Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Jerusalem’

The Difficulty of Prayer 051413

Old prayer-book

Old prayer-book (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 29

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

 

Chronicles 5:2-14

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chronicles%205:2-14&version=MSG

 

 

Acts 26:19-29

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2026:19-29%20&version=MSG

 

 

The Difficulty of Prayer 051413

 

 

The Difficulty of Prayer is that we really have no reason or excuse for not praying , not a really good reason or a really good excuse, that

is. The problem with prayer is that we originally found it quite easy and natural. Now, it’s become an unnatural act. We have to stop,

rearrange our schedule, and rearrange our activities to allow time for prayer. But it doesn’t happen that way for me so much. Prayer should come to us as easily and naturally as kneeling

down to take a cool drink of water from a clear stream.

 

 

Instead, the world and people and activities that have to be done crowd in on me and crush me like a little stinky bug. I can’t even slow this

crushing rearrangement of life, the taking of my life day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

 

 

I know every day how difficult it is to find time for prayer and to find time for reading the Bible.

 

 

Pray for peace,

 

Pastor Bill

 

Prayer List:

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd

@ peacemennonitechurch.net (Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse

spam generators).

 

Pray with us!

 

We are praying as a church, and attempting to follow the centuries’ old tradition of praying with other Christians three times a day. We

are following the prayer liturgy at www.commonprayer.net

 

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

with proper attribution.

 

 

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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.

 

2

Chronicles 5:2-14

 

The Message (MSG)

 

Installing the Chest

 

2-3 Bringing all this to a climax, Solomon got all the

leaders together in Jerusalem—all the chiefs of tribes and the

family patriarchs—to move the Chest of the Covenant of God from

Zion and install it in The Temple. All the men of Israel assembled

before the king on the feast day of the seventh month, the Feast of

Booths.

 

4-6 When all the leaders of Israel

were ready, the Levites took up the Chest. They carried the Chest,

the Tent of Meeting, and all the sacred things in the Tent used in

worship. The priests, all Levites, carried them. King Solomon and the

entire congregation of Israel were there before the Chest, worshiping

and sacrificing huge numbers of sheep and cattle—so many that no

one could keep track.

 

7-10 The priests brought the Chest

of the Covenant of God to its place in the Inner Sanctuary, the Holy

of Holies, under the wings of the cherubim. The outspread wings of

the cherubim formed a canopy over the Chest and its poles. The ends

of the poles were so long that they stuck out from the entrance of

the Inner Sanctuary, but were not noticeable further out—they’re

still there today. There was nothing in the Chest itself but the two

stone tablets that Moses had placed in it at Horeb where God made a

covenant with Israel after bringing them up from Egypt.

 

11-13 The priests then left the

Holy Place. All the priests there were consecrated, regardless of

rank or assignment; and all the Levites who were musicians were

there—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their families, dressed in their

worship robes; the choir and orchestra assembled on the east side of

the Altar and were joined by 120 priests blowing trumpets. The choir

and trumpets made one voice of praise and thanks to God—orchestra

and choir in perfect harmony singing and playing praise to God:

 

Yes! God is good!
His loyal love goes on forever!

 

13-14 Then a billowing cloud filled

The Temple of God. The priests couldn’t even carry out their duties

because of the cloud—the glory of God!—that filled The Temple of

God.

 

Acts

26:19-29

 

The Message (MSG)

 

19-20 “What could I do, King

Agrippa? I couldn’t just walk away from a vision like that! I

became an obedient believer on the spot. I started preaching this

life-change—this radical turn to God and everything it meant in

everyday life—right there in Damascus, went on to Jerusalem and the

surrounding countryside, and from there to the whole world.

 

21-23 “It’s because of this

‘whole world’ dimension that the Jews grabbed me in the Temple

that day and tried to kill me. They want to keep God for themselves.

But God has stood by me, just as he promised, and I’m standing here

saying what I’ve been saying to anyone, whether king or child, who

will listen. And everything I’m saying is completely in line with

what the prophets and Moses said would happen: One, the Messiah must

die; two, raised from the dead, he would be the first rays of God’s

daylight shining on people far and near, people both godless and

God-fearing.”

 

24 That was too much for Festus.

He interrupted with a shout: “Paul, you’re crazy! You’ve read

too many books, spent too much time staring off into space! Get a

grip on yourself, get back in the real world!”

 

25-27 But Paul stood his ground.

“With all respect, Festus, Your Honor, I’m not crazy. I’m both

accurate and sane in what I’m saying. The king knows what I’m

talking about. I’m sure that nothing of what I’ve said sounds

crazy to him. He’s known all about it for a long time. You must

realize that this wasn’t done behind the scenes. You believe the

prophets, don’t you, King Agrippa? Don’t answer that—I know you

believe.”

 

28 But Agrippa did answer: “Keep

this up much longer and you’ll make a Christian out of me!”

 

29 Paul, still in chains, said,

“That’s what I’m praying for, whether now or later, and not

only you but everyone listening today, to become like me—except, of

course, for this prison jewelry!”

 

 

National Day of Prayer

National Day of Prayer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

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Aside

Kneeling to Pray 070612

 

Our Lord Jesus Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Kneeling to Pray 070612

If one can step back from the Book of Acts and see it more as a whole story, it is an engaging story of the apostles and disciples directed by God, forming the basis of the religion of Jesus Christ, our church (in the biggest and most universal sense of the word). Slowly, following Jesus becomes less strictly Jewish and more and more universal.

This story is also our story. In this part of Acts, which focuses on Paul, we read that 5b….. There we knelt down on the beach and prayed 6and said farewell to one another.

To kneel in prayer was an early custom in the new religion of Jesus Christ. Do you kneel to pray? Does your church kneel in prayer?

Pray for peace

brother Bill

 

PeaceMennoniteChurchkeeps 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.PeaceMennoniteChurchofColumbia, 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 107:1-3, 23-32

Job 29:21—30:15

Acts 21:1-16

 

 

Psalm 107

1O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

2Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, those he redeemed from trouble

3and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.

23Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the mighty waters;

24they saw the deeds of the Lord, his wondrous works in the deep.

25For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea.

26They mounted up to heaven, they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their calamity;

27they reeled and staggered like drunkards, and were at their wits’ end.

28Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out from their distress;

29he made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.

30Then they were glad because they had quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven.

31Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind.

32Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Job 29:21—30:15

21“They listened to me, and waited, and kept silence for my counsel. 22After I spoke they did not speak again, and my word dropped upon them like dew. 23They waited for me as for the rain; they opened their mouths as for the spring rain. 24I smiled on them when they had no confidence; and the light of my countenance they did not extinguish. 25I chose their way, and sat as chief, and I lived like a king among his troops, like one who comforts mourners.

30“But now they make sport of me, those who are younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock. 2What could I gain from the strength of their hands? All their vigor is gone. 3Through want and hard hunger they gnaw the dry and desolate ground, 4they pick mallow and the leaves of bushes, and to warm themselves the roots of broom. 5They are driven out from society; people shout after them as after a thief. 6In the gullies of wadis they must live, in holes in the ground, and in the rocks. 7Among the bushes they bray; under the nettles they huddle together. 8A senseless, disreputable brood, they have been whipped out of the land. 9“And now they mock me in song; I am a byword to them. 10They abhor me, they keep aloof from me; they do not hesitate to spit at the sight of me. 11Because God has loosed my bowstring and humbled me, they have cast off restraint in my presence. 12On my right hand the rabble rise up; they send me sprawling, and build roads for my ruin. 13They break up my path, they promote my calamity; no one restrains them. 14As through a wide breach they come; amid the crash they roll on.

15Terrors are turned upon me; my honor is pursued as by the wind, and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.

Acts 21:1-16

21When we had parted from them and set sail, we came by a straight course to Cos, and the next day to Rhodes, and from there to Patara. 2When we found a ship bound for Phoenicia, we went on board and set sail. 3We came in sight of Cyprus; and leaving it on our left, we sailed to Syria and landed at Tyre, because the ship was to unload its cargo there. 4We looked up the disciples and stayed there for seven days. Through the Spirit they told Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. 5When our days there were ended, we left and proceeded on our journey; and all of them, with wives and children, escorted us outside the city. There we knelt down on the beach and prayed 6and said farewell to one another. Then we went on board the ship, and they returned home. 7When we had finished the voyage fromTyre, we arrived at Ptolemais; and we greeted the believers and stayed with them for one day.

8The next day we left and came to Caesarea; and we went into the house of Philip the evangelist, one of the seven, and stayed with him. 9He had four unmarried daughters who had the gift of prophecy. 10While we were staying there for several days, a prophet named Agabus came down from Judea. 11He came to us and took Paul’s belt, bound his own feet and hands with it, and said, “Thus says the Holy Spirit, ‘This is the way the Jews in Jerusalem will bind the man who owns this belt and will hand him over to the Gentiles.’” 12When we heard this, we and the people there urged him not to go up to Jerusalem. 13Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be bound but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” 14Since he would not be persuaded, we remained silent except to say, “The Lord’s will be done.”

15After these days we got ready and started to go up to Jerusalem. 16Some of the disciples fromCaesarea also came along and brought us to the house of Mnason of Cyprus, an early disciple, with whom we were to stay.

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 Promise of the Holy Spirit 051712

 

Deutsch: Pater noster. Chromolithographie Engl...

Deutsch: Pater noster. Chromolithographie English: Text of “Our Father” prayer with Trinity in central column (God the Father, dove of the Holy Spirit, Jesus) and Biblical and symbolic scenes in left and right columns. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

The Promise of the Holy Spirit 051712

For several weeks, we’ve been discussing and studying the Holy Spirit. (When I say ‘we’ I mean our local congregation, our small community of Christ.)

The problem is that many church denomination people believe that they already ‘have’ the Holy Spirit, so the idea of the Holy Spirit coming to the disciples after they had been with Jesus for most of his ministry, his death, his resurrection and ascension is a little disjointed. Many people think the Holy Spirit comes to you at baptism. I personally start church prayer with a thank you to God for sending the Holy Spirit to be with us gathered in church, as Jesus promised.

So, Jesus is quoted in Acts 1: 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.

It seems like a foolish comparison, but I recall the story of a friend who wanted badly a new red bicycle for their birthday. But they were afraid to wish for it for fear their hope would jinx the possibility of getting the bicycle.

As a practical, down-to-earth Mennonite peasant, I’m afraid to jinx the hope for the Holy Spirit to come. Instead, we’ll focus on feeding the poor, freeing the oppressed, taking care of widows and orphans, and visiting those who are sick or in jail.  It’s not that I dismiss the Holy Spirit as unimportant, or unattainable. But maybe we have to actually do what Jesus asked of us, before we wait around for the Holy Spirit. I’m less concerned about my own spiritual ascension than I’m concerned for the hungry, thirsty and hurting people of this small world, who like to simply continue living.

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.

Ascension of the Lord

Acts 1:1-11

Psalm 47 

Psalm 93

Ephesians 1:15-23

Luke 24:44-53

 

Acts 1:1-11

The Promise of the Holy Spirit

1In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning 2until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over the course of forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. 4While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. ‘This’, he said, ‘is what you have heard from me; 5for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’

The Ascension of Jesus

6 So when they had come together, they asked him, ‘Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?’ 7He replied, ‘It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ 9When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. 10While he was going and they were gazing up towards heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. 11They said, ‘Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up towards heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.’

Psalm 47

God’s Rule over the Nations

To the leader. Of the Korahites. A Psalm.
1 Clap your hands, all you peoples;
shout to God with loud songs of joy.
2 For the Lord, the Most High, is awesome,
a great king over all the earth.
3 He subdued peoples under us,
and nations under our feet.
4 He chose our heritage for us,
the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
Selah
5 God has gone up with a shout,
the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
6 Sing praises to God, sing praises;
sing praises to our King, sing praises.
7 For God is the king of all the earth;
sing praises with a psalm.
8 God is king over the nations;
God sits on his holy throne.
9 The princes of the peoples gather
as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
he is highly exalted.

Psalm 93

The Majesty of God’s Rule
1 The Lord is king, he is robed in majesty;
the Lord is robed, he is girded with strength.
He has established the world; it shall never be moved;
2   your throne is established from of old;
you are from everlasting.
3 The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods lift up their roaring.
4 More majestic than the thunders of mighty waters,
more majestic than the waves of the sea,
majestic on high is the Lord!
5 Your decrees are very sure;
holiness befits your house,
O Lord, for evermore.

Ephesians 1:15-23

Paul’s Prayer

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, and for this reason 16I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, 18so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, 19and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. 20God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. 22And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, 23which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.

Luke 24:44-53

44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.’

The Ascension of Jesus

50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. 51While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. 52And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; 53and they were continually in the temple blessing God.

The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Related articles are presented without endorsement

Aside

What We Can Look Forward To? 050912

child Jesus with the virgin Mary, with the Hol...

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)

 THIS is the post for 050912 which failed to show up on that date.

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

What We Can Look Forward To? 050912

Isaiah 65 and John 14 (both below) speak of what comes next, but the verses are not prophecy, it seems, as much as they are promises. We all probably have an idea of what we’d hope the future will be. The words from Isaiah in particular, have been taken by many as predicting the current rise of Israel from a dry, vacant desert, although it was not dry or vacant land.

There are however at least two manners in which to read these words. One way would be to read them as visions of what God and Jesus will bring to earth, either a new Jerusalem, or Jesus himself to us.

Another way to read them however would be to realize that God builds a new Jerusalem, a new vision of earth and humanity in us, as a deep and profound spiritual vision, and that Jesus will not leave us alone and will come to us, as a spiritual friend and lord in our souls.

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 80

Isaiah 65:17-25

John 14:18-31

 

Psalm 80

1Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth

2before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. Stir up your might, and come to save us!

3Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

4O Lord God of hosts, how long will you be angry with your people’s prayers?

5You have fed them with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.

6You make us the scorn of our neighbors; our enemies laugh among themselves.

7Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

8You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.

9You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.

10The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches;

11it sent out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.

12Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

13The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

14Turn again, O God of hosts; look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,

15the stock that your right hand planted.

16They have burned it with fire, they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your countenance.

17But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, the one whom you made strong for yourself.

18Then we will never turn back from you; give us life, and we will call on your name.

19Restore us, O Lord God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved.

Isaiah 65:17-25

17For I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the former things shall not be remembered or come to mind. 18But be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight. 19I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and delight in my people; no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it, or the cry of distress. 20No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. 21They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands. 23They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord— and their descendants as well. 24Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. 25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent—its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord.

John 14:18-31

18”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. 19In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. 20On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. 21They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.” 22Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will reveal yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.

25”I have said these things to you while I am still with you. 26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

28You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. 29And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe. 30I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me; 31but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us be on our way.

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

Here Come the Antichrists! 041912

 

The Lord is my Good Shepherd

The Lord is my Good Shepherd (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Here Come the Antichrists! 041912

1 John 2 warns us that in the last hour, many antichrists will come to us.

It may be difficult to tell the antichrists from the disciples. When I was a very young and stupid man, I was hitchhiking in California and got picked up by a man who was a very angry and upsetting Christian. His name was Jim Jones, who later led to a mass suicide of followers by drinking Kool-Aid poisoned with arsenic.  His was a sad story, I think, but in retrospect, was he a disciple or an antichrist?

We all often meet and talk to disciples who are very angry and very upset. Upset with politics and politicians, economies and economists, etc. I worry about disciples who are so angry and hateful. I remember that Jesus went to the cross and died without a single angry or hateful word.

I don’t even know how long an hour is in God’s time. Are we near the end? Maybe we’ve been near the end for thousands of years, and plagued by antichrists since Jesus ascended to his father.

Pray for peace

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 4

Daniel 9:1-19

1 John 2:18-25

Psalm 4

1Answer me when I call, O God of my right! You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.

2How long, you people, shall my honor suffer shame? How long will you love vain words, and seek after lies? Selah

3But know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.

4When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Selah

5Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord.

6There are many who say, “O that we might see some good! Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”

7You have put gladness in my heart more than when their grain and wine abound.

8I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

Daniel 9:1-19

9In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus, by birth a Mede, who became king over the realm of the Chaldeans— 2in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, perceived in the books the number of years that, according to the word of the Lord to the prophet Jeremiah, must be fulfilled for the devastation of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 3Then I turned to the Lord God, to seek an answer by prayer and supplication with fasting and sackcloth and ashes.

4I prayed to the Lord my God and made confession, saying, “Ah, Lord, great and awesome God, keeping covenant and steadfast love with those who love you and keep your commandments, 5we have sinned and done wrong, acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from your commandments and ordinances. 6We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes, and our ancestors, and to all the people of the land. 7Righteousness is on your side, O Lord, but open shame, as at this day, falls on us, the people of Judah, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away, in all the lands to which you have driven them, because of the treachery that they have committed against you. 8Open shame, O Lord, falls on us, our kings, our officials, and our ancestors, because we have sinned against you. 9To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against him, 10and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by following his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets. 11“All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside, refusing to obey your voice. So the curse and the oath written in the law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured out upon us, because we have sinned against you. 12He has confirmed his words, which he spoke against us and against our rulers, by bringing upon us a calamity so great that what has been done against Jerusalem has never before been done under the whole heaven. 13Just as it is written in the law of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us. We did not entreat the favor of the Lord our God, turning from our iniquities and reflecting on his fidelity. 14So the Lord kept watch over this calamity until he brought it upon us. Indeed, the Lord our God is right in all that he has done; for we have disobeyed his voice. 15“And now, O Lord our God, who brought your people out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and made your name renowned even to this day—we have sinned, we have done wickedly. 16O Lord, in view of all your righteous acts, let your anger and wrath, we pray, turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy mountain; because of our sins and the iniquities of our ancestors, Jerusalem and your people have become a disgrace among all our neighbors. 17Now therefore, O our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his supplication, and for your own sake, Lord, let your face shine upon your desolated sanctuary. 18Incline your ear, O my God, and hear. Open your eyes and look at our desolation and the city that bears your name. We do not present our supplication before you on the ground of our righteousness, but on the ground of your great mercies. 19O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and act and do not delay! For your own sake, O my God, because your city and your people bear your name!”

1 John 2:18-25

18Children, it is the last hour! As you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. From this we know that it is the last hour. 19They went out from us, but they did not belong to us; for if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us. But by going out they made it plain that none of them belongs to us.

20But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and all of you have knowledge. 21I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and you know that no lie comes from the truth. 22Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 23No one who denies the Son has the Father; everyone who confesses the Son has the Father also. 24Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.

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 Difference Between 041712

 

Français : Antiquité égyptienne du musée du Lo...

Français : Antiquité égyptienne du musée du Louvre. Amulette en forme de contrepoids de collier au nom de Darius Ier English: Counterpoise amulet of (Pharaoh)-King Darius I (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

The Difference Between 041712

While reading today’s scriptures from top to bottom the difference between the end of the selection from Daniel and the beginning of the selection from 1 John are striking.

Daniel ends with King Darius executing Daniel’s accusers, their wives and children. The lions in the den break their bones before they reach the bottom. No one expresses horror.

But in 1John 12 ‘… your sins are forgiven on account of his name.’

And with these words, we know the difference between history before Jesus, and history after Jesus. It seems before Jesus that no one thought that executing a group of people including women and children ‘by lion’s den’ was excessive, unjust or horrible.

But after Jesus we have forgiveness, instead of death. And we are expected to forgive those who we think have sinned.

Pray for this peace of Jesus Christ in our lives.

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 135

Daniel 6:1-28

1 John 2:12-17

 

Psalm 135

1Praise the Lord! Praise the name of the Lord; give praise, O servants of the Lord,

2you that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God.

3Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing to his name, for he is gracious.

4For the Lord has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.

5For I know that the Lord is great; our Lord is above all gods.

6Whatever the Lord pleases he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.

7He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth; he makes lightnings for the rain and brings out the wind from his storehouses.

8He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both human beings and animals;

9he sent signs and wonders into your midst, O Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants.

10He struck down many nations and killed mighty kings—

11Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan—

12and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.

13Your name, O Lord, endures forever, your renown, O Lord, throughout all ages.

14For the Lord will vindicate his people, and have compassion on his servants.

15The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.

16They have mouths, but they do not speak; they have eyes, but they do not see;

17they have ears, but they do not hear, and there is no breath in their mouths.

18Those who make them and all who trust them shall become like them.

19O house of Israel, bless the Lord! O house of Aaron, bless the Lord!

20O house of Levi, bless the Lord! You that fear the Lord, bless the Lord!

21Blessed be the Lord from Zion, he who resides in Jerusalem. Praise the Lord!

Daniel 6:1-28

6It pleased Darius to set over the kingdom one hundred twenty satraps, stationed throughout the whole kingdom, 2and over them three presidents, including Daniel; to these the satraps gave account, so that the king might suffer no loss. 3Soon Daniel distinguished himself above all the other presidents and satraps because an excellent spirit was in him, and the king planned to appoint him over the whole kingdom. 4So the presidents and the satraps tried to find grounds for complaint against Daniel in connection with the kingdom. But they could find no grounds for complaint or any corruption, because he was faithful, and no negligence or corruption could be found in him. 5The men said, “We shall not find any ground for complaint against this Daniel unless we find it in connection with the law of his God.”

6So the presidents and satraps conspired and came to the king and said to him, “O King Darius, live forever! 7All the presidents of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the counselors and the governors are agreed that the king should establish an ordinance and enforce an interdict, that whoever prays to anyone, divine or human, for thirty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions. 8Now, O king, establish the interdict and sign the document, so that it cannot be changed, according to the law of the Medes and the Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 9Therefore King Darius signed the document and interdict. 10Although Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he continued to go to his house, which had windows in its upper room open toward Jerusalem, and to get down on his knees three times a day to pray to his God and praise him, just as he had done previously.

11The conspirators came and found Daniel praying and seeking mercy before his God. 12Then they approached the king and said concerning the interdict, “O king! Did you not sign an interdict, that anyone who prays to anyone, divine or human, within thirty days except to you, O king, shall be thrown into a den of lions?” The king answered, “The thing stands fast, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which cannot be revoked.” 13Then they responded to the king, “Daniel, one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, O king, or to the interdict you have signed, but he is saying his prayers three times a day.” 14When the king heard the charge, he was very much distressed. He was determined to save Daniel, and until the sun went down he made every effort to rescue him. 15Then the conspirators came to the king and said to him, “Know, O king, that it is a law of the Medes and Persians that no interdict or ordinance that the king establishes can be changed.” 16Then the king gave the command, and Daniel was brought and thrown into the den of lions. The king said to Daniel, “May your God, whom you faithfully serve, deliver you!” 17A stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, so that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.

18Then the king went to his palace and spent the night fasting; no food was brought to him, and sleep fled from him. 19Then, at break of day, the king got up and hurried to the den of lions. 20When he came near the den where Daniel was, he cried out anxiously to Daniel, “O Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God whom you faithfully serve been able to deliver you from the lions?” 21Daniel then said to the king, “O king, live forever! 22My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths so that they would not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong.” 23Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God. 24The king gave a command, and those who had accused Daniel were brought and thrown into the den of lions—they, their children, and their wives. Before they reached the bottom of the den the lions overpowered them and broke all their bones in pieces.

25Then King Darius wrote to all peoples and nations of every language throughout the whole world: “May you have abundant prosperity! 26I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion people should tremble and fear before the God of Daniel: For he is the living God, enduring forever. His kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion has no end. 27He delivers and rescues, he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth; for he has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.” 28So this Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

1 John 2:12-17

12I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven on account of his name. 13I am writing to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young people, because you have conquered the evil one. 14I write to you, children, because you know the Father. I write to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning. I write to you, young people, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one. 15Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; 16for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17And the world and its desire are passing away, but those who do the will of God live forever.

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

How to Use Nard / Holy Week 040212

Spikenard Berries

Spikenard Berries -The Plant Source of Nard

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

How to Use Nard/Holy Week 040212

In today’s gospel reading from John, Mary uses a perfume made of a pound of pure nard to anoint Jesus’ head, and then uses her own hair to dry Jesus’ hair. It is a most personal, most human and individual, up close physical anecdote of Jesus’ life. It is not a story of a person out there, or over there. Instead, it a Jesus next to me, being comforted by an ordinary human being and being comforted like an ordinary human being.

Botanically, Nard, from which the perfume is made, comes from high altitudes in India and Tibet. Even though Nard was expensive, it was available and shows the international, cosmopolitan nature of Jerusalem and Israel in the 1st Century AD. (There rumors of Jesus traveling to Tibet during his ‘lost years’. This is fascinating although highly speculative. But, he could have traveled to Tibet).

Nard comes from a plant which is related to Valerian, a mild sedative, as is Nard. The mood in the room that evening, with Lazarus, the 12 disciples, Jesus, Mary and Martha is one of caring and comfort for the road weary group of scraggly, dusty travelers come to Jerusalem for Passover. They are to share a last supper with Jesus.

This detail seems a small one, and it is a small detail, but it is exactly this type of detail that make the gospel real. Someone in the room that evening would remember the warmth, the love, the glow of disciples seeking Jesus, and seeking and finding God. The smell of nard would also remain a vivid memory in each of their memory, and remains an effective, powerful detail in the story as told. It is the kind of detail that is extremely important to one who was there!

Do you remember of your mother cooking breakfast in the morning, before you were wakened for school? Do you remember what a loved one smells like after they are goner? Smell is a most potent form of memory.

The image of Jesus in a room, lounging, talking, eating and drinking, and also probably laughing or crying, with his disciples, and the heavy smell of Nard in the room, with a small lamp glow on the walls around them-this is an image with which to begin Holy Week.

In less than a week Jesus will be captured, tied and bound, scourged (which is akin to deliberately skinning a live person), dragged through the streets and scorn of Jerusalem and humiliated while nailed to a cross until death. I wish I could have stopped that suffering, as we all wish we could stop all suffering of innocent life, everywhere. We can not at once do this, and have not been able to do so for 2,000 years.

But we, too are comforted, as Jesus was comforted that evening by the presence of his friends and disciples (maybe those two words should become one word). We believe Jesus was comforted by God, as we are also comforted when we call upon God, but it is good and restful to know Jesus, as a human being, was comforted by his close friends, the warmth of the food and wine, and the heavy smell of Nard.

Pray for peace,

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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M02        Monday of Holy Week

Isaiah 42:1-9

Psalm 36:5-11

Hebrews 9:11-15

John 12:1-11

 

Isaiah 42:1-9

42Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

5Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, 7to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. 9See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.

Psalm 36:5-11

5Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.

6Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O Lord.

7How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

8They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

9For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.

10O continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your salvation to the upright of heart!

11Do not let the foot of the arrogant tread on me, or the hand of the wicked drive me away.

Hebrews 9:11-15

11But when Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), 12he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. 13For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, 14how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

15For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, because a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant.

John 12:1-11

12Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, 5“Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” 6(He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) 7Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. 8You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” 9When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came not only because of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 10So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death as well, 11since it was on account of him that many of the Jews were deserting and were believing in Jesus.

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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