Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Jews’

WWSD—What Would Satan Do 042713

Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagoni...

Gustave Doré, Depiction of Satan, the antagonist of John Milton’s Paradise Lost c. 1866 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Satan as Antichrist

English: Satan as Antichrist (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

SATAN

SATAN (Photo credit: lori_la_tortuga)

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WWSD—What Would Satan Do 042713

 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 148 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20148&version=MSG

Daniel 7:27 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel%207:27&version=MSG

Revelation 11:16-19 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation%2011:16-19&version=MSG

 WWSD—What Would Satan Do 042713

 As with many of my readers of this blog, I read, or try to read, across a wide range of topics. In addition to the Bible, and several theological and church-oriented books, I particularly enjoy reading history.  This past week I’ve been reading Goldhagen’s ‘Hitler’s Willing Executioners’, an intense and emotional discussion of how ordinary Germans (not Nazis, police, military, SS, etc) were the killers of millions of Jews, intellectuals, Socialists, Communists, gays, retarded persons and so on. Some writers assert that 6,000,000 Jews were killed; others say 9,000,000. Apparently no one was counting.

 Exactly how an ordinary German person could pick up a handgun, escort their neighbors of decades to the edge of town, then shoot mamma, papa and each child of the family in the head. The killer would have had to hear the screams, the pleas of the parents for the lives of their children, and would have to watch the aftermath—the blood, the bodies falling suddenly to the ground.

 The possible reasons, or excuses for doing this include the familiar excuses, such as that many were forced to act this way and to kill for fear of their own lives. A less familiar excuse is that evil is a large,complex system and that more and more, each human being is such a small part of the larger system that one person can never even see or understand the large system. We are small cogs in the system, it is said, and we can’t see or understand or control a very large system, even though we are part of it.

 Sometimes liberal, left wing Christians such as myself object to the personalization of evil as the devil, or as Satan or Beelzebub, or as Damian, etc. But all theologians are guilty of characterizing everything we think of in the way that it best suits our arguments and lines of thinking.

And in this case, maybe I should speak of evil, as Evil, as the fallen angel named Satan.

 We could then see Satan as responsible for the ‘large system’, and the one people are involved with when large scale evil is committed. Anytime we say ‘it’s the large system that is responsible’, we could as well say ‘Satan did it!’ In fact, we could print thousands of bumper stickers that say ‘What Would Satan Do? ’ Unwittingly, unknowingly have we become Satan’s handmaidens by not looking at this large system?

 Many will claim that the system of the world is large, is very complex, is deceptive. But is Satan so smart, so complex and deceptive that we cannot look into the connections of what we do. Did God not make us  with, in addition to the capacity to sin, the capacity to understand and see the evil in the world and our part in it? Is Satan the smartest one in the room?

 In particular, I think Satan and a large system are behind climate change and behind the absolute destruction and waste of the entire world ecosystem. Can we do what Jesus would have us do, and stop Satan, or will God’s humanity die at the hands of themselves, as Satan desires?

 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.

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Psalm 148

The Message (MSG)

148 1-5 Hallelujah!
Praise God from heaven,
    praise him from the mountaintops;
Praise him, all you his angels,
    praise him, all you his warriors,
Praise him, sun and moon,
    praise him, you morning stars;
Praise him, high heaven,
    praise him, heavenly rain clouds;
Praise, oh let them praise the name of God
    he spoke the word, and there they were!

He set them in place
    from all time to eternity;
He gave his orders,
    and that’s it!

7-12 Praise God from earth,
    you sea dragons, you fathomless ocean deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and ice,
    hurricanes obeying his orders;
Mountains and all hills,
    apple orchards and cedar forests;
Wild beasts and herds of cattle,
    snakes, and birds in flight;
Earth’s kings and all races,
    leaders and important people,

Robust men and women in their prime,
    and yes, graybeards and little children.

13-14 Let them praise the name of God
    it’s the only Name worth praising.
His radiance exceeds anything in earth and sky;
    he’s built a monument—his very own people!

Praise from all who love God!
    Israel’s children, intimate friends of God.
Hallelujah!

Daniel 7:27

The Message (MSG)

26-27 “‘But when the court comes to order, the horn will be stripped of its power and totally destroyed. Then the royal rule and the authority and the glory of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the people of the High God. Their royal rule will last forever. All other rulers will serve and obey them.’

Revelation 11:16-19

The Message (MSG)

The Last Trumpet Sounds

15-18 The seventh Angel trumpeted. A crescendo of voices in Heaven sang out,

The kingdom of the world is now
    the Kingdom of our God and his Messiah!
He will rule forever and ever!

The Twenty-four Elders seated before God on their thrones fell to their knees, worshiped, and sang,

We thank you, O God, Sovereign-Strong,
    Who Is and Who Was.
You took your great power
    and took over—reigned!
The angry nations now
    get a taste of your anger.
The time has come to judge the dead,
    to reward your servants, all prophets and saints,
Reward small and great who fear your Name,
    and destroy the destroyers of earth.

19 The doors of God’s Temple in Heaven flew open, and the Ark of his Covenant was clearly seen surrounded by flashes of lightning, loud shouts, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a fierce hailstorm.

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Fire and hail, snow and ice,

    hurricanes obeying his orders;

Mountains and all hills,

    apple orchards and cedar forests;

Wild beasts and herds of cattle,

    snakes, and birds in flight;

Earth’s kings and all races,

    leaders and important people,

Robust men and women in their prime,

    and yes, graybeards and little children.

13-14 Let

them praise the name of God

    it’s the only Name worth praising.

His radiance exceeds anything in earth and

sky;

    he’s built a monument—his very own people!

Praise from all who love God!

    Israel’s children, intimate friends of God.

Hallelujah!

Daniel 7:27

The Message (MSG)

26-27 “‘But when the court

comes to order, the horn will be stripped of its power and totally destroyed.

Then the royal rule and the authority and the glory of all the kingdoms under

heaven will be handed over to the people of the High God. Their royal rule will

last forever. All other rulers will serve and obey them.’

Revelation 11:16-19

The Message (MSG)

The Last Trumpet Sounds

15-18 The

seventh Angel trumpeted. A crescendo of voices in Heaven sang out,

The kingdom of the world is

now

    the Kingdom of our God and his Messiah!

He will rule forever and ever!

The

Twenty-four Elders seated before God on their thrones fell to their knees,

worshiped, and sang,

We thank you, O God,

Sovereign-Strong,

    Who Is and Who Was.

You took your great power

    and took over—reigned!

The angry nations now

    get a taste of your anger.

The time has come to judge the dead,

    to reward your servants, all prophets and saints,

Reward small and great who fear your Name,

    and destroy the destroyers of earth.

19 The doors of God’s

Temple in Heaven flew open, and the Ark of his Covenant was clearly seen

surrounded by flashes of lightning, loud shouts, peals of thunder, an

earthquake, and a fierce hailstorm.

 

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The Spirit Discloses All 013113

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

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

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

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

English: Jesus Christ baroque sculpture in Hol...

English: Jesus Christ baroque sculpture in Holy Spirit church, Vilnius (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also. Lectionary Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/

Psalm 71:1-6 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2071:1-6&version=MSG

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

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

The Spirit Discloses All 013113

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Pray for peace, and serve others,

Pastor Bill

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

Pray with us!

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

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

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

Psalm 71:1-6

2 Chronicles 34:1-7

Acts 10:44-48

 

Psalm 71:1-7

The Message (MSG)

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

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

2 Chronicles 34:1-7

The Message (MSG)

King Josiah

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

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

Acts 10:44-48

The Message (MSG)

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

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

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

 

Related articles

The Same Sinking Boat! 091712

boat

boat (Photo credit: pupski)

The Same Sinking Boat! 091712

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Today’s Scriptures Click the following links to read today’s scriptures or scroll to the very bottom of this blog post for those scriptures also:

 

Psalm 119:169-176 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20119:169-176&version=MSG

1 Kings 13:1-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Kings%2013:1-10&version=MSG

Romans 3:9-20 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans%203:9-20&version=MSG

 

The Same Sinking Boat! 091712

 

One has the tendency to want Monday morning’s blog to be calm, reassuring and encouraging as we start the world’s work week. But the power and force of Romans 3 does not permit this.

 

Romans includes us with the sinners, the Jews and the Romans. We’re in as much trouble with God and sin as the rest, and maybe worse. We depend on personal salvation, even though it’s a gift, to keep us safe from sin.

 

But we are part of the world’s sin. Cleaning up our own act is not enough! We also share in the world’s sin, in which we are co-conspirators and complicit.

 

Steel yourselves, disciples. The struggle is not over until all are freed from sin and despair through Jesus, and if one is not—it is our fault.

 

Pray for peace

Bill

 

 

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

Pray with us!

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

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

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

 

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

 

Psalm 119:169-176

1 Kings 13:1-10

Romans 3:9-20

 

 

 

Psalm 119:169-176

The Message (MSG)

169-176 Let my cry come right into your presence, God;
provide me with the insight that comes only from your Word.
Give my request your personal attention,
rescue me on the terms of your promise.
Let praise cascade off my lips;
after all, you’ve taught me the truth about life!
And let your promises ring from my tongue;
every order you’ve given is right.
Put your hand out and steady me
since I’ve chosen to live by your counsel.
I’m homesick, God, for your salvation;
I love it when you show yourself!
Invigorate my soul so I can praise you well,
use your decrees to put iron in my soul.
And should I wander off like a lost sheep—seek me!
I’ll recognize the sound of your voice.

 

1 Kings 13:1-10

The Message (MSG)

13 1-3 And then this happened: Just as Jeroboam was at the Altar, about to make an offering, a holy man came from Judah by God’s command and preached (these were God’s orders) to the Altar: “Altar, Altar! God’s message! ‘A son will be born into David’s family named Josiah. The priests from the shrines who are making offerings on you, he will sacrifice—on you! Human bones burned on you!’” At the same time he announced a sign: “This is the proof God gives—the Altar will split into pieces and the holy offerings spill into the dirt.”

4-5 When the king heard the message the holy man preached against the Altar at Bethel, he reached out to grab him, yelling, “Arrest him!” But his arm was paralyzed and hung useless. At the same time the Altar broke apart and the holy offerings all spilled into the dirt—the very sign the holy man had announced by God’s command.

The king pleaded with the holy man, “Help me! Pray to your God for the healing of my arm.” The holy man prayed for him and the king’s arm was healed—as good as new!

Then the king invited the holy man, “Join me for a meal; I have a gift for you.”

8-10 The holy man told the king, “Not on your life! You couldn’t pay me enough to get me to sit down with you at a meal in this place. I’m here under God’s orders, and he commanded, ‘Don’t eat a crumb, don’t drink a drop, and don’t go back the way you came.’” Then he left by a different road than the one on which he had walked to Bethel.

Romans 3:9-20

The Message (MSG)

We’re All in the Same Sinking Boat

9-20 So where does that put us? Do we Jews get a better break than the others? Not really. Basically, all of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it:

There’s nobody living right, not even one,
nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God.
They’ve all taken the wrong turn;
they’ve all wandered down blind alleys.
No one’s living right;
I can’t find a single one.
Their throats are gaping graves,
their tongues slick as mudslides.
Every word they speak is tinged with poison.
They open their mouths and pollute the air.
They race for the honor of sinner-of-the-year,
litter the land with heartbreak and ruin,
Don’t know the first thing about living with others.
They never give God the time of day.

This makes it clear, doesn’t it, that whatever is written in these Scriptures is not what God says about others but to us to whom these Scriptures were addressed in the first place! And it’s clear enough, isn’t it, that we’re sinners, every one of us, in the same sinking boat with everybody else? Our involvement with God’s revelation doesn’t put us right with God. What it does is force us to face our complicity in everyone else’s sin.

 

Aside

An Ever Steady God 071712

English: Jews at the Western Wall, Félix Bonfi...

English: Jews at the Western Wall, Félix Bonfils, Albumen silver print. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

An Ever Steady God 071712

It makes sense to some to observe that for scripture such as that found in Psalm 142, that bemoan and grieve one’s lot in life, contrasted with scriptures that celebrate the joy and gladness of walking with God are proof of God’s constancy. Since the two examples of scripture are the extremes of sadness versus joy they serve as the extremes of the human condition. God is a steady force in the universe despite the extremes of human mood, and human affairs.

In reading Psalm 142, grieve with those in grief, despair and pain, but remember, there is the same God now as when we are filled with joy at the presence of the Lord.

Pray for peace

Paul Stang

Paul Stang (Photo credit: Fylkesarkivet i Sogn og Fjordane)

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 142

Amos 9:1-4

Acts 23:12-35

Psalm 142

1With my voice I cry to the Lord; with my voice I make supplication to the Lord.

2I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him.

3When my spirit is faint, you know my way. In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me.

4Look on my right hand and see— there is no one who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for me.

5I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”

6Give heed to my cry, for I am brought very low. Save me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me.

7Bring me out of prison, so that I may give thanks to your name. The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.

Amos 9:1-4

9I saw the Lord standing beside the altar, and he said: Strike the capitals until the thresholds shake, and shatter them on the heads of all the people; and those who are left I will kill with the sword; not one of them shall flee away, not one of them shall escape. 2Though they dig into Sheol, from there shall my hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, from there I will bring them down. 3Though they hide themselves on the top of Carmel, from there I will search out and take them; and though they hide from my sight at the bottom of the sea, there I will command the sea-serpent, and it shall bite them. 4And though they go into captivity in front of their enemies, there I will command the sword, and it shall kill them; and I will fix my eyes on them for harm and not for good.

Acts 23:12-35

12In the morning the Jews joined in a conspiracy and bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they had killed Paul. 13There were more than forty who joined in this conspiracy. 14They went to the chief priests and elders and said, “We have strictly bound ourselves by an oath to taste no food until we have killed Paul. 15Now then, you and the council must notify the tribune to bring him down to you, on the pretext that you want to make a more thorough examination of his case. And we are ready to do away with him before he arrives.” 16Now the son of Paul’s sister heard about the ambush; so he went and gained entrance to the barracks and told Paul. 17Paul called one of the centurions and said, “Take this young man to the tribune, for he has something to report to him.” 18So he took him, brought him to the tribune, and said, “The prisoner Paul called me and asked me to bring this young man to you; he has something to tell you.” 19The tribune took him by the hand, drew him aside privately, and asked, “What is it that you have to report to me?” 20He answered, “The Jews have agreed to ask you to bring Paul down to the council tomorrow, as though they were going to inquire more thoroughly into his case. 21But do not be persuaded by them, for more than forty of their men are lying in ambush for him. They have bound themselves by an oath neither to eat nor drink until they kill him. They are ready now and are waiting for your consent.” 22So the tribune dismissed the young man, ordering him, “Tell no one that you have informed me of this.” 23Then he summoned two of the centurions and said, “Get ready to leave by nine o’clock tonight for Caesarea with two hundred soldiers, seventy horsemen, and two hundred spearmen. 24Also provide mounts for Paul to ride, and take him safely to Felix the governor.” 25He wrote a letter to this effect: 26Claudius Lysias to his Excellency the governor Felix, greetings. 27This man was seized by the Jews and was about to be killed by them, but when I had learned that he was a Roman citizen, I came with the guard and rescued him. 28Since I wanted to know the charge for which they accused him, I had him brought to their council. 29I found that he was accused concerning questions of their law, but was charged with nothing deserving death or imprisonment. 30When I was informed that there would be a plot against the man, I sent him to you at once, ordering his accusers also to state before you what they have against him.” 31So the soldiers, according to their instructions, took Paul and brought him during the night to Antipatris. 32The next day they let the horsemen go on with him, while they returned to the barracks. 33When they came to Caesarea and delivered the letter to the governor, they presented Paul also before him. 34On reading the letter, he asked what province he belonged to, and when he learned that he was from Cilicia, 35he said, “I will give you a hearing when your accusers arrive.” Then he ordered that he be kept under guard in Herod’s headquarters.

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

Sandals 062012

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Sandals 062012

A friend sent me a photograph of a person who had made sandals for themselves by tying empty plastic water bottles to his feet.

I’ve wore out a pair of sandals this summer already, although they were a cheap pair of sandals and I made the mistake of buying them on sale at ‘Minnow-Pro’ a local sporting goods megastore whose name I’ve changed slightly to keep it a secret.

The ironic thing is that the man with the water bottle sandals and the sandals I purchased were both from the same Asian country.

In John 5 we read the story of a crippled beggar who had not walked in 38 years. He had no need of sandals. Whatever misery or misfortune we feel or perceive, there are many others with worse circumstances. Pray for the poor.

Pray for peace

brother Bill

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

Pray with us!

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

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

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

 

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Psalm 78:1-4, 52-72

1 Samuel 21:1-6

John 5:1-18

Psalm 78

1Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

2I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old,

3things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us.

4We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

52Then he led out his people like sheep, and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.

53He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.

54And he brought them to his holy hill, to the mountain that his right hand had won.

55He drove out nations before them; he apportioned them for a possession and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.

56Yet they tested the Most High God, and rebelled against him. They did not observe his decrees,

57but turned away and were faithless like their ancestors; they twisted like a treacherous bow.

58For they provoked him to anger with their high places; they moved him to jealousy with their idols.

59When God heard, he was full of wrath, and he utterly rejected Israel.

60He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh, the tent where he dwelt among mortals,

61and delivered his power to captivity, his glory to the hand of the foe.

62He gave his people to the sword, and vented his wrath on his heritage.

63Fire devoured their young men, and their girls had no marriage song.

64Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.

65Then the Lord awoke as from sleep, like a warrior shouting because of wine.

66He put his adversaries to rout; he put them to everlasting disgrace.

67He rejected the tent of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;

68but he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loves.

69He built his sanctuary like the high heavens, like the earth, which he has founded forever.

70He chose his servant David, and took him from the sheepfolds;

71from tending the nursing ewes he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel, his inheritance.

72With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skillful hand.

1 Samuel 21:1-6

1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name [was] Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: 2 And he had two wives; the name of the one [was] Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children. 3 And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the LORD of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the LORD, [were] there.1  4 And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions: 5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.2  6 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb.3  7 And [as] he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.4

John 5:1-18

5After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 2Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. 3In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. 5One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” 7The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” 8Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” 9At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. 10So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” 11But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” 12They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” 13Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. 14Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the sabbath.

17But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” 18For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.

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.

 

Sharpie sandals

Sharpie sandals (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lazarus Rises 032412

 

The 1999 Che Jesus poster

The 1999 Che Jesus poster (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Lazarus Rises 032412

Today’s scripture from John tells of Lazarus rising from the dead, and his being risen as the reason for executing Jesus, and Lazarus also! That’s ironic, as well as cruel: to execute a man for rising from the dead, and to also kill the source of life. That’s as crazy as executing a person for killing someone, since killing is wrong.

But it is interesting for us to try and understand the reasons given for executing Jesus, from a 1st century ‘Jewish under Roman domination’ perspective. Some think Jesus was killed by jealous Jewish priests and elders; some think it was because of disrupting the temple business when he overturned the tables.

But maybe we’re looking for a specific reason for Jesus’ execution. The Romans didn’t need to be specific, or to announce their reasoning, or to justify their actions to anyone. A parking ticket is enough ‘reason’, and the rumor that Jesus might be some kind of Jewish messiah that might disrupt Jewish subjugation—that suspicion was enough.

Do you suspect Jesus is a revolutionary now? If we really did as Jesus asks us, would we be arrested?

Pray for peace, which is revolutionary.

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 51:1-12

Habakkuk 3:2-13

John 12:1-11

 

Psalm 51

1Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.

2Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.

4Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and blameless when you pass judgment.

5Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.

9Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.

10Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.

11Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me.

12Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain in me a willing spirit.

Habakkuk 3:2-13

2O Lord, I have heard of your renown, and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work. In our own time revive it; in our own time make it known; in wrath may you remember mercy.

3God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. 4The brightness was like the sun; rays came forth from his hand, where his power lay hidden. 5Before him went pestilence, and plague followed close behind. 6He stopped and shook the earth; he looked and made the nations tremble. The eternal mountains were shattered; along his ancient pathways the everlasting hills sank low. 7I saw the tents of Cushan under affliction; the tent-curtains of the land of Midian trembled. 8Was your wrath against the rivers, O Lord? Or your anger against the rivers, or your rage against the sea, when you drove your horses, your chariots to victory? 9You brandished your naked bow, sated were the arrows at your command. Selah You split the earth with rivers. 10The mountains saw you, and writhed; a torrent of water swept by; the deep gave forth its voice. The sun raised high its hands; 11the moon stood still in its exalted place, at the light of your arrows speeding by, at the gleam of your flashing spear. 12In fury you trod the earth, in anger you trampled nations. 13You came forth to save your people, to save your anointed. You crushed the head of the wicked house, laying it bare from foundation to roof. Selah

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.

 

Overturning the Tables 031412

Kabaa ye Zartosht

Image via Wikipedia

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

Overturning the Tables 031412

Today’s scripture from Mark is supposedly the earliest gospel we have to read, and the language and the story are the simplest and unadorned.

Jesus overturned the tables in the temple, amazing the crowd and causing the elders and priests to plot his death. This event has confused and amazed many people since then as much as it does now. It marked Jesus as a revolutionary coming to the seat of power and marked him as one not just a new rabbi with a new academic twist on old texts, but a leader capable of leading insurrection.

Sometimes we all need to overturn the tables in our life to get back to the spiritual essence that led us to Jesus in the first place.

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/

 

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

 

Psalm 84

Ezra 6:1-16

Mark 11:15-19

 

 

Psalm 84

1How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts!

2My soul longs, indeed it faints for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

3Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God.

4Happy are those who live in your house, ever singing your praise. Selah

5Happy are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion.

6As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools.

7They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

8O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

9Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed.

10For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than live in the tents of wickedness.

11For the Lord God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the Lord withhold from those who walk uprightly.

12O Lord of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.

Ezra 6:1-16

6Then King Darius made a decree, and they searched the archives where the documents were stored in Babylon. 2But it was in Ecbatana, the capital in the province of Media, that a scroll was found on which this was written: “A record. 3In the first year of his reign, King Cyrus issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices are offered and burnt offerings are brought; its height shall be sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits, 4with three courses of hewn stones and one course of timber; let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. 5Moreover, let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple in Jerusalem, each to its place; you shall put them in the house of God.” 6“Now you, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and you, their associates, the envoys in the province Beyond the River, keep away; 7let the work on this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. 8Moreover I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God: the cost is to be paid to these people, in full and without delay, from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province Beyond the River. 9Whatever is needed—young bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests in Jerusalem require—let that be given to them day by day without fail, 10so that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king and his children. 11Furthermore I decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of the house of the perpetrator, who then shall be impaled on it. The house shall be made a dunghill. 12May the God who has established his name there overthrow any king or people that shall put forth a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.”

13Then, according to the word sent by King Darius, Tattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates did with all diligence what King Darius had ordered. 14So the elders of the Jews built and prospered, through the prophesying of the prophet Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo. They finished their building by command of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus, Darius, and King Artaxerxes of Persia; 15and this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. 16The people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.

Mark 11:15-19

15Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; 16and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written,

‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’?
But you have made it a den of robbers.”

18And when the chief priests and the scribes heard it, they kept looking for a way to kill him; for they were afraid of him, because the whole crowd was spellbound by his teaching. 19And when evening came, Jesus and his disciples went out of the city.

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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