Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Jesu’

To God We Say ‘Yes, Yes, Yes’

Dog Days of Summer (film)

Dog Days of Summer (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wishbone's Dog Days of the West

Wishbone’s Dog Days of the West (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sirius in Canis major constellation

Sirius in Canis major constellation (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 49:1-12 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2049:1-12&version=MSG

 

Proverbs 23:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs%2023:1-11&version=MSG

 

Romans 11:33-36 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%2011:33-36&version=MSG

 

To God We Say ‘Yes, Yes, Yes

 

Spirituality in general, and Christianity go so easy when we just say ‘Yes’ to God. I wonder how much misery, loneliness and darkness humanity suffers simply for not saying ‘Yes’ to God.

 

Jesus made it so easy for us, not by becoming a substitute for our sins, but by walking a path to God. Jesus had to pray and fast for forty days to connect to God, but we, as disciples of Christ have a paved path to walk to God. And it seems that just saying yes to God every day is that path.

 

In the middle US it is the part of summer called the Dog Days. It is called this because, according to history, the Dog Days of summer were associated with the constellation Canis Major (Big Dog) and its brightest star, Sirius. In Missouri is it usually stifling hot, so you can’t breathe, and also humid, so you can’t breathe. People stay inside a majority of the time, and excursions outside are mostly brief.

 

As a result, the Dog Days are isolating and boring. It’s too uncomfortable to go anywhere, and staying inside and at home becomes boring. Yet beyond the quiet, too much quiet of Dog Days we still have the opportunity to say ‘Yes’ to God. Before the approach of fall, when a new season work begins for many people, we have this quiet to meditate, pray and say yes every chance we get.

 

Psalm 49:12 says: 12 We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.

 

Take it easy in the heat, or if you’re south of the equator, beware of the cold. Each will soon pass.

 

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 49:1-12

The Message (MSG)

A Psalm of the Sons of Korah

49 1-2 Listen, everyone, listen—
earth-dwellers, don’t miss this.
All you haves
and have-nots,
All together now: listen.

3-4 I set plainspoken wisdom before you,
my heart-seasoned understandings of life.
I fine-tuned my ear to the sayings of the wise,
I solve life’s riddle with the help of a harp.

5-6 So why should I fear in bad times,
hemmed in by enemy malice,
Shoved around by bullies,
demeaned by the arrogant rich?

7-9 Really! There’s no such thing as self-rescue,
pulling yourself up by your bootstraps.
The cost of rescue is beyond our means,
and even then it doesn’t guarantee
Life forever, or insurance
against the Black Hole.

10-11 Anyone can see that the brightest and best die,
wiped out right along with fools and dunces.
They leave all their prowess behind,
move into their new home, The Coffin,
The cemetery their permanent address.
And to think they named counties after themselves!

12 We aren’t immortal. We don’t last long.
Like our dogs, we age and weaken. And die.

Proverbs 23:1-11

The Message (MSG)

Restrain Yourself

6

23 1-3 When you go out to dinner with an influential person,
mind your manners:
Don’t gobble your food,
don’t talk with your mouth full.
And don’t stuff yourself;
bridle your appetite.

7

4-5 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich;
restrain yourself!
Riches disappear in the blink of an eye;
wealth sprouts wings
and flies off into the wild blue yonder.

8

6-8 Don’t accept a meal from a tightwad;
don’t expect anything special.
He’ll be as stingy with you as he is with himself;
he’ll say, “Eat! Drink!” but won’t mean a word of it.
His miserly serving will turn your stomach
when you realize the meal’s a sham.

9

9 Don’t bother talking sense to fools;
they’ll only poke fun at your words.

10

10-11 Don’t stealthily move back the boundary lines
or cheat orphans out of their property,
For they have a powerful Advocate
who will go to bat for them.

Romans 11:33-36

The Message (MSG)

33-36 Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.

Is there anyone around who can explain God?
Anyone smart enough to tell him what to do?
Anyone who has done him such a huge favor
that God has to ask his advice?
Everything comes from him;
Everything happens through him;
Everything ends up in him.
Always glory! Always praise!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

The Two Most Important Things To Do Are…..

Detail - Glory of the New Born Christ in prese...

Detail – Glory of the New Born Christ in presence of God Father and the Holy Spirit (Annakirche, Vienna) Adam and Eva are represented bellow Jesus-Christ Ceiling painting made by Daniel Gran (1694-1757). Post-processing: perspective and fade correction. (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 55:16-23 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2055:16-23&version=MSG

 

Esther 6:1—7:6 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Esther%206:1%E2%80%947:6&version=MSG

 

Romans 9:30—10:4 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%209:30%E2%80%9410:4&version=MSG

 

The Two Most Important Things To Do Are…..

 

Unless I miscomprehended our most recent previous post talked about the problem with doctrine, and that it has to be kept in rather strict control or is a threat to the community of discipleship. It gets in our way, and as a result, we fail to be in communion, as Jesus behaved.

 

This brings us back to the title of today’s blog entry. We decided on the purpose(s) of this blog, and the most important of purposes. First we want to encourage and promote the daily reading of the Bible, and second, we wish to encourage daily prayer; each individual to God.

 

We hope that whatever doctrine your community believes is frankly, your business. Somehow, it seems inappropriate for an online website to spend your time arguing a particular viewpoint, and we hope your relationships in a community of Christ provides the essential community, which an online community cannot pretend to be. You can’t share a cup of coffee, or a beer and you can’t hold hands, eat supper, shake hands or hug online, and we should not miss our face-to-face personal Christian community. We all discern the Holy Spirit together in a way we cannot experience it alone.

 

So, our blog continues with this general idea—to encourage readers to read their Bible every day, and hopefully, discuss it with friends. And above all, talk personally this day to God. Talk to God, if you will, in a simple quiet and honest manner.

 

And what will happen? Experience it for yourself, with your family and friends, and with your life. It comes around on its own when one reads the Bible daily, and daily prays to God.

Pray for peace.

Pastor Bill

 

 

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

Pray with us!

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

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

 

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

Psalm 55:16-23

The Message (MSG)

16-19 I call to God;
God will help me.
At dusk, dawn, and noon I sigh
deep sighs—he hears, he rescues.
My life is well and whole, secure
in the middle of danger
Even while thousands
are lined up against me.
God hears it all, and from his judge’s bench
puts them in their place.
But, set in their ways, they won’t change;
they pay him no mind.

20-21 And this, my best friend, betrayed his best friends;
his life betrayed his word.
All my life I’ve been charmed by his speech,
never dreaming he’d turn on me.
His words, which were music to my ears,
turned to daggers in my heart.

22-23 Pile your troubles on God’s shoulders—
he’ll carry your load, he’ll help you out.
He’ll never let good people
topple into ruin.
But you, God, will throw the others
into a muddy bog,
Cut the lifespan of assassins
and traitors in half.

And I trust in you.

Esther 6-7:6

The Message (MSG)

6 1-2 That night the king couldn’t sleep. He ordered the record book, the day-by-day journal of events, to be brought and read to him. They came across the story there about the time that Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh—the two royal eunuchs who guarded the entrance and who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.

3 The king asked, “What great honor was given to Mordecai for this?”

“Nothing,” replied the king’s servants who were in attendance. “Nothing has been done for him.”

4 The king said, “Is there anybody out in the court?”

Now Haman had just come into the outer court of the king’s palace to talk to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows he had built for him.

5 The king’s servants said, “Haman is out there, waiting in the court.”

“Bring him in,” said the king.

6-9 When Haman entered, the king said, “What would be appropriate for the man the king especially wants to honor?”

Haman thought to himself, “He must be talking about honoring me—who else?” So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, do this: Bring a royal robe that the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crown on its head. Then give the robe and the horse to one of the king’s most noble princes. Have him robe the man whom the king especially wants to honor; have the prince lead him on horseback through the city square, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man whom the king especially wants to honor!’”

10 “Go and do it,” the king said to Haman. “Don’t waste another minute. Take the robe and horse and do what you have proposed to Mordecai the Jew who sits at the King’s Gate. Don’t leave out a single detail of your plan.”

11 So Haman took the robe and horse; he robed Mordecai and led him through the city square, proclaiming before him, “This is what is done for the man whom the king especially wants to honor!”

12-13 Then Mordecai returned to the King’s Gate, but Haman fled to his house, thoroughly mortified, hiding his face. When Haman had finished telling his wife Zeresh and all his friends everything that had happened to him, his knowledgeable friends who were there and his wife Zeresh said, “If this Mordecai is in fact a Jew, your bad luck has only begun. You don’t stand a chance against him—you’re as good as ruined.”

14 While they were still talking, the king’s eunuchs arrived and hurried Haman off to the dinner that Esther had prepared.

7 1-2 So the king and Haman went to dinner with Queen Esther. At this second dinner, while they were drinking wine the king again asked, “Queen Esther, what would you like? Half of my kingdom! Just ask and it’s yours.”

3 Queen Esther answered, “If I have found favor in your eyes, O King, and if it please the king, give me my life, and give my people their lives.

4 “We’ve been sold, I and my people, to be destroyed—sold to be massacred, eliminated. If we had just been sold off into slavery, I wouldn’t even have brought it up; our troubles wouldn’t have been worth bothering the king over.”

5 King Xerxes exploded, “Who? Where is he? This is monstrous!”

6 “An enemy. An adversary. This evil Haman,” said Esther.

Haman was terror-stricken before the king and queen.

The Simple Joy 072813

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/

 

Genesis 18:20-32 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=%20Genesis%2018:20-32&version=MSG

Psalm 138 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20138&version=MSG

Colossians 2:6-1-19 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Colossians%202:6-19&version=MSG

Luke 11:1-13

 

The Simple Joy 072813

Over the past several weeks I’ve had the time to sit and intently read book after book of studies, reflections and discussions of Jesus, the New Testament, the church and our life together as disciples. I’ve read from, in fact I tried to read from, as many different religious viewpoints as I could.

I’ve come away from reading so much with a deep confusion about Christianity, but a clearer walk with Jesus. I realize that I have few hard chiseled ideas or opinions about any of the contrasting approaches to Jesus and Christianity. In fact, I don’t think I could recommend or criticize any particular view about Christianity. From Evangelism, Fundamentals, to Gnosticism and mystic Chrisitanity I don’t think I’m qualified to recommend one view over another . But in a meta-analysis of all together, it seems there is a God, and Jesus beyond the variations humankind sometimes focuses upon. How many times have you met another Christian, and in friendly conversation two disciples will focus upon how their beliefs differ, rather than find the common simple joy we share.

Over all, this leads one to consider a particular doctrine as less important, as less profound and meaningful than it was previously thought. When we recall the history of our church, we could count the thousands that suffered and died as a result of minor doctrinal differences. For instance I may or may not believe that God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are three-in-one, or not. But I will not be found killing someone over a difference over this doctrine, or any other. Doctrine is a collection of beliefs and ideas, and they bear discussion, but not violence.

Pray for peace. Read the Bible every day.

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.

 

Genesis 18:20-32

Psalm 138

Colossians 2:6-15 [16-19]

Luke 11:1-13

 

Genesis 18:20-32

The Message (MSG)

20-21 God continued, “The cries of the victims in Sodom and Gomorrah are deafening; the sin of those cities is immense. I’m going down to see for myself, see if what they’re doing is as bad as it sounds. Then I’ll know.”

22 The men set out for Sodom, but Abraham stood in God’s path, blocking his way.

23-25 Abraham confronted him, “Are you serious? Are you planning on getting rid of the good people right along with the bad? What if there are fifty decent people left in the city; will you lump the good with the bad and get rid of the lot? Wouldn’t you spare the city for the sake of those fifty innocents? I can’t believe you’d do that, kill off the good and the bad alike as if there were no difference between them. Doesn’t the Judge of all the Earth judge with justice?”

26 God said, “If I find fifty decent people in the city of Sodom, I’ll spare the place just for them.”

27-28 Abraham came back, “Do I, a mere mortal made from a handful of dirt, dare open my mouth again to my Master? What if the fifty fall short by five—would you destroy the city because of those missing five?”

He said, “I won’t destroy it if there are forty-five.”

29 Abraham spoke up again, “What if you only find forty?”

“Neither will I destroy it if for forty.”

30 He said, “Master, don’t be irritated with me, but what if only thirty are found?”

“No, I won’t do it if I find thirty.”

31 He pushed on, “I know I’m trying your patience, Master, but how about for twenty?”

“I won’t destroy it for twenty.”

32 He wouldn’t quit, “Don’t get angry, Master—this is the last time. What if you only come up with ten?”

“For the sake of only ten, I won’t destroy the city.”

Psalm 138

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

138 1-3 Thank you! Everything in me says “Thank you!”
Angels listen as I sing my thanks.
I kneel in worship facing your holy temple
and say it again: “Thank you!”
Thank you for your love,
thank you for your faithfulness;
Most holy is your name,
most holy is your Word.
The moment I called out, you stepped in;
you made my life large with strength.

4-6 When they hear what you have to say, God,
all earth’s kings will say “Thank you.”
They’ll sing of what you’ve done:
“How great the glory of God!”
And here’s why: God, high above, sees far below;
no matter the distance, he knows everything about us.

7-8 When I walk into the thick of trouble,
keep me alive in the angry turmoil.
With one hand
strike my foes,
With your other hand
save me.
Finish what you started in me, God.
Your love is eternal—don’t quit on me now.

Colossians 2:6-19

The Message (MSG)

From the Shadows to the Substance

6-7 My counsel for you is simple and straightforward: Just go ahead with what you’ve been given. You received Christ Jesus, the Master; now live him. You’re deeply rooted in him. You’re well constructed upon him. You know your way around the faith. Now do what you’ve been taught. School’s out; quit studying the subject and start living it! And let your living spill over into thanksgiving.

8-10 Watch out for people who try to dazzle you with big words and intellectual double-talk. They want to drag you off into endless arguments that never amount to anything. They spread their ideas through the empty traditions of human beings and the empty superstitions of spirit beings. But that’s not the way of Christ. Everything of God gets expressed in him, so you can see and hear him clearly. You don’t need a telescope, a microscope, or a horoscope to realize the fullness of Christ, and the emptiness of the universe without him. When you come to him, that fullness comes together for you, too. His power extends over everything.

11-15 Entering into this fullness is not something you figure out or achieve. It’s not a matter of being circumcised or keeping a long list of laws. No, you’re already in—insiders—not through some secretive initiation rite but rather through what Christ has already gone through for you, destroying the power of sin. If it’s an initiation ritual you’re after, you’ve already been through it by submitting to baptism. Going under the water was a burial of your old life; coming up out of it was a resurrection, God raising you from the dead as he did Christ. When you were stuck in your old sin-dead life, you were incapable of responding to God. God brought you alive—right along with Christ! Think of it! All sins forgiven, the slate wiped clean, that old arrest warrant canceled and nailed to Christ’s cross. He stripped all the spiritual tyrants in the universe of their sham authority at the Cross and marched them naked through the streets.

16-17 So don’t put up with anyone pressuring you in details of diet, worship services, or holy days. All those things are mere shadows cast before what was to come; the substance is Christ.

18-19 Don’t tolerate people who try to run your life, ordering you to bow and scrape, insisting that you join their obsession with angels and that you seek out visions. They’re a lot of hot air, that’s all they are. They’re completely out of touch with the source of life, Christ, who puts us together in one piece, whose very breath and blood flow through us. He is the Head and we are the body. We can grow up healthy in God only as he nourishes us.

Luke 11:1-13

The Message (MSG)

Ask for What You Need

11 One day he was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Master, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples.”

2-4 So he said, “When you pray, say,

Father,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.”

5-6 Then he said, “Imagine what would happen if you went to a friend in the middle of the night and said, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread. An old friend traveling through just showed up, and I don’t have a thing on hand.’

7 “The friend answers from his bed, ‘Don’t bother me. The door’s locked; my children are all down for the night; I can’t get up to give you anything.’

8 “But let me tell you, even if he won’t get up because he’s a friend, if you stand your ground, knocking and waking all the neighbors, he’ll finally get up and get you whatever you need.

9 “Here’s what I’m saying:

Ask and you’ll get;
Seek and you’ll find;
Knock and the door will open.

10-13 “Don’t bargain with God. Be direct. Ask for what you need. This is not a cat-and-mouse, hide-and-seek game we’re in. If your little boy asks for a serving of fish, do you scare him with a live snake on his plate? If your little girl asks for an egg, do you trick her with a spider? As bad as you are, you wouldn’t think of such a thing—you’re at least decent to your own children. And don’t you think the Father who conceived you in love will give the Holy Spirit when you ask him?”

 

Saint George Preca has been likened as a succe...

Saint George Preca has been likened as a successor to Saint Paul’s evangelical work on the island of Malta. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Would Bonhoeffer Do? (WWBD) 071313

Westminster Abbey, West Door, Four of the ten ...

Westminster Abbey, West Door, Four of the ten 20th Century- Mother Elizabeth of Russia, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Archbishop Oscar Romero, and Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Kirche Lindenthal, Cologne...

Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Kirche Lindenthal, Cologne, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 25:1-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2025:1-10&version=MSG

Leviticus 19:1-4, 32-37 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Leviticus%2019:1-4,%2032-37&version=MSG

John 3:16-21 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%203:16-21&version=MSG

 

What Would Bonhoeffer Do? (WWBD) 071313

 

The past several weeks I’ve had the chance to read extensively. It is a rare opportunity and one I’ve hoped for, for years. When one is raising chidren, and working too many hours a week to take care of a family the opportunities to sit and read in a focused quiet manner are few. Children, thank God, are noisy and usually happy, and the worries of work and money always seem to intrude.

But I’ve had a chance to sit back, put my feet up and read uninterrupted for hours at a time. The extensive writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer engaged me long ago, and when the opportunity came to read and think in a focused manner I took it.

By way of background, Bonhoeffer was a German theologian at a time when the words ‘German’ and ‘theologian’ didn’t fit together so well prior to World War II. The vast majority of Bonhoeffer’s peers and contemporaries swore allegiance to the Nazi Church, which included swearing allegiance to Adolf Hitler.

Bonhoeffer refused to swear the oath of allegiance and began preaching against persecution of the Jews, intellectuals, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally disabled and everyone else that the Nazi’s decided were not ‘pure German’. Several friends persuaded Bonhoeffer to flee, first to England, and then to the United States.

But Bonhoeffer returned to German, knowning it would expose him personally to certain danger. Eventually, Bonhoeffer was arrested and sent to a concentration camp. He was executed by hanging just days before Allied troops liberated the death camp.

But my question, and the title of today’s blog is what would Bonhoeffer do in today’s political environment? I realize many of us are accustomed to expecting our discipleship to exempt us from national and world politics, but we have to remember that when Jesus went to Jerusalem and to the temple it was to challenge the religious authority that was there (‘the priest’) and the Roman Imperial government that also sat in authority at the temple. The temple was both the headquarters of religion and the headquarters of the government. Jesus walked into the middle of that whole mess, spoke his truth, and was executed.

In our world today, what would Bonhoeffer say about the persecution of minorities in the world? What would Jesus say and do? Have we ever, as an invading people ever provided God’s love and justice to Native Americans, to Hispanic immigrants and others, and to the economically disadvantaged in our midst?

We all know that Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation  about 160 years ago, so why aren’t racial minorities an equal part of this society? Why does racial injustice continue?

Bonhoeffer was very clear that the church of Jesus was to live in community and to include in that community those in need of God’s justice—just exactly as God has given us justice. In fact, for Bonhoeffer, church means creating a community for the protection and care of the weak and oppressed.

My goodness, what has happened to the church? If we took a survey, I’d bet we could find more church resources being spent on new pew cushions, new air conditioning systems, and new technology for ‘churches’ than is spent on the poor. We’re in serious trouble with God, I think, if we expect to ride to heaven on a comfortable butt-pad, in a climate controlled environment. We are more likely to enter heaven on our knees, while carrying the poor on our backs.

Please feel free to pass this blog around. I really would be heartbroken about the failure of the church, were it not for Bonhoeffer and Jesus.

Pray for peace,

Pastor Bill

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

Pray with us!

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

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

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

Psalm 25:1-10

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

25 1-2 My head is high, God, held high;
I’m looking to you, God;
No hangdog skulking for me.

I’ve thrown in my lot with you;
You won’t embarrass me, will you?
Or let my enemies get the best of me?

Don’t embarrass any of us
Who went out on a limb for you.
It’s the traitors who should be humiliated.

Show me how you work, God;
School me in your ways.

Take me by the hand;
Lead me down the path of truth.
You are my Savior, aren’t you?

Mark the milestones of your mercy and love, God;
Rebuild the ancient landmarks!

Forget that I sowed wild oats;
Mark me with your sign of love.
Plan only the best for me, God!

God is fair and just;
He corrects the misdirected,
Sends them in the right direction.

He gives the rejects his hand,
And leads them step-by-step.

10 From now on every road you travel
Will take you to God.
Follow the Covenant signs;
Read the charted directions.

Leviticus 19:1-4

The Message (MSG)

“I Am God, Your God”

19 1-2 God spoke to Moses: “Speak to the congregation of Israel. Tell them, Be holy because I, God, your God, am holy.

“Every one of you must respect his mother and father.

“Keep my Sabbaths. I am God, your God.

“Don’t take up with no-god idols. Don’t make gods of cast metal. I am God, your God.

Leviticus 19:32-37

The Message (MSG)

32 “Show respect to the aged; honor the presence of an elder; fear your God. I am God.

33-34 “When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love him like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God.

35-36 “Don’t cheat when measuring length, weight, or quantity. Use honest scales and weights and measures. I am God, your God. I brought you out of Egypt.

37 “Keep all my decrees and all my laws. Yes, do them. I am God.”

John 3:16-21

The Message (MSG)

16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

19-21 “This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”

Insiders/Outsiders 061113

Riverside Mennonite Church

Riverside Mennonite Church (Photo credit: Mennonite Church USA Archives)

 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 68:1-10, 19-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2068:1-10,%2019-20&version=MSG

 

Judges 11:29-40 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges%2011:29-40&version=MSG

 

Galatians 2:11-14 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians%202:11-14&version=MSG

 

Insiders/Outsiders 061113

Its a cruel fact of human life—somehow we’ve grown the tendency of making and maintaining all kinds of inside vs outside distinctions. We just can’t find enough reasons to separate ourselves from others. I suppose one could find reasons for distinctions and comparisons, such as safety, efficiency etc but the end result is not social utility, something useful. Instead, the result is loneliness.

In fact, there is a relief, an easing that comes when one lives in order to be as common as possible, as simple as possible. The world somehow strives to reley and function based upon isolation and separation. In contrast is the call to be a kingdom and a kingdom people.

By Jesus, all are included.

Pray for Peace,

Pastor Bill

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

Pray with us!

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

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

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

Psalm 68:1-10

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

68 1-4 Up with God!
Down with his enemies!
Adversaries, run for the hills!
Gone like a puff of smoke,
like a blob of wax in the fire—
one look at God and the wicked vanish.
When the righteous see God in action
they’ll laugh, they’ll sing,
they’ll laugh and sing for joy.
Sing hymns to God;
all heaven, sing out;
clear the way for the coming of Cloud-Rider.
Enjoy God,
cheer when you see him!

5-6 Father of orphans,
champion of widows,
is God in his holy house.
God makes homes for the homeless,
leads prisoners to freedom,
but leaves rebels to rot in hell.

7-10 God, when you took the lead with your people,
when you marched out into the wild,
Earth shook, sky broke out in a sweat;
God was on the march.
Even Sinai trembled at the sight of God on the move,
at the sight of Israel’s God.
You pour out rain in buckets, O God;
thorn and cactus become an oasis
For your people to camp in and enjoy.
You set them up in business;
they went from rags to riches.

Judges 11:29-40

The Message (MSG)

29-31 God’s Spirit came upon Jephthah. He went across Gilead and Manasseh, went through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there approached the Ammonites. Jephthah made a vow before God: “If you give me a clear victory over the Ammonites, then I’ll give to God whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in one piece from among the Ammonites—I’ll offer it up in a sacrificial burnt offering.”

32-33 Then Jephthah was off to fight the Ammonites. And God gave them to him. He beat them soundly, all the way from Aroer to the area around Minnith as far as Abel Keramim—twenty cities! A massacre! Ammonites brought to their knees by the People of Israel.

34-35 Jephthah came home to Mizpah. His daughter ran from the house to welcome him home—dancing to tambourines! She was his only child. He had no son or daughter except her. When he realized who it was, he ripped his clothes, saying, “Ah, dearest daughter—I’m dirt. I’m despicable. My heart is torn to shreds. I made a vow to God and I can’t take it back!”

36 She said, “Dear father, if you made a vow to God, do to me what you vowed; God did his part and saved you from your Ammonite enemies.”

37 And then she said to her father, “But let this one thing be done for me. Give me two months to wander through the hills and lament my virginity since I will never marry, I and my dear friends.”

38-39 “Oh yes, go,” he said. He sent her off for two months. She and her dear girlfriends went among the hills, lamenting that she would never marry. At the end of the two months, she came back to her father. He fulfilled the vow with her that he had made. She had never slept with a man.

39-40 It became a custom in Israel that for four days every year the young women of Israel went out to mourn for the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

Galatians 2:11-14

The Message (MSG)

11-13 Later, when Peter came to Antioch, I had a face-to-face confrontation with him because he was clearly out of line. Here’s the situation. Earlier, before certain persons had come from James, Peter regularly ate with the non-Jews. But when that conservative group came from Jerusalem, he cautiously pulled back and put as much distance as he could manage between himself and his non-Jewish friends. That’s how fearful he was of the conservative Jewish clique that’s been pushing the old system of circumcision. Unfortunately, the rest of the Jews in the Antioch church joined in that hypocrisy so that even Barnabas was swept along in the charade.

14 But when I saw that they were not maintaining a steady, straight course according to the Message, I spoke up to Peter in front of them all: “If you, a Jew, live like a non-Jew when you’re not being observed by the watchdogs from Jerusalem, what right do you have to require non-Jews to conform to Jewish customs just to make a favorable impression on your old Jerusalem cronies?”

Enough for a Day? 052313

Icon of the Pentecost

Icon of the Pentecost (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
104:24-34, 35b
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20104:24-34,%2035b&version=MSG

 

Isaiah
32:11-17
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah%2032:11-17%20&version=MSG

 

Galatians
5:16-25
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians%205:16-25&version=MSG

 

 

 

Enough
for a Day? 052313

 

 

If
you have been faithfully reading these Bible verses each, this may
have occurred to you already. It may have come to you that although
the Bible verses are ‘sufficient unto the day’, when you read the
Bible day to dau it sometimes seems overwhelming.

 

 

In
a way, I take daily refuge in the Psalms, because they are poetry and
carry a deep daily beauty. I need the daily Psalm many days just to
be able to read and consider the gospel verses and the Old Testament
verses.

 

 

But
the gospel is the gospel, we might say. The gospel is, after all, the
good news, and that’s cause for the most jubilant of celebrations.
Still, it fills me with a sense of dread.

 

 

I
have to carefully consider what I’m feeling here, and even more
careful about whether this dread might cause me to ignore the gospel
message. I don’t know how to do that by the way. How do you once
listen to Jesus and then quit listening to Jesus?

 

 

The
feeling of dread I’m feeling at reading the gospel is the shock of
seeing it speak so perfectly to the world as it now is. It seems
we’ve lost the Holy Spirit somewhere, and we’re living exactly the
opposite of what the gospels gently ask of us. I can’t look at the
greed, the violence, the hatred that guides the world, and when we
see goodness and charity they are the margin of modern life. Even
worse, the disappearance of spirituality from common life leaves us
in a darkness, a darkness more dark than the dark ages of humanity,
if we begin to see it. It’s ironic, but a life built upon money and
wealth becomes bankrupt and empty.

 

 

Pray
for peace,

 

Pastor
Bill

 

 

 

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

(Take out the extra spaces to use this e-mail—the spaces confuse
spam generators).

 

Pray
with us!

 

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

 

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

 

 

Subscribe
to our blog!

Delivery
daily by e-mail.

Click
the button on the right.

 

Psalm 104:24-35

 

The Message (MSG)

 

24-30 What a wildly wonderful
world, God!
You made it all, with Wisdom
at your side,
made earth overflow with
your wonderful creations.
Oh, look—the deep, wide
sea,
brimming with fish past
counting,
sardines and sharks and
salmon.
Ships plow those waters,
and
Leviathan, your pet dragon, romps in them.
All the creatures look
expectantly to you
to give them their
meals on time.
You come, and they gather around;
you
open your hand and they eat from it.
If you turned your
back,
they’d die in a minute—
Take
back your Spirit and they die,
revert to
original mud;
Send out your Spirit and they spring to
life—
the whole countryside in bloom and
blossom.

 

31-32 The glory of God—let it
last forever!
Let God enjoy his
creation!
He takes one look at earth and triggers an
earthquake,
points a finger at the
mountains, and volcanoes erupt.

 

33-35 Oh, let me sing to God all my
life long,
sing hymns to my God as long as
I live!
Oh, let my song please him;
I’m
so pleased to be singing to God.
But clear the ground of
sinners—
no more godless men and women!

 

O my soul, bless God!

 

Isaiah 32:11-20

 

The Message (MSG)

 

9-14 Take your stand, indolent
women!
Listen to me!
Indulgent,
indolent women,
listen closely to what I
have to say.
In just a little over a year from now,
you’ll
be shaken out of your lazy lives.
The grape harvest will
fail,
and there’ll be no fruit on the
trees.
Oh tremble, you indolent women.
Get
serious, you pampered dolls!
Strip down and discard your silk
fineries.
Put on funeral clothes.
Shed
honest tears for the lost harvest,
the
failed vintage.
Weep for my people’s gardens and farms
that
grow nothing but thistles and thornbushes.
Cry tears, real tears,
for the happy homes no longer happy,
the
merry city no longer merry.
The royal palace is deserted,
the
bustling city quiet as a morgue,
The emptied parks and
playgrounds
taken over by wild
animals,
delighted with their new home.

 

15-20 Yes, weep and grieve until
the Spirit is poured
down on us from
above
And the badlands desert grows crops
and
the fertile fields become forests.
Justice will move into the
badlands desert.
Right will build a home
in the fertile field.
And where there’s Right, there’ll be
Peace
and the progeny of Right: quiet
lives and endless trust.
My people will live in a peaceful
neighborhood—
in safe houses, in quiet
gardens.
The forest of your pride will be clear-cut,
the
city showing off your power leveled.
But you will enjoy a blessed
life,
planting well-watered fields and
gardens,
with your farm animals grazing
freely.

 

Galatians 5:16-26

 

The Message (MSG)

 

16-18 My counsel is this: Live
freely, animated and motivated by God’s Spirit. Then you won’t
feed the compulsions of selfishness. For there is a root of sinful
self-interest in us that is at odds with a free spirit, just as the
free spirit is incompatible with selfishness. These two ways of life
are antithetical, so that you cannot live at times one way and at
times another way according to how you feel on any given day. Why
don’t you choose to be led by the Spirit and so escape the erratic
compulsions of a law-dominated existence?

 

19-21 It is obvious what kind of
life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time:
repetitive, loveless, cheap sex; a stinking accumulation of mental
and emotional garbage; frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness;
trinket gods; magic-show religion; paranoid loneliness; cutthroat
competition; all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants; a brutal
temper; an impotence to love or be loved; divided homes and divided
lives; small-minded and lopsided pursuits; the vicious habit of
depersonalizing everyone into a rival; uncontrolled and
uncontrollable addictions; ugly parodies of community. I could go on.

 

This isn’t the first time I have warned you, you know. If you
use your freedom this way, you will not inherit God’s kingdom.

 

22-23 But what happens when we
live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way
that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others,
exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick
with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction
that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves
involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life,
able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

 

23-24 Legalism is helpless in
bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong
to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and
mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is
killed off for good—crucified.

 

25-26 Since this is the kind of
life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we
do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our
hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives.
That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of
us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things
to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

 

Jesus, the Prophet 052213

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

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

 

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

 

 

 

Ezekiel

3:12-21

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

 

 

 

Luke

9:18-27

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jesus, the Prophet 052213

 

 

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

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

prophets from long ago has come back.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

psychological and spiritual forgiveness in moving forward with Jesus,

and never moving back.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pray for peace,

 

 

 

Pastor Bill

 

 

 

Prayer List:

Peace Mennonite Church keeps a prayer list for those in need. If you

need prayer, or want to e-mail our pastor, e-mail billd

@ peacemennonitechurch.net

(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 29

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

A David Psalm

 

 

 

29 1-2 Bravo, God, bravo!
Gods

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

glory,
in awe before God’s visible

power.
Stand at attention!
Dress your

best to honor him!

 

 

 

3 God thunders across the

waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming

brightness—
God, across the flood waters.

 

 

 

4 God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s

thunder symphonic.

 

 

 

5 God’s thunder smashes

cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.

 

 

 

6 The mountain ranges skip like

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

 

 

 

7-8 God’s thunder spits fire.
God

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

shake.

 

 

 

9 God’s thunder sets the oak

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

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

 

 

 

10 Above the floodwaters is God’s

throne
from which his power

flows,
from which he rules the world.

 

 

 

11 God makes his people strong.
God

gives his people peace.

 

 

 

Ezekiel 3:12-21

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

12-13 Then the Spirit picked me up.

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

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

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

earthquake.

 

 

 

14-15 The Spirit lifted me and took

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

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

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

there for seven days, appalled.

 

 

 

16 At the end of the seven days, I

received this Message from God:

 

 

 

17-19 “Son of man, I’ve made

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

20-21 “And

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Luke 9:18-27

 

 

 

The Message (MSG)

 

 

 

Don’t Run from

Suffering

 

 

 

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

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

me, about who I am?”

 

 

 

19 They said, “John the

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

prophets from long ago has come back.”

 

 

 

20-21 He then asked, “And

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

 

 

 

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

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

 

 

 

22 He went on, “It is necessary

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

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

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

 

 

 

23-27 Then he told them what they

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

eyes the kingdom of God.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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