Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Elijah’

“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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Jesus, the Prophet 052213

The front side of folios 13 and 14 of a Greek ...

The front side of folios 13 and 14 of a Greek papyrus manuscript of the Gospel of Luke containing verses 11:50–12:12 and 13:6-24, P. Chester Beatty I (Gregory-Aland no. P 45 ). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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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

29

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2029&version=MSG

 

 

 

Ezekiel

3:12-21

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%203:12-21&version=MSG

 

 

 

Luke

9:18-27

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%209:18-27&version=MSG

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus, the Prophet 052213

 

 

In Luke 9, when Jesus asks whom the people say he is, he is told they

think he is “John the Baptizer. Others say Elijah. Still others say that one of the

prophets from long ago has come back.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The story reveals that Jesus, the people, or both believed him to be a

prophet. The question then arises as to what a prophet is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rather than think a prophet is one who predicts truthfully, could a prophet

be one who speaks truthfully about the PRESENT? It’s a scary proposition, but when Jesus talks about, criticizes and names the

Pharisees, the Sadducees, and everyone else in power during his

preaching, couldn’t he also be talking about our own time and place,

and really, all of humanity before and since his lifetime here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

And may I never be so prideful, that Jesus doesn’t know me also, and tell

the truth about me. But it doesn’t matter—there is both

psychological and spiritual forgiveness in moving forward with Jesus,

and never moving back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Psalm 29

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

A David Psalm

 

 

 

29 1-2 Bravo, God, bravo!
Gods

and all angels shout, “Encore!”
In awe before the

glory,
in awe before God’s visible

power.
Stand at attention!
Dress your

best to honor him!

 

 

 

3 God thunders across the

waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming

brightness—
God, across the flood waters.

 

 

 

4 God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s

thunder symphonic.

 

 

 

5 God’s thunder smashes

cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.

 

 

 

6 The mountain ranges skip like

spring colts,
The high ridges jump like wild kid goats.

 

 

 

7-8 God’s thunder spits fire.
God

thunders, the wilderness quakes;
He makes the desert of Kadesh

shake.

 

 

 

9 God’s thunder sets the oak

trees dancing
A wild dance, whirling; the pelting rain strips

their branches.
We fall to our knees—we call out, “Glory!”

 

 

 

10 Above the floodwaters is God’s

throne
from which his power

flows,
from which he rules the world.

 

 

 

11 God makes his people strong.
God

gives his people peace.

 

 

 

Ezekiel 3:12-21

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

12-13 Then the Spirit picked me up.

Behind me I heard a great commotion—“Blessed be the Glory of God

in his Sanctuary!”—the wings of the living creatures beating

against each other, the whirling wheels, the rumble of a great

earthquake.

 

 

 

14-15 The Spirit lifted me and took

me away. I went bitterly and angrily. I didn’t want to go. But God

had me in his grip. I arrived among the exiles who lived near the

Kebar River at Tel Aviv. I came to where they were living and sat

there for seven days, appalled.

 

 

 

16 At the end of the seven days, I

received this Message from God:

 

 

 

17-19 “Son of man, I’ve made

you a watchman for the family of Israel. Whenever you hear me say

something, warn them for me. If I say to the wicked, ‘You are going

to die,’ and you don’t sound the alarm warning them that it’s a

matter of life or death, they will die and it will be your fault.

I’ll hold you responsible. But if you warn the wicked and they keep

right on sinning anyway, they’ll most certainly die for their sin,

but you won’t die. You’ll have saved your life.

 

 

 

20-21 “And

if the righteous turn back from living righteously and take up with

evil when I step in and put them in a hard place, they’ll die. If

you haven’t warned them, they’ll die because of their sins, and

none of the right things they’ve done will count for anything—and

I’ll hold you responsible. But if you warn these righteous people

not to sin and they listen to you, they’ll live because they took

the warning—and again, you’ll have saved your life.”

 

 

 

Luke 9:18-27

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

Don’t Run from

Suffering

 

 

 

18 One time when Jesus was off praying by himself, his

disciples nearby, he asked them, “What are the crowds saying about

me, about who I am?”

 

 

 

19 They said, “John the

Baptizer. Others say Elijah. Still others say that one of the

prophets from long ago has come back.”

 

 

 

20-21 He then asked, “And

you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”

 

 

 

Peter answered, “The Messiah of God.” Jesus then warned them

to keep it quiet. They were to tell no one what Peter had said.

 

 

 

22 He went on, “It is necessary

that the Son of Man proceed to an ordeal of suffering, be tried and

found guilty by the religious leaders, high priests, and religion

scholars, be killed, and on the third day be raised up alive.”

 

 

 

23-27 Then he told them what they

could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me

has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t

run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how.

Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my

way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to

get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is

embarrassed with me and the way I’m leading you, know that the Son

of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all

his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This

isn’t, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken

their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own

eyes the kingdom of God.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aside

Praying with Elijah 081312

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.netNote: This blog post was posted on August 13, 2012 but didn’t show up! Here it is, and a good blog post it is!

Prophet Elijah, Russian Orthodox icon from fir...

Prophet Elijah, Russian Orthodox icon from first quarter of 18-th cen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Praying with Elijah 081312

Elijah the Tishbite was an ancient Jewish prophet of legendary proportions.  Like many of the prophets in the Hebrew Scriptures he confronted the bad behavior of the king and helped the poor.  Elijah had to go into hiding from King Ahab and Queen Jezebel and found himself lodging in an upstairs room of a poor widow woman and her son.  The widow and her son were on the verge of starvation and down to just enough provisions for their last meal.  In the face of this stark reality the prophet instructed the widow to prepare a meal for the three of them and serve him first.  Elijah promised that God would provide though the region was suffering from a severe drought.  God did provide and “the jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail.”

In the face of record-breaking heat and drought it is not easy to trust that there will be enough.  I am glad for those who advocate and provide for the hungry and the poor.  It is a faithful response to human need.

I pray for those who govern, that they will craft just and compassionate policies on behalf of those who struggle with poverty and hunger.  I pray for those who confront injustice and all those who work for the common good.  I pray that policy makers will wake up to the reality of human-caused global warming and how it affects those with the least resources to cope.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

Guest blogger Lee Lever is pastor of the Austin (Texas) Mennonite Church.

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

Pray with us!

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

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

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

 

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Psalm 81

1 Kings 17:1-16

Ephesians 5:1-14

Psalm 81

1Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob.

2Raise a song, sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp.

3Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our festal day.

4For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.

5He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known:

6“I relieved your shoulder of the burden; your hands were freed from the basket.

7In distress you called, and I rescued you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah

8Hear, O my people, while I admonish you; O Israel, if you would but listen to me!

9There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.

10I am the Lord your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide and I will fill it.

11“But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me.

12So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.

13O that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!

14Then I would quickly subdue their enemies, and turn my hand against their foes.

15Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their doom would last forever.

16I would feed you with the finest of the wheat, and with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.”

1 Kings 17:1-16

17Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the Lord the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word.” 2The word of the Lord came to him, saying, 3“Go from here and turn eastward, and hide yourself by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 4You shall drink from the wadi, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” 5So he went and did according to the word of the Lord; he went and lived by the Wadi Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. 6The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening; and he drank from the wadi. 7But after a while the wadi dried up, because there was no rain in the land.

8Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9“Go now to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and live there; for I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10So he set out and went to Zarephath. When he came to the gate of the town, a widow was there gathering sticks; he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, so that I may drink.” 11As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13Elijah said to her, “Do not be afraid; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterwards make something for yourself and your son. 14For thus says the Lord the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day that the Lord sends rain on the earth.” 15She went and did as Elijah said, so that she as well as he and her household ate for many days. 16The jar of meal was not emptied, neither did the jug of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord that he spoke by Elijah.

Ephesians 5:1-14

5Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

3But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints. 4Entirely out of place is obscene, silly, and vulgar talk; but instead, let there be thanksgiving. 5Be sure of this, that no fornicator or impure person, or one who is greedy (that is, an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. 7Therefore do not be associated with them. 8For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— 9for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 10Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, 14for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, “Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Aside

The Mantle of Elijah 072612

Elijah window

Elijah window (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

The Mantle of Elijah 072612

At times I’ve been outside in the winter and felt the cold settle on my shoulders like a weight. In such circumstances, one could imagine wearing a mantle, a heavy fabric cloak that covers just the back of the neck and the shoulders.

Apparently the mantle was to be worn by prophets, and for Elijah to hand the mantle to Elisha was of great import.

One can see the importance of the physical mantle; if it came from God and God’s purposes then you would know that when you got it. You would know that God was calling you, and that you were to be a prophet.

Now, it is not so easy. We all are called by God, for something, as the New Testament proclaims. Maybe for some people the answer comes once, like lightning and it is all decided for all time. But I doubt that.

Now, part of our ‘mantle’ is that we continue to ask God for his purpose(s) for us, and as time moves on we get an answer.

Pray for peace

brother Bill

 

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

Pray with us!

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

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

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

 

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Psalm 145:10-18

10All your works shall give thanks to you, O Lord, and all your faithful shall bless you.

11They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom, and tell of your power,

12to make known to all people your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.

13Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. The Lord is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.

14The Lord upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.

15The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.

16You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing.

17The Lord is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.

18The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

1 Kings 19:19-21

19So he set out from there, and found Elisha son of Shaphat, who was plowing. There were twelve yoke of oxen ahead of him, and he was with the twelfth. Elijah passed by him and threw his mantle over him. 20He left the oxen, ran after Elijah, and said, “Let me kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow you.” Then Elijah said to him, “Go back again; for what have I done to you?” 21He returned from following him, took the yoke of oxen, and slaughtered them; using the equipment from the oxen, he boiled their flesh, and gave it to the people, and they ate. Then he set out and followed Elijah, and became his servant.

Colossians 1:9-14

9For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 11May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully

12giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

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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As They Were Coming Down The Mountain 121411

English: A statue of Jesus stands on a mountai...

Image via Wikipedia

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

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

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

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

 

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

 

Psalm 125

Malachi 3:16—4:6

Mark 9:9-13

 

As They Were Coming Down The Mountain 121411

 

Sometimes I am struck by short phrases in a Bible passage that don’t at first seem important. The title of today’s blog is a short line from Mark 9:9.

 

It doesn’t seem important, and maybe isn’t but the phrase is one of those that convinces me that the writer or storyteller of the scripture had first hand knowledge of the story, or collected his story from those who did have first hand knowledge. In this story, it adds credence that this phrase begins the story of Jesus’ discussion this day with his disciples and what they talked about as they were coming down from the mountain. Someone who wasn’t there might say. ‘They also talked about xxxxxx, or yyyyy.’ etc. A story would not carry a particular place and activity such as this with it, since it doesn’t add meaning by itself.

 

Sometimes I am working and it seems as if Jesus is with me. I could almost say ‘As I was doing carpentry by the barn…..

 

May Christ be with you today. Pray for peace.

(brother) Bill

Psalm 125

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

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

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

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

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

Malachi 3:16—4:6

16Then those who revered the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the Lord and thought on his name. 17They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as parents spare their children who serve them. 18Then once more you shall see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

4See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

4Remember the teaching of my servant Moses, the statutes and ordinances that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. 5Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. 6He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.

Mark 9:9-13

9As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead could mean. 11Then they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?” 12He said to them, “Elijah is indeed coming first to restore all things. How then is it written about the Son of Man, that he is to go through many sufferings and be treated with contempt? 13But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.”

The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

 

Good News Comes In a Cup 121311

Lord lovelace bridge

Image by wimbledonian via Flickr

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

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

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

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

 

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Psalm 125

2 Kings 2:9-22

Acts 3:17—4:4

 

Good News Comes In a Cup 121311

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pray for Peace

(brother) Bill

Psalm 125

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

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

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

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

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

2 Kings 2:9-22

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

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

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

Acts 3:17—4:4

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

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

 

Family Life

Elisha raising the Shunammites Son

Image via Wikipedia

This blog comes to you from the people at

Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

GUEST BLOG AUTHOR! This week our guest blog author is Jackie, director of our Children’s Progams, with Pastor Bill substituting on Wednesday..

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

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO

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.

 

Family Life

Psalm 133 begins with the statement 1How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! ‘ How many of us could claim a more peaceful life if there was not conflict within the family?

I don’t know if it is just the times we live in or my particular view of the world, but family life is not often peaceful or a matter of ‘living together in unity’. Now it seems less common to live together, and unity is even less likely.

Let us pray together for unity. Forgive those who have harmed or hurt you and have acknowledged their hurt; also forgive those who are not repentant but continue to hurt you. Forgive.

Pray for peace in this way,

Pastor Bill

Psalm 133

2 Kings 2:1-18

Mark 11:20-25

 

Psalm 133

1How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!

2It is like the precious oil on the head, running down upon the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down over the collar of his robes.

3It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion. For there the Lord ordained his blessing, life forevermore.

2 Kings 2:1-18

2Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.” 4Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.” 6Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

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

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

Mark 11:20-25

20In the morning as they passed by, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. 21Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” 22Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. 23Truly I tell you, if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and if you do not doubt in your heart, but believe that what you say will come to pass, it will be done for you. 24So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

25“Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.”

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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