Gray Whale Tail (Photo credit: Images by John ‘K’)
The Season of Creation, Week 2 Holy Cross, The Whales
This blog comes to you from the people at Peace Mennonite Church of Columbia, MO
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:
Isaiah 38:10-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2038:10-20&version=MSG
Joshua 6:1-21 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua%206:1-21&version=MSG
Hebrews 11:29—12:2 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2011:29%E2%80%9412:2&version=MSG
The Season of Creation, Week 2 Holy Cross, The Whales
This week is the week of the day of the Holy Cross, in western orthodox celebration, but is also the 2nd week of The Season of Creation, celebrated and commemorated in Australia more than in the US, Canada, Europe or elsewhere.
Our local church has been discussing the environment, and what our role as a church should be in protecting the environment and seeking to restore the environment and our realtionship to God. We’ve been in this discussion for a long time—how does a church say to the world that to what Jesus commanded us to do: to feed the poor, to free the oppressed, to make peace we must do something to protect the environment. We cannot feed the poor, free the oppressed and make peace in an environment of shrinking resources, polluted water polluted air, and polluted food.
We also realize that the world does not believe what Christians say—when we say we love one another, but kill others, let people go hungry and accomplish so little of what Jesus told us to do—the world does not believe Christianity. It is time for Christians to really do something in the world.
But, while calling for justice, this week reminds us that discipleship and seeking justice for all is just part of what Jesus and his life mean. This is also the week of the Holy Cross.
Hebrews 12:2 from today’s scripture is to this point:
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever.”
Pray for the whales of the world during this season of creation, and pray for our peace with all the earth,
Columbia River at Quincy Wildlife Refuge (Photo credit: Pictoscribe – Home again)
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/
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The Message (MSG)
9-15 This is what Hezekiah king of Judah wrote after he’d been sick and then recovered from his sickness:
In the very prime of life
I have to leave.
Whatever time I have left
is spent in death’s waiting room.
No more glimpses of God
in the land of the living,
No more meetings with my neighbors,
no more rubbing shoulders with friends.
This body I inhabit is taken down
and packed away like a camper’s tent.
Like a weaver, I’ve rolled up the carpet of my life
as God cuts me free of the loom
And at day’s end sweeps up the scraps and pieces.
I cry for help until morning.
Like a lion, God pummels and pounds me,
relentlessly finishing me off.
I squawk like a doomed hen,
moan like a dove.
My eyes ache from looking up for help:
“Master, I’m in trouble! Get me out of this!”
But what’s the use? God himself gave me the word.
He’s done it to me.
I can’t sleep—
I’m that upset, that troubled.
16-19 O Master, these are the conditions in which people live,
and yes, in these very conditions my spirit is still alive—
fully recovered with a fresh infusion of life!
It seems it was good for me
to go through all those troubles.
Throughout them all you held tight to my lifeline.
You never let me tumble over the edge into nothing.
But my sins you let go of,
threw them over your shoulder—good riddance!
The dead don’t thank you,
and choirs don’t sing praises from the morgue.
Those buried six feet under
don’t witness to your faithful ways.
It’s the living—live men, live women—who thank you,
just as I’m doing right now.
Parents give their children
full reports on your faithful ways.
20 God saves and will save me.
As fiddles and mandolins strike up the tunes,
We’ll sing, oh we’ll sing, sing,
for the rest of our lives in the Sanctuary of God.
The Message (MSG)
6 Jericho was shut up tight as a drum because of the People of Israel: no one going in, no one coming out.
2-5 God spoke to Joshua, “Look sharp now. I’ve already given Jericho to you, along with its king and its crack troops. Here’s what you are to do: March around the city, all your soldiers. Circle the city once. Repeat this for six days. Have seven priests carry seven ram’s horn trumpets in front of the Chest. On the seventh day march around the city seven times, the priests blowing away on the trumpets. And then, a long blast on the ram’s horn—when you hear that, all the people are to shout at the top of their lungs. The city wall will collapse at once. All the people are to enter, every man straight on in.”
6 So Joshua son of Nun called the priests and told them, “Take up the Chest of the Covenant. Seven priests are to carry seven ram’s horn trumpets leading God’s Chest.”
7 Then he told the people, “Set out! March around the city. Have the armed guard march before the Chest of God.”
8-9 And it happened. Joshua spoke, the people moved: Seven priests with their seven ram’s horn trumpets set out before God. They blew the trumpets, leading God’s Chest of the Covenant. The armed guard marched ahead of the trumpet-blowing priests; the rear guard was marching after the Chest, marching and blowing their trumpets.
10 Joshua had given orders to the people, “Don’t shout. In fact, don’t even speak—not so much as a whisper until you hear me say, ‘Shout!’—then shout away!”
11-13 He sent the Chest of God on its way around the city. It circled once, came back to camp, and stayed for the night. Joshua was up early the next morning and the priests took up the Chest of God. The seven priests carrying the seven ram’s horn trumpets marched before the Chest of God, marching and blowing the trumpets, with the armed guard marching before and the rear guard marching after. Marching and blowing of trumpets!
14 On the second day they again circled the city once and returned to camp. They did this six days.
15-17 When the seventh day came, they got up early and marched around the city this same way but seven times—yes, this day they circled the city seven times. On the seventh time around the priests blew the trumpets and Joshua signaled the people, “Shout!—God has given you the city! The city and everything in it is under a holy curse and offered up to God.
“Except for Rahab the harlot—she is to live, she and everyone in her house with her, because she hid the agents we sent.
18-19 “As for you, watch yourselves in the city under holy curse. Be careful that you don’t covet anything in it and take something that’s cursed, endangering the camp of Israel with the curse and making trouble for everyone. All silver and gold, all vessels of bronze and iron are holy to God. Put them in God’s treasury.”
20 The priests blew the trumpets.
When the people heard the blast of the trumpets, they gave a thunderclap shout. The wall fell at once. The people rushed straight into the city and took it.
21 They put everything in the city under the holy curse, killing man and woman, young and old, ox and sheep and donkey.
The Message (MSG)
29 By an act of faith, Israel walked through the Red Sea on dry ground. The Egyptians tried it and drowned.
30 By faith, the Israelites marched around the walls of Jericho for seven days, and the walls fell flat.
31 By an act of faith, Rahab, the Jericho harlot, welcomed the spies and escaped the destruction that came on those who refused to trust God.
32-38 I could go on and on, but I’ve run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets. . . . Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless—the world didn’t deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.
39-40 Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours.
Discipline in a Long-Distance Race
12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson