Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

“No other foundation…”

February 23, 2014 –– Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

Lectionary Scriptures:

Leviticus 19:1-18

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

Psalm 119:33-40

ה He (5th letter of the hebrew alphabet)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Along the River 090513

Katy Trail Entry

Katy Trail Entry (Photo credit: fotobydave)

Katy Trail Boonville, MO

Katy Trail Boonville, MO (Photo credit: robertstinnett)

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 1 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%201%09&version=MSG

 

Genesis 39:1-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis%2039:1-23&version=MSG

 

Philippians 2:25-30 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Philippians%202:25-30&version=MSG

 

Along the River 090513

 

Occasionally, I get the chance to ride a bike on a trail beside the great Missouri River, on a level, pebble paved riding surface.

 

The trail cuts through forests, plain areas, swamp, upland, etc. I’ve noted that every time I follow this path by bicycle there is some or several types of wildflower in bloom. This continuing array of blooming, pollinating and fading flowers that continues through to fall always brings me to a state of humility in the universe, of unity with this natural continuing evolution of blooming and death.

 

And people are a blended part of this array and display of change, and I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, when I can say hello to people of the greatest diversity and hear their response. People generally are friendly and kind and I enjoy the realization that humanity has the capability to understand problems and solve them, with the help of God.

 

Pray for peace, when you see people, and welcome all into the Kingdom of God.

 

 

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 1

The Message (MSG)

1 How well God must like you—
you don’t hang out at Sin Saloon,
you don’t slink along Dead-End Road,
you don’t go to Smart-Mouth College.

2-3 Instead you thrill to God’s Word,
you chew on Scripture day and night.
You’re a tree replanted in Eden,
bearing fresh fruit every month,
Never dropping a leaf,
always in blossom.

4-5 You’re not at all like the wicked,
who are mere windblown dust—
Without defense in court,
unfit company for innocent people.

6 God charts the road you take.
The road they take is Skid Row.

Genesis 39:1-23

The Message (MSG)

39 After Joseph had been taken to Egypt by the Ishmaelites, Potiphar an Egyptian, one of Pharaoh’s officials and the manager of his household, bought him from them.

2-6 As it turned out, God was with Joseph and things went very well with him. He ended up living in the home of his Egyptian master. His master recognized that God was with him, saw that God was working for good in everything he did. He became very fond of Joseph and made him his personal aide. He put him in charge of all his personal affairs, turning everything over to him. From that moment on, God blessed the home of the Egyptian—all because of Joseph. The blessing of God spread over everything he owned, at home and in the fields, and all Potiphar had to concern himself with was eating three meals a day.

6-7 Joseph was a strikingly handsome man. As time went on, his master’s wife became infatuated with Joseph and one day said, “Sleep with me.”

8-9 He wouldn’t do it. He said to his master’s wife, “Look, with me here, my master doesn’t give a second thought to anything that goes on here—he’s put me in charge of everything he owns. He treats me as an equal. The only thing he hasn’t turned over to me is you. You’re his wife, after all! How could I violate his trust and sin against God?”

10 She pestered him day after day after day, but he stood his ground. He refused to go to bed with her.

11-15 On one of these days he came to the house to do his work and none of the household servants happened to be there. She grabbed him by his cloak, saying, “Sleep with me!” He left his coat in her hand and ran out of the house. When she realized that he had left his coat in her hand and run outside, she called to her house servants: “Look—this Hebrew shows up and before you know it he’s trying to seduce us. He tried to make love to me but I yelled as loud as I could. With all my yelling and screaming, he left his coat beside me here and ran outside.”

16-18 She kept his coat right there until his master came home. She told him the same story. She said, “The Hebrew slave, the one you brought to us, came after me and tried to use me for his plaything. When I yelled and screamed, he left his coat with me and ran outside.”

19-23 When his master heard his wife’s story, telling him, “These are the things your slave did to me,” he was furious. Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the jail where the king’s prisoners were locked up. But there in jail God was still with Joseph: He reached out in kindness to him; he put him on good terms with the head jailer. The head jailer put Joseph in charge of all the prisoners—he ended up managing the whole operation. The head jailer gave Joseph free rein, never even checked on him, because God was with him; whatever he did God made sure it worked out for the best.

Philippians 2:25-30

The Message (MSG)

25-27 But for right now, I’m dispatching Epaphroditus, my good friend and companion in my work. You sent him to help me out; now I’m sending him to help you out. He has been wanting in the worst way to get back with you. Especially since recovering from the illness you heard about, he’s been wanting to get back and reassure you that he is just fine. He nearly died, as you know, but God had mercy on him. And not only on him—he had mercy on me, too. His death would have been one huge grief piled on top of all the others.

28-30 So you can see why I’m so delighted to send him on to you. When you see him again, hale and hearty, how you’ll rejoice and how relieved I’ll be. Give him a grand welcome, a joyful embrace! People like him deserve the best you can give. Remember the ministry to me that you started but weren’t able to complete? Well, in the process of finishing up that work, he put his life on the line and nearly died doing it.

The Spirit Discloses All 013113

English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, wit...

English: child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Holy Spirit (represented as a dove) and God the Father, with child john the Baptist and saint Elizabeth on the right (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Jesus Christ baroque sculpture in Hol...

English: Jesus Christ baroque sculpture in Holy Spirit church, Vilnius (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 71:1-6 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2071:1-6&version=MSG

2 Chronicles 34:1-7 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chronicles%2034:1-7&version=MSG

Acts 10:44-48 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2010:44-48&version=MSG

The Spirit Discloses All 013113

 

Acts 10 talks about the early non-Jewish Christians being accepted by the previously all Jewish Christian groups. Basically, it says to me that the previous Christians Jews accepted the non-Jews, the Gentiles because of the evidence of the Holy Spirit disclosing the presence of the spirit in the Gentiles.

 

To see the presence of the Spirit, both groups had to be groups of people who were filled with the Holy Spirit.

 

Have you seen people that were clearly filled with the Spirit of God and the Spirit of Jesus Christ?

 

I hope somehow, that if anyone ever sees you or me filled with the Holy Spirit, it ill be something they see when I bent over to help a child, or to help someone in need.

 

To be filled with the Holy Spirit or to see the Holy Spirit in someone else is perhaps, however, only a dream to us. Maybe others will be able to feel this and experience this, but for us, the best we can hope for is that the small, the weak and the injured and sick will be filled with the Holy Spirit, and experience it when we reach to help, or to offer food, water and medicine.

 

Pray for peace, and serve others,

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 71:1-6

2 Chronicles 34:1-7

Acts 10:44-48

 

Psalm 71:1-7

The Message (MSG)

71 1-3 I run for dear life to God,
I’ll never live to regret it.
Do what you do so well:
get me out of this mess and up on my feet.
Put your ear to the ground and listen,
give me space for salvation.
Be a guest room where I can retreat;
you said your door was always open!
You’re my salvation—my vast, granite fortress.

4-7 My God, free me from the grip of Wicked,
from the clutch of Bad and Bully.
You keep me going when times are tough—
my bedrock, God, since my childhood.
I’ve hung on you from the day of my birth,
the day you took me from the cradle;
I’ll never run out of praise.
Many gasp in alarm when they see me,
but you take me in stride.

2 Chronicles 34:1-7

The Message (MSG)

King Josiah

34 1-2 Josiah was eight years old when he became king. He ruled for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. He behaved well before God. He kept straight on the path blazed by his ancestor David, not one step to the left or right.

3-7 When he had been king for eight years—he was still only a teenager—he began to seek the God of David his ancestor. Four years later, the twelfth year of his reign, he set out to cleanse the neighborhood of sex-and-religion shrines, and get rid of the sacred Asherah groves and the god and goddess figurines, whether carved or cast, from Judah. He wrecked the Baal shrines, tore down the altars connected with them, and scattered the debris and ashes over the graves of those who had worshiped at them. He burned the bones of the priests on the same altars they had used when alive. He scrubbed the place clean, Judah and Jerusalem, clean inside and out. The cleanup campaign ranged outward to the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, Simeon, and the surrounding neighborhoods—as far north as Naphtali. Throughout Israel he demolished the altars and Asherah groves, pulverized the god and goddess figures, chopped up the neighborhood shrines into firewood. With Israel once more intact, he returned to Jerusalem.

Acts 10:44-48

The Message (MSG)

44-46 No sooner were these words out of Peter’s mouth than the Holy Spirit came on the listeners. The believing Jews who had come with Peter couldn’t believe it, couldn’t believe that the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on “outsider” non-Jews, but there it was—they heard them speaking in tongues, heard them praising God.

46-48 Then Peter said, “Do I hear any objections to baptizing these friends with water? They’ve received the Holy Spirit exactly as we did.” Hearing no objections, he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.

Then they asked Peter to stay on for a few days.

 

Related articles

Aside

Trying to Figure It Out 103112

 

Trying to Figure It Out 103112

 

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 119:17-24 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20119:17-24&version=MSG

Jeremiah 33:1-11http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2033:1-11&version=MSG

Matthew 20:29-34 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2020:29-34&version=MSG

 

Trying to Figure It Out 103112

 

Among my many friends who are not Christians, and I have several of these folks, I think they believe they don’t want to be Christians because they don’t want to be told how the universe and reality work. Instead they wish to figure it out.

 

I understand what they are saying, and I agree. There’s no such thing as an easy and ready way to ‘figure it all out’. In our short lifetimes, our short part of the lifecycle, there is no neat, boxed up version of reality and truth that is the complete final answer.

 

But there is something eternal and meaningful about God, and Jesus and the Holy Spirit that helps me along the way to ‘figuring it all out’. In fact, I don’t think I could take it if I all of a sudden could see again, like the blind men in Matthew 20. Instead, like Jeremiah 33, there is so much one can live through and with help figure out. Much, much of what I see and feel come from these God-given things I could not figure out on my own.

 

And day by day, as God blesses, we do begin to see, and we do begin to see so much that we could not figure out on our own.

 

Read your Bible, tell your friends about Jesus, and if necessary, point them to this blog.

 

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

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 119:17-24

The Message (MSG)

17-24 Be generous with me and I’ll live a full life;
not for a minute will I take my eyes off your road.
Open my eyes so I can see
what you show me of your miracle-wonders.
I’m a stranger in these parts;
give me clear directions.
My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!—
insatiable for your nourishing commands.
And those who think they know so much,
ignoring everything you tell them—let them have it!
Don’t let them mock and humiliate me;
I’ve been careful to do just what you said.
While bad neighbors maliciously gossip about me,
I’m absorbed in pondering your wise counsel.
Yes, your sayings on life are what give me delight;
I listen to them as to good neighbors!

Jeremiah 33:1-11

The Message (MSG)

Things You Could Never Figure Out on Your Own

33 While Jeremiah was still locked up in jail, a second Message from God was given to him:

2-3 “This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’

4-5 “This is what God, the God of Israel, has to say about what’s going on in this city, about the homes of both people and kings that have been demolished, about all the ravages of war and the killing by the Chaldeans, and about the streets littered with the dead bodies of those killed because of my raging anger—about all that’s happened because the evil actions in this city have turned my stomach in disgust.

6-9 “But now take another look. I’m going to give this city a thorough renovation, working a true healing inside and out. I’m going to show them life whole, life brimming with blessings. I’ll restore everything that was lost to Judah and Jerusalem. I’ll build everything back as good as new. I’ll scrub them clean from the dirt they’ve done against me. I’ll forgive everything they’ve done wrong, forgive all their rebellions. And Jerusalem will be a center of joy and praise and glory for all the countries on earth. They’ll get reports on all the good I’m doing for her. They’ll be in awe of the blessings I am pouring on her.

10-11 “Yes, God’s Message: ‘You’re going to look at this place, these empty and desolate towns of Judah and streets of Jerusalem, and say, “A wasteland. Unlivable. Not even a dog could live here.” But the time is coming when you’re going to hear laughter and celebration, marriage festivities, people exclaiming, “Thank God-of-the-Angel-Armies. He’s so good! His love never quits,” as they bring thank offerings into God’s Temple. I’ll restore everything that was lost in this land. I’ll make everything as good as new.’ I, God, say so.

Matthew 20:29-34

The Message (MSG)

29-31 As they were leaving Jericho, a huge crowd followed. Suddenly they came upon two blind men sitting alongside the road. When they heard it was Jesus passing, they cried out, “Master, have mercy on us! Mercy, Son of David!” The crowd tried to hush them up, but they got all the louder, crying, “Master, have mercy on us! Mercy, Son of David!”

32 Jesus stopped and called over, “What do you want from me?”

33 They said, “Master, we want our eyes opened. We want to see!”

34 Deeply moved, Jesus touched their eyes. They had their sight back that very instant, and joined the procession.

Matthew

Matthew (Photo credit: Missional Volunteer)

Aside

Exhausted 101112

An exhausted father uses a pram

An exhausted father uses a pram (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 90:12-17 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2090:12-17&version=MSG

Deuteronomy 5:1-21 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Deuteronomy%205:1-21%20&version=MSG

Hebrews 3:7-19  http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=%09%09Hebrews%203:7-19%20&version=MSG

 

Exhausted 101112

 

I’ve been out of town this week working. In the evening, the doors and stairwells and stair ways of the cheap motel where I’m staying are crowded with workers, girlfriends and boyfriends, wives and husbands. They know I’m a preacher because one evening as I was walking inside my Bible fell out of my case, and a young man picked it up for me and handed it to me.

 

They smoke and drink and laugh and moan as they relax in the cool evening air of fall. I suppose we all could condemn them (and everyone else!) for some reason. But like me they are exhausted. They work hard and when I wake at 6:00 am, their pickups and equipment trailers full of ladders and tools are gone from the parking lot.

 

It’s so easy for Christians to be people of condemnation and arrogance. But instead, why can’t we be people of comfort, or people of joy?

 

Psalm 90 sounds like a song sung by the workers of ancient Israel, asking for God;s help:

‘And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
confirming the work that we do.
Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

Read it aloud to yourself, and everyone you know who is weary.

 

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

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 90:12-17

Deuteronomy 5:1-21

Hebrews 3:7-19

Psalm 90:12-17

The Message (MSG)

12-17 Oh! Teach us to live well!
Teach us to live wisely and well!
Come back, God—how long do we have to wait?—
and treat your servants with kindness for a change.
Surprise us with love at daybreak;
then we’ll skip and dance all the day long.
Make up for the bad times with some good times;
we’ve seen enough evil to last a lifetime.
Let your servants see what you’re best at—
the ways you rule and bless your children.
And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
confirming the work that we do.
Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!

Deuteronomy 5:1-21

The Message (MSG)

Moses Teaches Israel on the Plains of Moab

5 Moses called all Israel together. He said to them,

Attention, Israel. Listen obediently to the rules and regulations I am delivering to your listening ears today. Learn them. Live them.

2-5 God, our God, made a covenant with us at Horeb. God didn’t just make this covenant with our parents; he made it also with us, with all of us who are alive right now. God spoke to you personally out of the fire on the mountain. At the time I stood between God and you, to tell you what God said. You were afraid, remember, of the fire and wouldn’t climb the mountain. He said:

I am God, your God,

who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of a house of slaves.

No other gods, only me.

8-10 No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim. Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am God, your God, and I’m a most jealous God. I hold parents responsible for any sins they pass on to their children to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation. But I’m lovingly loyal to the thousands who love me and keep my commandments.

11 No using the name of God, your God, in curses or silly banter; God won’t put up with the irreverent use of his name.

12-15 No working on the Sabbath; keep it holy just as God, your God, commanded you. Work six days, doing everything you have to do, but the seventh day is a Sabbath, a Rest Day—no work: not you, your son, your daughter, your servant, your maid, your ox, your donkey (or any of your animals), and not even the foreigner visiting your town. That way your servants and maids will get the same rest as you. Don’t ever forget that you were slaves in Egypt and God, your God, got you out of there in a powerful show of strength. That’s why God, your God, commands you to observe the day of Sabbath rest.

16 Respect your father and mother—God, your God, commands it! You’ll have a long life; the land that God is giving you will treat you well.

17 No murder.

18 No adultery.

19 No stealing.

20 No lies about your neighbor.

21 No coveting your neighbor’s wife. And no lusting for his house, field, servant, maid, ox, or donkey either—nothing that belongs to your neighbor!

Hebrews 3:7-19

The Message (MSG)

6-11 Now, if we can only keep a firm grip on this bold confidence, we’re the house! That’s why the Holy Spirit says,

Today, please listen;
don’t turn a deaf ear as in “the bitter uprising,”
that time of wilderness testing!
Even though they watched me at work for forty years,
your ancestors refused to let me do it my way;
over and over they tried my patience.
And I was provoked, oh, so provoked!
I said, “They’ll never keep their minds on God;
they refuse to walk down my road.”
Exasperated, I vowed,
“They’ll never get where they’re going,
never be able to sit down and rest.”

12-14 So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.

These words keep ringing in our ears:

Today, please listen;
don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising.

15-19 For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked with for forty years? Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they’d never get where they were going, wasn’t he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened, never believed.

 

 

Aside

Monday Again? 082712

Nehemiah 8:10

Nehemiah 8:10 (Photo credit: Tatiana P.)

Monday Again? 082712

 

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:

 

Psalm 119:97-104 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20119:97-104&version=NKJV

Nehemiah 9:1-15 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah%209:1-15&version=NKJV

Ephesians 5:21—6:9 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians%205:21%E2%80%946:9&version=NKJV

 

I don’t like Mondays. I do like the restful, somewhat peaceful type of Sunday, when after church we gather somewhere with family and friends and share a meal of some kind. It is a day filled with the spirit of Jesus, I think.

 

But Mondays are more about rules than spirit. There are time rules, traffic laws, work rules all around me, and the rules seem to dominate the spirit in some way.

 

But Psalm 119 speaks of the law, and following the law. The ancient, Jewish laws seem to overrule the quiet, peace of Jesus Christ. I think Jesus knew this, that sometimes following the rules and laws produced a dead spirit. And he declared his disciples to be free from the law, and subject only to the spirit.

 

So, we have to focus on keeping the Holy Spirit alive by our own spiritual lives. The law? It seems to go on forever anyway. It is the spirit that needs daily attention.

 

Pray for peace,

brother 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.

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 119:97-104

Nehemiah 9:1-15

Ephesians 5:21—6:9

 

Psalm 119:97-104

97Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long.

98Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is always with me.

99I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your decrees are my meditation.

100I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.

101I hold back my feet from every evil way, in order to keep your word.

102I do not turn away from your ordinances, for you have taught me.

103How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!

104Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Nehemiah 9:1-15

9Now on the twenty-fourth day of this month the people of Israel were assembled with fasting and in sackcloth, and with earth on their heads. 2Then those of Israelite descent separated themselves from all foreigners, and stood and confessed their sins and the iniquities of their ancestors. 3They stood up in their place and read from the book of the law of the Lord their God for a fourth part of the day, and for another fourth they made confession and worshiped the Lord their God.

4Then Jeshua, Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani stood on the stairs of the Levites and cried out with a loud voice to the Lord their God. 5Then the Levites, Jeshua, Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabneiah, Sherebiah, Hodiah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, “Stand up and bless the Lord your God from everlasting to everlasting. Blessed be your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.” 6And Ezra said: “You are the Lord, you alone; you have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. To all of them you give life, and the host of heaven worships you. 7You are the Lord, the God who chose Abram and brought him out of Ur of the Chaldeans and gave him the name Abraham; 8and you found his heart faithful before you, and made with him a covenant to give to his descendants the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Jebusite, and the Girgashite; and you have fulfilled your promise, for you are righteous. 9“And you saw the distress of our ancestors in Egypt and heard their cry at the Red Sea. 10You performed signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants and all the people of his land, for you knew that they acted insolently against our ancestors. You made a name for yourself, which remains to this day. 11And you divided the sea before them, so that they passed through the sea on dry land, but you threw their pursuers into the depths, like a stone into mighty waters. 12Moreover, you led them by day with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire, to give them light on the way in which they should go. 13You came down also upon Mount Sinai, and spoke with them from heaven, and gave them right ordinances and true laws, good statutes and commandments, 14and you made known your holy sabbath to them and gave them commandments and statutes and a law through your servant Moses. 15For their hunger you gave them bread from heaven, and for their thirst you brought water for them out of the rock, and you told them to go in to possess the land that you swore to give them.

Ephesians 5:21—6:9

21Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22Wives, be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which he is the Savior. 24Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought to be, in everything, to their husbands. 25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word, 27so as to present the church to himself in splendor, without a spot or wrinkle or anything of the kind—yes, so that she may be holy and without blemish. 28In the same way, husbands should love their wives as they do their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29For no one ever hates his own body, but he nourishes and tenderly cares for it, just as Christ does for the church, 30because we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a great mystery, and I am applying it to Christ and the church. 33Each of you, however, should love his wife as himself, and a wife should respect her husband.

6Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother” —this is the first commandment with a promise: 3“so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” 4And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 5Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; 6not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, 8knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord, whether we are slaves or free. 9And, masters, do the same to them. Stop threatening them, for you know that both of you have the same Master in heaven, and with him there is no partiality.

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

Eating Metaphors 072812

 

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

Mennonite Food

Mennonite Food (Photo credit: Nate Hofer)

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Eating Metaphors 072812

If I get this right, Jesus, in John 4:31(below) is offered food by his disciples, who seem genuinely interested in their Rabbi, Jesus. But Jesus responds and changes the discussion into a metaphor.

And there are many times when we all might do better to pray for the sower to come, or the reaper to come than to eat another meal. I’m not sure which. I’m not sure which is God and which is Jesus and which is all of us, but the message is still clear. The ‘food’ we all need comes from the Holy Spirit and not from the crops in the field ready for harvest.

It was certainly a time in Israel and Judea when food was in short supply. But it was in short supply because the crops of the field belonged to the Roman Empire! Israel and Judea were Roman colonies, and the reasons for having a colony is to have more food, which translates sometimes into ‘gold’ and money. There used to be a brand of bread called ‘Roman Meal’ bread (as if sliced, light wheat bread were used by the Roman legions as they conquered the world).

So, Jesus’ fasting or preferring the ‘bread of the spirit’ is a not very subtle slap in the face to the Roman overlords. In actuality, neither the sower or the reaper got any food beyond the daily wages of a peasant laborer—working one’s life away on the lands of the Roman lords. Jesus is saying ‘keep your bread, I have the bread of God to share with all’. The metaphor seems to me to be a disguise of the political and economic truth of Jesus’ time, that is diverted to the things that matter.

In our time how does this metaphor work? It is not only a metaphor that works for us, but it is a metaphor that speaks against us, for we are the modern equivalent of the Roman empire; we are the modern overlords, the modern legions. (I’m making the assumption we’re all benefiting from a colony somewhere, somehow because we are each wealthy enough to have access to a computer, and we speak English—two signs that one is part of the modern empire.

Share the bread, and share with the reaper and the sower. 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 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.

2 Kings 4:38-41

38When Elisha returned to Gilgal, there was a famine in the land. As the company of prophets was sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Put the large pot on, and make some stew for the company of prophets.” 39One of them went out into the field to gather herbs; he found a wild vine and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were. 40They served some for the men to eat. But while they were eating the stew, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!” They could not eat it. 41He said, “Then bring some flour.” He threw it into the pot, and said, “Serve the people and let them eat.” And there was nothing harmful in the pot.

John 4:31-38

31Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” 32But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” 34Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. 35Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. 36The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 38I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

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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