come together. We knew now for sure that God had
called us to preach the good news to the Europeans.

 

 

11-12 Putting out from the harbor at Troas, we made a straight run for Samothrace. The next day we tied
up at New City and walked from there to Philippi, the main city in that part of Macedonia and, even more importantly, a Roman colony. We
lingered there several days.

 

 

 

 

Psalm

67

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

67 1-7 God, mark us with
grace
and blessing! Smile!
The whole
country will see how you work,
all the
godless nations see how you save.
God! Let people thank and enjoy
you.
Let all people thank and enjoy
you.
Let all far-flung people become happy
and
shout their happiness because
You judge them fair and
square,
you tend the far-flung
peoples.
God! Let people thank and enjoy you.
Let all people thank and enjoy you.
Earth, display your
exuberance!
You mark us with blessing, O

God, our God. You mark us with blessing, O God.
Earth’s

four corners—honor him!

 

 

Revelation

21:10

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

The City of Light

 

 

9-12 One of the Seven Angels who had carried the bowls filled

with the seven final disasters spoke to me: “Come here. I’ll show

you the Bride, the Wife of the Lamb.” He took me away in the Spirit

to an enormous, high mountain and showed me Holy Jerusalem descending

out of Heaven from God, resplendent in the bright glory of God.

 

 

Revelation

22:1-5

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

22 1-5 Then the Angel showed

me Water-of-Life River, crystal bright. It flowed from the Throne of

God and the Lamb, right down the middle of the street. The Tree of

Life was planted on each side of the River, producing twelve kinds of

fruit, a ripe fruit each month. The leaves of the Tree are for

healing the nations. Never again will anything be cursed. The Throne

of God and of the Lamb is at the center. His servants will offer God

service—worshiping, they’ll look on his face, their foreheads

mirroring God. Never again will there be any night. No one will need

lamplight or sunlight. The shining of God, the Master, is all the

light anyone needs. And they will rule with him age after age after

age.

 

 

John

14:23-31

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

23-24 “Because a loveless

world,” said Jesus, “is a sightless world. If anyone loves me, he

will carefully keep my word and my Father will love him—we’ll

move right into the neighborhood! Not loving me means not keeping my

words. The message you are hearing isn’t mine. It’s the message

of the Father who sent me.

 

 

25-27 “I’m telling you these

things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit

whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain

to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m

leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I

don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling

abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.

 

 

28 “You’ve heard me tell you,

‘I’m going away, and I’m coming back.’ If you loved me, you

would be glad that I’m on my way to the Father because the Father

is the goal and purpose of my life.

 

 

29-31 “I’ve told you this

ahead of time, before it happens, so that when it does happen, the

confirmation will deepen your belief in me. I’ll not be talking

with you much more like this because the chief of this godless world

is about to attack. But don’t worry—he has nothing on me, no

claim on me. But so the world might know how thoroughly I love the

Father, I am carrying out my Father’s instructions right down to

the last detail.

 

 

“Get up. Let’s go. It’s time to leave here.”

 

 

 

 

 

Easter, Resurrection and the Trail 033113

The AT

The AT (Photo credit: Kristofor & Rebekah)

Русский: Спас Отпечаток лика Христа на Туринск...

Русский: Спас Отпечаток лика Христа на Туринской плащанице (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jesus Resurrection 1778

Jesus Resurrection 1778 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Easter, Resurrection and the Trail 033113

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 39 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2039&version=MSG

 

Jeremiah 11:1-17 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2011:1-17%20&version=MSG

 

Romans 2:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%202:1-11%20&version=MSG

 

Easter, Resurrection and the Trail 033113

 

By chance, I’ve spent a good part of the day traveling for work purposes and find myself near Nashville, TN. It is work we want to do, so we don’t begrudge the travel or even that we’re traveling on Easter.

 

Like many American Christians, and those who call themselves Disciples of Jesus, or of Christ, it is always difficult to stay spiritual on Easter and on Christmas. On Easter, for instance, Easter egg hunts, pastel colored plastic grass in a Chinese plastic basket, chocolate covered everything, etc and not w public word or memory of Jesus, and of Jesus’ execution at the hands of the Romans (not the Jews)! And Christmas is even worse—when we let a fat man dressed in red hand out the best gifts of all to our befuddled confused children, who cover plastic of all kinds and sugar treats of many varieties. I can’t recall that these myths of legends even tie back to Jesus, in any way or form. These holidays, as they are, are shameful for Christians to see.

 

Instead, I’ve been reading the book by Marcus Borg and N.T.Wright, each a prominent theologian on their own. In this book they discuss back forth what happened to Jesus on Good Friday and on Easter, and despite their positions at each radical extreme between conservative and historical viewpoints of Jesus, they seem to agree on much about Easter.

 

The surprising idea is that Jesus’ resurrection on Easter morning was bodily. It was not his soul that got up and walked around; it was his body, with rips, tears and injury showing. He had been executed by the Romans; it’s bound to show.

 

But neither was he a ghost. Jewish culture knew what ghosts were and Jesus wasn’t. He was hungry so he cooked fish for himself and friends. Jesus was touchable and present in the humanly flesh, yet could appear and disappear as he wished, could be transparent, could be in two places at once.

 

Marcus Borg describes this resurrection like this: as if Jesus’ soul had died, and been replaced by the spirit of the living God, so that the resurrection is of the same body, but different. It is not the old life restarted or continued, but a new life begun, but with the old body.

 

This is subtle it seems, but it is a concept and idea quite different than what I’ve heard, as a description and inquiry into this ‘resurrection’ It is not really ‘life after death’ but ‘life after life after life’….and that includes life after death and also life after life and death beginning right now and continuing forever, as the embodiment of God.

 

That’s why resurrection, and this ‘resurrection day’ are so important, although I fear we’re getting it wrong. And this resurrection reminds us that it is not a promise of eternal life after we die, but eternal life now. It’s not a new trail, but a different turn on a new trail.

 

And that leads me to recall, that tomorrow or the next day, I may have the chance to break away from business, and walk a few miles on the Appalachian Trail, a part that is near or goes through the Great Smoky Mountains. And that is a new trail.

 

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 39

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

39 1-3 I’m determined to watch steps and tongue
so they won’t land me in trouble.
I decided to hold my tongue
as long as Wicked is in the room.
“Mum’s the word,” I said, and kept quiet.
But the longer I kept silence
The worse it got—
my insides got hotter and hotter.
My thoughts boiled over;
I spilled my guts.

4-6 “Tell me, what’s going on, God?
How long do I have to live?
Give me the bad news!
You’ve kept me on pretty short rations;
my life is string too short to be saved.
Oh! we’re all puffs of air.
Oh! we’re all shadows in a campfire.
Oh! we’re just spit in the wind.
We make our pile, and then we leave it.

7-11 “What am I doing in the meantime, Lord?
Hoping, that’s what I’m doing—hoping
You’ll save me from a rebel life,
save me from the contempt of dunces.
I’ll say no more, I’ll shut my mouth,
since you, Lord, are behind all this.
But I can’t take it much longer.
When you put us through the fire
to purge us from our sin,
our dearest idols go up in smoke.
Are we also nothing but smoke?

12-13 “Ah, God, listen to my prayer, my
cry—open your ears.
Don’t be callous;
just look at these tears of mine.
I’m a stranger here. I don’t know my way—
a migrant like my whole family.
Give me a break, cut me some slack
before it’s too late and I’m out of here.”

Jeremiah 11:1-17

The Message (MSG)

The Terms of This Covenant

11 The Message that came to Jeremiah from God:

2-4 “Preach to the people of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem. Tell them this: ‘This is God’s Message, the Message of Israel’s God to you. Anyone who does not keep the terms of this covenant is cursed. The terms are clear. I made them plain to your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt, out of the iron furnace of suffering.

4-5 “‘Obey what I tell you. Do exactly what I command you. Your obedience will close the deal. You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours. This will provide the conditions in which I will be able to do what I promised your ancestors: to give them a fertile and lush land. And, as you know, that’s what I did.’”

“Yes, God,” I replied. “That’s true.”

6-8 God continued: “Preach all this in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. Say, ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and carry them out! I warned your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt and I’ve kept up the warnings. I haven’t quit warning them for a moment. I warned them from morning to night: “Obey me or else!” But they didn’t obey. They paid no attention to me. They did whatever they wanted to do, whenever they wanted to do it, until finally I stepped in and ordered the punishments set out in the covenant, which, despite all my warnings, they had ignored.’”

9-10 Then God said, “There’s a conspiracy among the people of Judah and the citizens of Jerusalem. They’ve plotted to reenact the sins of their ancestors—the ones who disobeyed me and decided to go after other gods and worship them. Israel and Judah are in this together, mindlessly breaking the covenant I made with their ancestors.”

11-13 “Well, your God has something to say about this: Watch out! I’m about to visit doom on you, and no one will get out of it. You’re going to cry for help but I won’t listen. Then all the people in Judah and Jerusalem will start praying to the gods you’ve been sacrificing to all these years, but it won’t do a bit of good. You’ve got as many gods as you have villages, Judah! And you’ve got enough altars for sacrifices to that impotent sex god Baal to put one on every street corner in Jerusalem!”

14 “And as for you, Jeremiah, I don’t want you praying for this people. Nothing! Not a word of petition. Indeed, I’m not going to listen to a single syllable of their crisis-prayers.”

Promises and Pious Programs

15-16 “What business do the ones I love have figuring out
how to get off the hook? And right in the house of worship!
Do you think making promises and devising pious programs
will save you from doom?
Do you think you can get out of this
by becoming more religious?
A mighty oak tree, majestic and glorious—
that’s how I once described you.
But it will only take a clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning
to leave you a shattered wreck.

17 “I, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, who planted you—yes, I have pronounced doom on you. Why? Because of the disastrous life you’ve lived, Israel and Judah alike, goading me to anger with your continuous worship and offerings to that sorry god Baal.”

Romans 2:1-11

The Message (MSG)

God Is Kind, but Not Soft

2 1-2 Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done.

3-4 You didn’t think, did you, that just by pointing your finger at others you would distract God from seeing all your misdoings and from coming down on you hard? Or did you think that because he’s such a nice God, he’d let you off the hook? Better think this one through from the beginning. God is kind, but he’s not soft. In kindness he takes us firmly by the hand and leads us into a radical life-change.

5-8 You’re not getting by with anything. Every refusal and avoidance of God adds fuel to the fire. The day is coming when it’s going to blaze hot and high, God’s fiery and righteous judgment. Make no mistake: In the end you get what’s coming to you—Real Life for those who work on God’s side, but to those who insist on getting their own way and take the path of least resistance, Fire!

9-11 If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say (or what you think) about you. He makes up his own mind.

Like a Duck 031913

A female Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) with ...

A female Muscovy duck (Cairina moschata) with its ducklings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Moscow Zoo. Ruddy Shelduck (ducklings) (Tadorn...

Moscow Zoo. Ruddy Shelduck (ducklings) (Tadorna ferruginea) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ducklings

Ducklings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Tradewinds park, coconut Creek, Flori...

English: Tradewinds park, coconut Creek, Florida. Cairina moschata or Muscovy duck with ducklings. Originates from domesticated Muscovy ducks. (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 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2017&version=MSG

 

Zechariah 3:1-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Zechariah%203:1-10&version=MSG

 

2 Peter 2:4-21 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Peter%202:4-21&version=MSG

 

Like a Duck 031913

Last weekend we went to a farm supply store to look for a few things. In Missouri, at least, farm stores have displays and areas set up with baby chickens, baby ducks, geese and turkeys. We have chickens, and will probably never again raise geese, since they chase the grandchildren and relieve themselves on the front porch, or turkeys, which are very vulnerable and of no use except for thanksgiving.

But the baby ducks, called ducklings, tempt me. They also are vulnerable to snapping turtles, eagles, owls, feral cats, foxes, coyotes, wild dogs, racoons, otter and sometimes possums. But when they are larger and swim in a flock they are a delight to watch.

And I realized that like a duck that knows the water well, but just is funny, sort of, on land, I’ve become a follower of Jesus that is acclimated to ????? What do I call it? Maybe I’ve become acclimated and used to other disciples of Christ.

I’d have to think about it, but it seems to me that this world is not something a disciple of Christ feels good to live in. I know the old hymn ‘I don’t feel at home/In this world any more’, From what hymn does that come? Which reflects sometimes my own feelings about this.

But we should not be run off so easily! God made this world, and just because it seems now like it is dominated by fallen angels, and probably each of us once was also ‘fallen’, we cannot sign away the whole earth to evil.

No, me and the duck belong here, despite all the weasels, racoons and snapping turtles all around. Take heart, and stand up. Protect those in need, and pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

The scriptures today can clarify my thoughts, pray and read in quiet and peace.

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

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.

10-14 Their hearts are hard as nails,
their mouths blast hot air.
They are after me, nipping my heels,
determined to bring me down,
Lions ready to rip me apart,
young lions poised to pounce.
Up, God: beard them! break them!
By your sword, free me from their clutches;
Barehanded, God, break these mortals,
these flat-earth people who can’t think beyond today.

I’d like to see their bellies
swollen with famine food,
The weeds they’ve sown
harvested and baked into famine bread,
With second helpings for their children
and crusts for their babies to chew on.

15 And me? I plan on looking
you full in the face. When I get up,
I’ll see your full stature
and live heaven on earth.

Zechariah 3:1-10

The Message (MSG)

Fourth Vision: Joshua’s New Clothes

3 1-2 Next the Messenger-Angel showed me the high priest Joshua. He was standing before God’s Angel where the Accuser showed up to accuse him. Then God said to the Accuser, “I, God, rebuke you, Accuser! I rebuke you and choose Jerusalem. Surprise! Everything is going up in flames, but I reach in and pull out Jerusalem!”

3-4 Joshua, standing before the angel, was dressed in dirty clothes. The angel spoke to his attendants, “Get him out of those filthy clothes,” and then said to Joshua, “Look, I’ve stripped you of your sin and dressed you up in clean clothes.”

5 I spoke up and said, “How about a clean new turban for his head also?” And they did it—put a clean new turban on his head. Then they finished dressing him, with God’s Angel looking on.

6-7 God’s Angel then charged Joshua, “Orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: ‘If you live the way I tell you and remain obedient in my service, then you’ll make the decisions around here and oversee my affairs. And all my attendants standing here will be at your service.

8-9 “‘Careful, High Priest Joshua—both you and your friends sitting here with you, for your friends are in on this, too! Here’s what I’m doing next: I’m introducing my servant Branch. And note this: This stone that I’m placing before Joshua, a single stone with seven eyes’—Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies—‘I’ll engrave with these words: “I’ll strip this land of its filthy sin, all at once, in a single day.”

10 “‘At that time, everyone will get along with one another, with friendly visits across the fence, friendly visits on one another’s porches.’”

2 Peter 2:4-22

The Message (MSG)

4-5 God didn’t let the rebel angels off the hook, but jailed them in hell till Judgment Day. Neither did he let the ancient ungodly world off. He wiped it out with a flood, rescuing only eight people—Noah, the sole voice of righteousness, was one of them.

6-8 God decreed destruction for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. A mound of ashes was all that was left—grim warning to anyone bent on an ungodly life. But that good man Lot, driven nearly out of his mind by the sexual filth and perversity, was rescued. Surrounded by moral rot day after day after day, that righteous man was in constant torment.

9 So God knows how to rescue the godly from evil trials. And he knows how to hold the feet of the wicked to the fire until Judgment Day.

Predators on the Prowl

10-11 God is especially incensed against these “teachers” who live by lust, addicted to a filthy existence. They despise interference from true authority, preferring to indulge in self-rule. Insolent egotists, they don’t hesitate to speak evil against the most splendid of creatures. Even angels, their superiors in every way, wouldn’t think of throwing their weight around like that, trying to slander others before God.

12-14 These people are nothing but brute beasts, born in the wild, predators on the prowl. In the very act of bringing down others with their ignorant blasphemies, they themselves will be brought down, losers in the end. Their evil will boomerang on them. They’re so despicable and addicted to pleasure that they indulge in wild parties, carousing in broad daylight. They’re obsessed with adultery, compulsive in sin, seducing every vulnerable soul they come upon. Their specialty is greed, and they’re experts at it. Dead souls!

15-16 They’ve left the main road and are directionless, having taken the way of Balaam, son of Beor, the prophet who turned profiteer, a connoisseur of evil. But Balaam was stopped in his wayward tracks: A dumb animal spoke in a human voice and prevented the prophet’s craziness.

17-19 There’s nothing to these people—they’re dried-up fountains, storm-scattered clouds, headed for a black hole in hell. They are loudmouths, full of hot air, but still they’re dangerous. Men and women who have recently escaped from a deviant life are most susceptible to their brand of seduction. They promise these newcomers freedom, but they themselves are slaves of corruption, for if they’re addicted to corruption—and they are—they’re enslaved.

20-22 If they’ve escaped from the slum of sin by experiencing our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ, and then slid back into that same old life again, they’re worse than if they had never left. Better not to have started out on the straight road to God than to start out and then turn back, repudiating the experience and the holy command. They prove the point of the proverbs, “A dog goes back to its own vomit” and “A scrubbed-up pig heads for the mud.”

Aside

The Ascension of the Lord 051612

The Ascension of Jesus

The Ascension of Jesus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

 

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

The Ascension of the Lord 051612

 

Tomorrow, Thursday is Ascension Day, one of the earliest Christian holidays to be historically noted (68 AD) or just a few years after the death and ascension of the risen Christ.

 

Only the Amish and some Old Order Mennonite Churches keep the holiday however, which marks the 40th day since Easter by refraining from work, and attending an early morning church service. In some Amish communities, it is often a day for fishing, or big family meals, but not for work.

 

I’m not at all sure what ‘Ascension’ means for Jesus, except that ‘he ascended’. But what did Jesus teach us during these 40 days since his resurrection on Easter morning?

 

And 40 days seems to be perfect for spiritual growth, as well as being a repeated number throughout the Bible (how many do you recall?). But the 40 days of Lent seemed to work well for a spiritual renewal before Easter. The 40 days since Easter seem less focused in the modern church, but maybe should be a further time of focused growth and spiritual practice. What did Jesus teach us in these forty days?

 

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/

 

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

 

Psalm 93

 

Deuteronomy 11:18-21

 

Mark 16:19-20

 

 

 

Psalm 93

 

The Majesty of God’s Rule

 
1 The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
2   your throne is established from of old;
you are from everlasting.

 
3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
4 More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,
more majestic than the waves of the sea,
majestic on high is the Lord!

 
5 Your decrees are very sure;
holiness befits your house,
O Lord, for evermore.

 

Deuteronomy 11:18-21

 

18 You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. 19Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. 20Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.

 

Mark 16:19-20

 

The Ascension of Jesus

 

19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.

 

The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 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.

 

Related articles are presented without endorsement

Aside

What Will We Do With New Life? 040912

Spring of Life, 2006

Spring of Life, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The inside of the Musoma Mennonite Church

The inside of the Musoma Mennonite Church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

What Will We Do With New Life? 040912

With Easter and the resurrection of Jesus comes new light (see Genesis 1, below) ) and new life (see 1 Corinthians 15, below).

But, as for me, I am astounded and confused as to what exactly I should do with this new light and new life. In what direction, to what purpose will God call each of us? What will be our work in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Pray for peace today as we read these Bible verses today.

Bill

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

Pray with us!

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

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

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

 

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

 

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

Genesis 1:1-19

1 Corinthians 15:35-49

 

Psalm 118

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

Let Israel say, “His steadfast love endures forever.”

The Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.

There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;

the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”

I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.

The Lord has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.

The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.

This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Genesis 1:1-19

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a dome in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” So God made the dome and separated the waters that were under the dome from the waters that were above the dome. And it was so. God called the dome Sky. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the sky be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees of every kind on earth that bear fruit with the seed in it.” And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation: plants yielding seed of every kind, and trees of every kind bearing fruit with the seed in it. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years, and let them be lights in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. God set them in the dome of the sky to give light upon the earth, to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

1 Corinthians 15:35-49

But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” Fool! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And as for what you sow, you do not sow the body that is to be, but a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. Not all flesh is alike, but there is one flesh for human beings, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are both heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one thing, and that of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; indeed, star differs from star in glory. So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the physical, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven.

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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