Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Psalms’

The Church of God’s Creations 082613

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 109:21-31 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20109:21-31%09&version=MSG

 

Ezekiel 20:1-17 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ezekiel%2020:1-17%20&version=MSG

 

Hebrews 3:7—4:11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%203:7%E2%80%944:11&version=MSG

 

 

The Church of God’s Creations 082613

More and more I become convinced that when we speak of peace, and of being a peace church, that we have to adhere to, espouse and promote the most radical, simple doctrines we can to quickly, effectively, and completely save and restore the environment. Every thing and being in God’s creation must be loved and protected by the peace of Jesus.

In a sense , love of all God’s creatures comes with a complete acceptance of all that is. We have to be at peace, somehow, with nature, and not live either in ignorance of nature or destruction of it. We have to as well love and accept all human beings and what they do. This is tough, I know. Every one of us has groups of people we are better than, smarter than, more popular than…..it’s such a waste of life.

Please read the Psalms, Hebrews verses, and Ezekiel verses, and pray for the survival of the environment, and peace.

Did you know the Monarch butterfly is in serious trouble, and may not survive. Shame on us.

Maybe its time for a new church called ‘The Church of God’s Creation’, belonging to the denomination of the same name.

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 109:21-31

The Message (MSG)

21-25 Oh, God, my Lord, step in;
work a miracle for me—you can do it!
Get me out of here—your love is so great!—
I’m at the end of my rope, my life in ruins.
I’m fading away to nothing, passing away,
my youth gone, old before my time.
I’m weak from hunger and can hardly stand up,
my body a rack of skin and bones.
I’m a joke in poor taste to those who see me;
they take one look and shake their heads.

26-29 Help me, oh help me, God, my God,
save me through your wonderful love;
Then they’ll know that your hand is in this,
that you, God, have been at work.
Let them curse all they want;
you do the blessing.
Let them be jeered by the crowd when they stand up,
followed by cheers for me, your servant.
Dress my accusers in clothes dirty with shame,
discarded and humiliating old ragbag clothes.

30-31 My mouth’s full of great praise for God,
I’m singing his hallelujahs surrounded by crowds,
For he’s always at hand to take the side of the needy,
to rescue a life from the unjust judge.

Ezekiel 20:1-17

The Message (MSG)

Get Rid of All the Things You’ve Become Addicted To

20 In the seventh year, the fifth month, on the tenth day of the month, some of the leaders of Israel came to ask for guidance from God. They sat down before me.

2-3 Then God’s Message came to me: “Son of man, talk with the leaders of Israel. Tell them, ‘God, the Master, says, “Have you come to ask me questions? As sure as I am the living God, I’ll not put up with questions from you. Decree of God, the Master.”’

4-5 “Son of man, why don’t you do it? Yes, go ahead. Hold them accountable. Confront them with the outrageous obscenities of their parents. Tell them that God, the Master, says:

5-6 “‘On the day I chose Israel, I revealed myself to them in the country of Egypt, raising my hand in a solemn oath to the people of Jacob, in which I said, “I am God, your personal God.” On the same day that I raised my hand in the solemn oath, I promised them that I would take them out of the country of Egypt and bring them into a country that I had searched out just for them, a country flowing with milk and honey, a jewel of a country.

7 “‘At that time I told them, “Get rid of all the vile things that you’ve become addicted to. Don’t make yourselves filthy with the Egyptian no-god idols. I alone am God, your God.”

8-10 “‘But they rebelled against me, wouldn’t listen to a word I said. None got rid of the vile things they were addicted to. They held on to the no-gods of Egypt as if for dear life. I seriously considered inflicting my anger on them in force right there in Egypt. Then I thought better of it. I acted out of who I was, not by how I felt. And I acted in a way that would evoke honor, not blasphemy, from the nations around them, nations who had seen me reveal myself by promising to lead my people out of Egypt. And then I did it: I led them out of Egypt into the desert.

11-12 “‘I gave them laws for living, showed them how to live well and obediently before me. I also gave them my weekly holy rest days, my “Sabbaths,” a kind of signpost erected between me and them to show them that I, God, am in the business of making them holy.

13-17 “‘But Israel rebelled against me in the desert. They didn’t follow my statutes. They despised my laws for living well and obediently in the ways I had set out. And they totally desecrated my holy Sabbaths. I seriously considered unleashing my anger on them right there in the desert. But I thought better of it and acted out of who I was, not by what I felt, so that I might be honored and not blasphemed by the nations who had seen me bring them out. But I did lift my hand in a solemn oath there in the desert and promise them that I would not bring them into the country flowing with milk and honey that I had chosen for them, that jewel among all lands. I canceled my promise because they despised my laws for living obediently, wouldn’t follow my statutes, and went ahead and desecrated my holy Sabbaths. They preferred living by their no-god idols. But I didn’t go all the way: I didn’t wipe them out, didn’t finish them off in the desert.

Hebrews 3:7-4:11

The Message (MSG)

6-11 Now, if we can only keep a firm grip on this bold confidence, we’re the house! That’s why the Holy Spirit says,

Today, please listen;
don’t turn a deaf ear as in “the bitter uprising,”
that time of wilderness testing!
Even though they watched me at work for forty years,
your ancestors refused to let me do it my way;
over and over they tried my patience.
And I was provoked, oh, so provoked!
I said, “They’ll never keep their minds on God;
they refuse to walk down my road.”
Exasperated, I vowed,
“They’ll never get where they’re going,
never be able to sit down and rest.”

12-14 So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. For as long as it’s still God’s Today, keep each other on your toes so sin doesn’t slow down your reflexes. If we can only keep our grip on the sure thing we started out with, we’re in this with Christ for the long haul.

These words keep ringing in our ears:

Today, please listen;
don’t turn a deaf ear as in the bitter uprising.

15-19 For who were the people who turned a deaf ear? Weren’t they the very ones Moses led out of Egypt? And who was God provoked with for forty years? Wasn’t it those who turned a deaf ear and ended up corpses in the wilderness? And when he swore that they’d never get where they were going, wasn’t he talking to the ones who turned a deaf ear? They never got there because they never listened, never believed.

When the Promises Are Mixed with Faith

4 1-3 For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified. We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith. Remember that God said,

Exasperated, I vowed,
“They’ll never get where they’re going,
never be able to sit down and rest.”

3-7 God made that vow, even though he’d finished his part before the foundation of the world. Somewhere it’s written, “God rested the seventh day, having completed his work,” but in this other text he says, “They’ll never be able to sit down and rest.” So this promise has not yet been fulfilled. Those earlier ones never did get to the place of rest because they were disobedient. God keeps renewing the promise and setting the date as today, just as he did in David’s psalm, centuries later than the original invitation:

Today, please listen,
don’t turn a deaf ear . . .

8-11 And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for “today.” The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people. God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God. So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience.

 

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly (Photo credit: Danielle Bauer)

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Living on Tomato Basil Soup 81913

Charity by Sir Joseph Boehm

Charity by Sir Joseph Boehm (Photo credit: mira66)

Charity by Sir Joseph Boehm

Charity by Sir Joseph Boehm (Photo credit: mira66)


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 32 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2032&version=MSG

 

Jeremiah 23:30-40 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%2023:30-40&version=MSG

 

1 John 4:1-6 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20John%204:1-6&version=MSG

 

 

 

Living on Tomato Basil Soup 81913

 

 

 

Because of a recent complaint followed by another problem, I’ve had to eat little more then tomato basil soup for eight weeks. I realize how little it takes to eat, in order to stay well, and I really wish I could share.

 

 

 

I also realize how much I really enjoy tomato basil soup. The tomatoes take only a few square feet to raise, and the basil is kept in a 12” square foot pot.

 

Today’s scripture, from Jeremiah and from 1 John both speak of listening to false prophets and to false doctrines. I beginning to wonder if the real work of disciples of Christ is live simply, humbly, quietly and share. This does not require a new wardrobe, new makeup or an online application. There isn’t a weekly meeting you get to go to share food or loving talk, which is important—the real work of disciples may simply be to help the weaker, the younger and the older, the helpless.

 

With this definition of Christian love, there is no fame, or wealth, or position or status sought. In fact, the good things we do that are never known are the important things to do.

 

Christians globally believe the widest variety of things, in a radical extreme of directions. But as a whole, all those differences may not make a whole lot of difference.

 

Christians have to be known only for their love for one another, or Christians will cease to be as a global religion and church. Christ will have lived and died in vain.

 

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 32

 

The Message (MSG)

 

A David Psalm

 

32 Count yourself lucky, how happy you must be—
you get a fresh start,
your slate’s wiped clean.

 

2 Count yourself lucky—
God holds nothing against you
and you’re holding nothing back from him.

 

3 When I kept it all inside,
my bones turned to powder,
my words became daylong groans.

 

4 The pressure never let up;
all the juices of my life dried up.

 

5 Then I let it all out;
I said, “I’ll make a clean breast of my failures to God.”

 

Suddenly the pressure was gone—
my guilt dissolved,
my sin disappeared.

 

6 These things add up. Every one of us needs to pray;
when all hell breaks loose and the dam bursts
we’ll be on high ground, untouched.

 

7 God’s my island hideaway,
keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.

 

8 Let me give you some good advice;
I’m looking you in the eye
and giving it to you straight:

 

9 “Don’t be ornery like a horse or mule
that needs bit and bridle
to stay on track.”

 

10 God-defiers are always in trouble;
God-affirmers find themselves loved
every time they turn around.

 

11 Celebrate God.
Sing together—everyone!
All you honest hearts, raise the roof!

 

Jeremiah 23:30-40

 

The Message (MSG)

 

30-31 “I’ve had it with the ‘prophets’ who get all their sermons secondhand from each other. Yes, I’ve had it with them. They make up stuff and then pretend it’s a real sermon.

 

32 “Oh yes, I’ve had it with the prophets who preach the lies they dream up, spreading them all over the country, ruining the lives of my people with their cheap and reckless lies.

 

“I never sent these prophets, never authorized a single one of them. They do nothing for this people—nothing!” God’s Decree.

 

33 “And anyone, including prophets and priests, who asks, ‘What’s God got to say about all this, what’s troubling him?’ tell him, ‘You, you’re the trouble, and I’m getting rid of you.’” God’s Decree.

 

34 “And if anyone, including prophets and priests, goes around saying glibly ‘God’s Message! God’s Message!’ I’ll punish him and his family.

 

35-36 “Instead of claiming to know what God says, ask questions of one another, such as ‘How do we understand God in this?’ But don’t go around pretending to know it all, saying ‘God told me this . . . God told me that. . . .’ I don’t want to hear it anymore. Only the person I authorize speaks for me. Otherwise, my Message gets twisted, the Message of the living God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

 

37-38 “You can ask the prophets, ‘How did God answer you? What did he tell you?’ But don’t pretend that you know all the answers yourselves and talk like you know it all. I’m telling you: Quit the ‘God told me this . . . God told me that . . .’ kind of talk.

 

39-40 “Are you paying attention? You’d better, because I’m about to take you in hand and throw you to the ground, you and this entire city that I gave to your ancestors. I’ve had it with the lot of you. You’re never going to live this down. You’re going down in history as a disgrace.”

 

1 John 4:1-6

 

The Message (MSG)

 

Don’t Believe Everything You Hear

 

4 My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.

 

2-3 Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ—the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person—comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought!

 

4-6 My dear children, you come from God and belong to God. You have already won a big victory over those false teachers, for the Spirit in you is far stronger than anything in the world. These people belong to the Christ-denying world. They talk the world’s language and the world eats it up. But we come from God and belong to God. Anyone who knows God understands us and listens. The person who has nothing to do with God will, of course, not listen to us. This is another test for telling the Spirit of Truth from the spirit of deception.

 

 

Nothing Happening 080613

Whetstone Vapour Trail

Whetstone Vapour Trail (Photo credit: Ewan-M)

 

Vapour trails

Vapour trails (Photo credit: SFB579 :))

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 119:73-80 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%20119:73-80%09&version=MSG

 

 

 

Jeremiah 8:4-13 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%208:4-13%09&version=MSG

 

 

 

Acts 19:28-41 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2019:28-41&version=MSG

 

 

 

Nothing Happening 080613

 

 

 

What makes a blog post successful? By most measures a post could be considered successful when the title, or the subject, or the photograph grabs attention. As we know, sex and violence grab attention, so a blog post about the rape or execution of people will be more successful than a post about a day of peace with Jesus Christ, which will attract very little attention, and likely, no comments.

 

 

 

Jeremiah is talking about this very phenomena in 8:4

 

To Know Everything but God’s Word

 

4-7 “Tell them this, God’s Message:

 

“‘Do people fall down and not get up?
Or take the wrong road and then just keep going?
So why does this people go backward,
and just keep on going—
backward!
They stubbornly hold on to their illusions,
refuse to change direction.

 

 

And really, we’re much like that—what attracts our attention is often anything but God’s Word. We are pulled into the sensations of the world by what we watch and read and listen to. We often do not read what is balanced, and calm and loving. Instead, we read and listen while humanity hurts itself creatively, and causes harm to arise when it need not arise. We seek the death of life, and want to watch it seems while our spirits dissipate. We are sensationalists!

 

 

With all we know about God, we really know nothing. Psalm 119:73 below begins:

 

 

73-80 With your very own hands you formed me;
now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you.

 

G.K. Chesterton once called this noticing the vapors and clouds that one walks through-this is like the face of 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 119:73-80

 

The Message (MSG)

 

73-80 With your very own hands you formed me;
now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you.
When they see me waiting, expecting your Word,
those who fear you will take heart and be glad.
I can see now, God, that your decisions are right;
your testing has taught me what’s true and right.
Oh, love me—and right now!—hold me tight!
just the way you promised.
Now comfort me so I can live, really live;
your revelation is the tune I dance to.
Let the fast-talking tricksters be exposed as frauds;
they tried to sell me a bill of goods,
but I kept my mind fixed on your counsel.
Let those who fear you turn to me
for evidence of your wise guidance.
And let me live whole and holy, soul and body,
so I can always walk with my head held high.

 

Jeremiah 8:4-13

 

The Message (MSG)

 

To Know Everything but God’s Word

 

4-7 “Tell them this, God’s Message:

 

“‘Do people fall down and not get up?
Or take the wrong road and then just keep going?
So why does this people go backward,
and just keep on going—backward!
They stubbornly hold on to their illusions,
refuse to change direction.
I listened carefully
but heard not so much as a whisper.
No one expressed one word of regret.
Not a single “I’m sorry” did I hear.
They just kept at it, blindly and stupidly
banging their heads against a brick wall.
Cranes know when it’s time
to move south for winter.
And robins, warblers, and bluebirds
know when it’s time to come back again.
But my people? My people know nothing,
not the first thing of God and his rule.

 

8-9 “‘How can you say, “We know the score.
We’re the proud owners of God’s revelation”?
Look where it’s gotten you—stuck in illusion.
Your religion experts have taken you for a ride!
Your know-it-alls will be unmasked,
caught and shown up for what they are.
Look at them! They know everything but God’s Word.
Do you call that “knowing”?

 

10-12 “‘So here’s what will happen to the know-it-alls:
I’ll make them wifeless and homeless.
Everyone’s after the dishonest dollar,
little people and big people alike.
Prophets and priests and everyone in between
twist words and doctor truth.
My dear Daughter—my people—broken, shattered,
and yet they put on Band-Aids,
Saying, “It’s not so bad. You’ll be just fine.”
But things are not “just fine”!
Do you suppose they are embarrassed
over this outrage?
Not really. They have no shame.
They don’t even know how to blush.
There’s no hope for them. They’ve hit bottom
and there’s no getting up.
As far as I’m concerned,
they’re finished.’” God has spoken.

 

13 “‘I went out to see if I could salvage anything’”
—God’s Decree—
“‘but found nothing:
Not a grape, not a fig,
just a few withered leaves.
I’m taking back
everything I gave them.’”

 

Acts 19:28-41

 

The Message (MSG)

 

28-31 That set them off in a frenzy. They ran into the street yelling, “Great Artemis of the Ephesians! Great Artemis of the Ephesians!” They put the whole city in an uproar, stampeding into the stadium, and grabbing two of Paul’s associates on the way, the Macedonians Gaius and Aristarchus. Paul wanted to go in, too, but the disciples wouldn’t let him. Prominent religious leaders in the city who had become friendly to Paul concurred: “By no means go near that mob!”

 

32-34 Some were yelling one thing, some another. Most of them had no idea what was going on or why they were there. As the Jews pushed Alexander to the front to try to gain control, different factions clamored to get him on their side. But he brushed them off and quieted the mob with an impressive sweep of his arms. But the moment he opened his mouth and they knew he was a Jew, they shouted him down: “Great Artemis of the Ephesians! Great Artemis of the Ephesians!”—on and on and on, for over two hours.

 

35-37 Finally, the town clerk got the mob quieted down and said, “Fellow citizens, is there anyone anywhere who doesn’t know that our dear city Ephesus is protector of glorious Artemis and her sacred stone image that fell straight out of heaven? Since this is beyond contradiction, you had better get hold of yourselves. This is conduct unworthy of Artemis. These men you’ve dragged in here have done nothing to harm either our temple or our goddess.

 

38-41 “So if Demetrius and his guild of artisans have a complaint, they can take it to court and make all the accusations they want. If anything else is bothering you, bring it to the regularly scheduled town meeting and let it be settled there. There is no excuse for what’s happened today. We’re putting our city in serious danger. Rome, remember, does not look kindly on rioters.” With that, he sent them home.

 

 

 

 

Someone Touched Me 061213

ICONS Risen Christ

ICONS Risen Christ (Photo credit: Fergal Mac Eoinin)

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

 

Jeremiah 8:14-22 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Jeremiah%208:14-22%09&version=MSG

 

Luke 8:40-56 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%208:40-56&version=MSG

 

Someone Touched Me 061213

 

Today’s verses from Luke tell an interesting story, or rather two stories wrapped around one another. The first, larger story is of Jesus being asked to heal the dying, and then the dead 12 year old daughter of a village leader. But while he is walking through the crowd to see the dying girl, someone touches the hem of Jesus’ robes. It is a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years without ceasing.

 

Maybe it’s a coincidence that the dying girl is 12 years old, and that the woman had suffered for 12 years also. But I think somehow and for some reason the use of the number 12 was for a purpose. I’m not sure what that purpose was, but maybe the story is easier to recall and be retold if the number 12 is repeated.

 

Also, note that Jesus realized someone had touched him because he felt the ‘energy draining out of him’.

 

I don’t know if you thought of it in these terms, but people who regret being a parent talk of the children bleeding them empty, and draining the life blood right out of them. A child, particularly a troublesome or selfish child can live so as to drain you, financially, emotionally and spiritually.

 

Maybe Jesus is saying a drained parent has no choice but to let the child ‘die’ and be born again. That’s the only way to still love a child, and yet the only way to ‘stop the bleeding’.

 

I won’t go so far as to say that this is a miracle story, or only a metaphor, because I don’t really know. But Jesus’ life has a way of being metaphorical, even when it’s true. His life, in a way, was one big metaphor that represents my and your life with God. Those metaphors are as real as anything. I know they are real because of the real effects they have had on my life, and on others. Maybe the early christ-followers knew they’d have a difficult time relating the real truth of Jesus. How do you relate the truth of a woman who has been drained of life by the actual or metaphorical death of a child? And, similarly, how would an early christian tell the story of Jesus saving a dying or dead child, and of bringing them back to life, when the death was a cultural fact (but maybe not an actual fact) and the coming back to life was a description of re-instilling life in a culturally dead child. (If you haven’t noticed such culturally dead children, look into the eyes of children living in violence, poverty and drug-filled families and neighborhoods. Aren’t they dead, and don’t we wish we could raise them from the dead.

 

I know referring to anything in the Bible as a metaphor is cause for condemnation at the hands of some churchgoers. But in the case, the metaphor of Jesus raising the dead and ‘stopping the bleeding’ may be a more miraculous event than if the miracles were seen only literally.

 

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 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.

Jeremiah 8:14-22

The Message (MSG)

14-16 So why are we sitting here, doing nothing?
Let’s get organized.
Let’s go to the big city
and at least die fighting.
We’ve gotten God’s ultimatum:
We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t—
damned because of our sin against him.
We hoped things would turn out for the best,
but it didn’t happen that way.
We were waiting around for healing—
and terror showed up!
From Dan at the northern borders
we hear the hooves of horses,
Horses galloping, horses neighing.
The ground shudders and quakes.
They’re going to swallow up the whole country.
Towns and people alike—fodder for war.

17 “‘What’s more, I’m dispatching
poisonous snakes among you,
Snakes that can’t be charmed,
snakes that will bite you and kill you.’”
God’s Decree!

Advancing from One Evil to the Next

18-22 I drown in grief.
I’m heartsick.
Oh, listen! Please listen! It’s the cry of my dear people
reverberating through the country.
Is God no longer in Zion?
Has the King gone away?
Can you tell me why they flaunt their plaything-gods,
their silly, imported no-gods before me?
The crops are in, the summer is over,
but for us nothing’s changed.
We’re still waiting to be rescued.
For my dear broken people, I’m heartbroken.
I weep, seized by grief.
Are there no healing ointments in Gilead?
Isn’t there a doctor in the house?
So why can’t something be done
to heal and save my dear, dear people?

Luke 8:40-56

The Message (MSG)

His Touch

40-42 On his return, Jesus was welcomed by a crowd. They were all there expecting him. A man came up, Jairus by name. He was president of the meeting place. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his home because his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, was dying. Jesus went with him, making his way through the pushing, jostling crowd.

43-45 In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”

When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”

46 Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”

47 When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.

48 Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”

49 While he was still talking, someone from the leader’s house came up and told him, “Your daughter died. No need now to bother the Teacher.”

50-51 Jesus overheard and said, “Don’t be upset. Just trust me and everything will be all right.” Going into the house, he wouldn’t let anyone enter with him except Peter, John, James, and the child’s parents.

52-53 Everyone was crying and carrying on over her. Jesus said, “Don’t cry. She didn’t die; she’s sleeping.” They laughed at him. They knew she was dead.

54-56 Then Jesus, gripping her hand, called, “My dear child, get up.” She was up in an instant, up and breathing again! He told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were ecstatic, but Jesus warned them to keep quiet. “Don’t tell a soul what happened in this room.”

 

Sagrada Familia (They cast lots for my robe)

Sagrada Familia (They cast lots for my robe) (Photo credit: Fergal Mac Eoinin)

Do You Ever Get Tired Of You?

The Whistling Boy, Frank Duveneck (1872)

The Whistling Boy, Frank Duveneck (1872) (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 96:1-9

1 Kings 6:23-38

2 Corinthians 5:11-17

Psalm 96:1-9

1 ​​​​​​​Sing to the LORD a new song!2
Sing to the LORD, all the earth!
2 ​​​​​​​Sing to the LORD! Praise his name!
Announce every day how he delivers!
1
3 ​​​​​​​Tell the nations about his splendor!
Tell
1 all the nations about his amazing deeds!
4 ​​​​​​​For the LORD is great and certainly worthy of praise;
he is more awesome than all gods.
note
5 ​​​​​​​For all the gods of the nations are worthless,
but the LORD made the sky.
6 ​​​​​​​Majestic splendor emanates from him;
his sanctuary is firmly established and beautiful.
7 ​​​​​​​Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the nations,
ascribe to the LORD splendor and strength!
8 ​​​​​​​Ascribe to the LORD the splendor he deserves!
Bring an offering and enter his courts!
9 ​​​​​​​Worship the LORD in holy attire!

 

23 In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubs of olive wood; each stood 15 feet high. Exod 25:18; 24 Each of the first cherub’s wings was seven and a half feet long; its entire wingspan was 15 feet. 25 The second cherub also had a wingspan of 15 feet; it was identical to the first in measurements and shape. 26 Each cherub stood 15 feet high. 27 He put the cherubs in the inner sanctuary of the temple. Their wings were spread out. One of the first cherub’s wings touched one wall and one of the other cherub’s wings touched the opposite wall. The first cherub’s other wing touched the second cherub’s other wing in the middle of the room. Exod 25:20; 28 He plated the cherubs with gold.

29 On all the walls around the temple, inside and out, he carved cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom. 30 He plated the floor of the temple with gold, inside and out. 31 He made doors of olive wood at the entrance to the inner sanctuary; the pillar on each doorpost was five-sided. 32 On the two doors made of olive wood he carved cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom, and he plated them with gold. He plated the cherubs and the palm trees with hammered gold. 33 In the same way he made doorposts of olive wood for the entrance to the main hall, only with four-sided pillars. 34 He also made two doors out of wood from evergreens; each door had two folding leaves. 35 He carved cherubs, palm trees, and flowers in bloom and plated them with gold, leveled out over the carvings. 36 He built the inner courtyard with three rows of chiseled stones and a row of cedar beams.

37 In the month Ziv of the fourth year of Solomon’s reign the foundation was laid for the LORD’s temple. 38 In the eleventh year, in the month Bul (the eighth month) the temple was completed in accordance with all its specifications and blueprints. It took seven years to build.

2 Corinthians 5:11-17

11 Therefore, because we know the fear of the Lord, we try to persuade people, but we are well known to God, and I hope we are well known to your consciences too. 12 We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may be able to answer those who take pride in outward appearance and not in what is in the heart. 2Cor 3:1; 2Cor 10:8; 13 For if we are out of our minds, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, since we have concluded this, that Christ died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised. Rom 14:7; Gal 2:20; 1Thess 5:10; 1Pet 4:2; 16 So then from now on we acknowledge no one from an outward human point of view. Even though we have known Christ from such a human point of view, now we do not know him in that way any longer. Matt 12:50; John 15:14; Gal 5:6; Gal 6:15; Col 3:11; 17 So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come! Isa 43:18; Rev 21:5; 18 And all these things are from God who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and who has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

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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Do You Ever Get Tired Of You?

Psalm 96 is a celebration all its own. ‘1 ​​​​​​​Sing to the LORD a new song!2
Sing to the LORD, all the earth! ‘ One couldn’t think of a more powerful, direct and engaging song or poem for the day.

The words are a music full of creation, ‘springing forth’, a blossoming, an emerging root into seedling, a call to you to make yourself a new person or one to the Lord, who him/her self is creativity and creating.

At some point, each of us deep inside decided to be a new song, and as we see it, a path. We all renew and become new songs, over and over again through our lives.

This morning, I took the above differently, and actually found and started singing a new song. My wife can tell you that I have the irritating habit of continually singing, humming, whistling, and maybe even snoring the same tune. If the tune happened to be Handel’s ‘Messiah maybe it would be tolerable, but I think a recent tune was ‘You are my sunshine’. But far worse is that the tune of the day, soon lasts a month, and I’ll break into music with it several times a day.

Well, the new song is ‘Just as Long as I’m in this world, I am the light of the world’. I ‘accidentally’ heard the song in the morning, being sung by Kelly Joe Phelps, a guitarist from Portland, Oregon.

The song itself traces back to the Reverend Gary Davis, a blind preacher, singer, amazing guitarist and harmonica player before and during the the Great Depression, at least that’s how I remember him now, and although I’m fairly familiar with his music, I hadn’t heard this song like I did today, so I’ve been whistling it, singing it, humming, tapping my foot, and imagine the guitar in my hands.

The only point I’m making is that sometimes we can hum the same tune so much we weat it out, and maybe we too become so fixed and static in our spirit, that may be even God gets a little tired of it.

But, as much as we may fear it, singing a new song and being a new spirit and soul may be just the thing for us.

Pray for peace,

pastor Bill

 

Whistling in Brooklyn

Whistling in Brooklyn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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

The Sin of Pride 060112

Father of the Pride

Father of the Pride (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

 

The Sin of Pride 060112

From the monthly magazine The Mennonite and online at www.themenonite.org comes this column titled ‘Purposeful Plan Needs An Eighth Priority’ (found at http://www.themennonite.org/issues/15-6/articles/Purposeful_Plan_needs_an_eighth_priority ):

“Whether we are conservative or liberal, rural or urban, Republican or Democrat, we can agree that three assumptions are at the core of prevailing American thought:

(1) U.S. military domination of the world is better than all available alternatives,

(2) catering to the corporate elite is necessary in order for the rest of us to get by and

(3) personal freedom and fulfillment is achieved by throwing off restraints and limitations.

To unleash the power of the seven recommended practices, we need to disassociate ourselves from these three deceptions. As a church, this will mean renouncing U.S. military domination of the world and declaring that even in this life, we do not find our security in the power of empire. It will mean ending our infatuation with Wall Street, affirming workers as the source of prosperity and committing ourselves to the support of an economy that creates opportunities for working people. It will mean bearing witness to the freedom and fulfillment we have found by binding ourselves to the way of Jesus, communities of faith and relationships of love and fidelity.

In our context, these identity markers will signify the saving power of our Lord. As we publicly embrace such nonconformity, the seven priorities contained in the Purposeful Plan will indeed do their work, making of us “an effective sign, instrument and foretaste of God’s kingdom.”

Berry Friesen is a member of East Chestnut Street Mennonite Church, Lancaster, Pa.”

I’m proud, as a Mennonite minister that a congregant could speak and write so succinctly about what the priorities of the wider church should be, and proud that a magazine with our denominational name sees this as fit and worthy of publication.

But for many, it is also an example of what I call the Mennonite paradox. As far as I know no one else calls it that. The article excerpt above could be seen as extremely liberal, even radical on issues of social and economic justice, military power and empire and the role of money and greed in modern culture(s). Sometimes, as above Mennonites show, Mennonites and Christians can seem so liberal. Yet, in many many ways Mennonites are like an old country church I once knew that was biblically oriented and so studious that the congregation occasionally would stop a minister during a sermon to correct an error in the minister’s biblical interpretation! Strict reading and adherence to biblical teaching is foremost!

And sometimes a radical, liberal, even anarchist view of the world, and a Biblical conservatism go together. I’m proud of that and read today the words of Isaiah 2:4b:

“….they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.”

Pray for peace

brother Bill

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

Pray with us!

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

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

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

 

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

 

Psalm 29

Isaiah 2:1-5

Romans 8:9-11

 

Psalm 29

The Voice of God in a Great Storm

A Psalm of David.
1 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy splendour.
3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over mighty waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forest bare;
and in his temple all say, ‘Glory!’
10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Isaiah 2:1-5

The Future House of God

2The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2 In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
3   Many peoples shall come and say,
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.
5 O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the Lord!

Romans 8:9-11

9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

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

 

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