The Gifts of God 082512
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:
This week’s guest blogger is Janet Trevino-Elizarraz
It’s easy to be misunderstood. As I spoke about two days ago, God is intimately acquainted with us because God has chosen to be present with us with God’s ears, eyes, hands… God’s entire being. We are sought after and known by God.
This would be excellent if only God and I existed though. This is not the case.
We still are called to live on earth & relate with others that don’t unfortunately know our heart’s intent and also don’t always believe the best about us.
The two and a half tribes were exalted and praised for their outstanding allegiance to God in Thursday’s passage. You’d think for a second with such adulation that the remaining tribes would respond inquisitively to their actions in yesterday’s passage and not with a call for war. Being blinded by a solid commitment to remain committed and pure to God above all things can tip the scale on the side of truth and less on love. So here’s the story in a nut-shell: the eastern tribes created an altar (unbeknownst to Israel that it was of remembrance) but they are misunderstood because their eastern tribal brothers thought they were worshipping other gods. A few conversations and explanations later, and it’s all sorted out. There is peace and love again.
If I were to say that communication is the key to all human relations, you’d probably say to me, “duh!” Yeah, it’d even feel a bit cliche to even say it. But if you give yourself a second to reflect on how often we don’t communicate, and we assume others either know how we feel or think or expect others to step up and say what’s on their minds, it’s more common than you give credit! At least in the end the Israelites got to talking… what’s fascinating about the Luke passage is that the neighbor even bothered to “bother” his neighbor. But let’s give us the benefit of the doubt, and say, yeah… I’d ask my neighbor for help. But would you insist? I would bet that the readership of this blog would probably not do so. (And if you know me, I tend to ask for more than people are willing to give without me getting the non-verbal cues.. talk about tension!)
Good thing for me going back to my original point that the passage given ends with explaining how these requests are directed towards God. Asking, seeking, Knocking on God to show up & respond to us. And even though we now know that God’s ears, eyes, hands, complete self is with us and supporting us, we are still asked to cry out to God and ask, seek, and knock. Create your altar of God’s deliverance before you can see God move in faith believing that God will move on your behalf… because that is our guarantee. With God there is no misunderstanding, and don’t worry, God won’t give you a snake or a scorpion. 😉
About Our Guest Blogger This Week, Janet Trevino-Elizarraraz
If she’s not mediating the fights of her four children 7 and under or washing dishes constantly most of the day, Janet spends her time envisioning, organizing, and calling her local “tribe” into more deeply connecting themselves to their inward self, to the Earth, and to the invisible, powerful Presence.
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).
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Scriptures follow below. Scriptures for the day selected by http://www.commontexts.org/
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15The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their cry.
16The face of the Lord is against evildoers, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.
18The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
19Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.
20He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.
21Evil brings death to the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.
22The Lord redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.
21Then the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh said in answer to the heads of the families of Israel, 22“The Lord, God of gods! The Lord, God of gods! He knows; and let Israel itself know! If it was in rebellion or in breach of faith toward the Lord, do not spare us today 23for building an altar to turn away from following the Lord; or if we did so to offer burnt offerings or grain offerings or offerings of well-being on it, may the Lord himself take vengeance. 24No! We did it from fear that in time to come your children might say to our children, ‘What have you to do with the Lord, the God of Israel? 25For the Lord has made the Jordan a boundary between us and you, you Reubenites and Gadites; you have no portion in the Lord.’ So your children might make our children cease to worship the Lord. 26Therefore we said, ‘Let us now build an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice, 27but to be a witness between us and you, and between the generations after us, that we do perform the service of the Lord in his presence with our burnt offerings and sacrifices and offerings of well-being; so that your children may never say to our children in time to come, “You have no portion in the Lord.”’ 28And we thought, If this should be said to us or to our descendants in time to come, we could say, ‘Look at this copy of the altar of the Lord, which our ancestors made, not for burnt offerings, nor for sacrifice, but to be a witness between us and you.’ 29Far be it from us that we should rebel against the Lord, and turn away this day from following the Lord by building an altar for burnt offering, grain offering, or sacrifice, other than the altar of the Lord our God that stands before his tabernacle!”
30When the priest Phinehas and the chiefs of the congregation, the heads of the families of Israel who were with him, heard the words that the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manassites spoke, they were satisfied. 31The priest Phinehas son of Eleazar said to the Reubenites and the Gadites and the Manassites, “Today we know that the Lord is among us, because you have not committed this treachery against the Lord; now you have saved the Israelites from the hand of the Lord.” 32Then the priest Phinehas son of Eleazar and the chiefs returned from the Reubenites and the Gadites in the land of Gilead to the land of Canaan, to the Israelites, and brought back word to them. 33The report pleased the Israelites; and the Israelites blessed God and spoke no more of making war against them, to destroy the land where the Reubenites and the Gadites were settled. 34The Reubenites and the Gadites called the altar Witness; “For,” said they, “it is a witness between us that the Lord is God.”
5And he said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.’ 7And he answers from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. 9“So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 11Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? 12Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
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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