Lectionary Scriptures and Comments

Posts tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

“No other foundation…”

February 23, 2014 –– Seventh Sunday after Epiphany

Lectionary Scriptures:

Leviticus 19:1-18

The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 2Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. 3You shall each revere your mother and father, and you shall keep my sabbaths: I am the LORD your God. 4Do not turn to idols or make cast images for yourselves: I am the LORD your God. 5When you offer a sacrifice of well-being to the LORD, offer it in such a way that it is acceptable on your behalf. 6It shall be eaten on the same day you offer it, or on the next day; and anything left over until the third day shall be consumed in fire. 7If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination; it will not be acceptable. 8All who eat it shall be subject to punishment, because they have profaned what is holy to the LORD; and any such person shall be cut off from the people.9When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. 10You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God.
11You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; and you shall not lie to one another. 12And you shall not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God: I am the LORD. 13You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal; and you shall not keep for yourself the wages of a laborer until morning. 14You shall not revile the deaf or put a stumbling block before the blind; you shall fear your God: I am the LORD. 15You shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor. 16You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not profit by the blood of your neighbor: I am the LORD. 17You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. 18You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Psalm 119:33-40

ה He (5th letter of the hebrew alphabet)

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.[a]
38 Establish Your word to Your servant,
Who is devoted to fearing You.
39 Turn away my reproach which I dread,
For Your judgments are good.
40 Behold, I long for Your precepts;
Revive me in Your righteousness.

1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23
10According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building on it. Each builder must choose with care how to build on it.
11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ. 12Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13the work of each builder will become visible, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. 14If what has been built on the foundation survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If the work is burned up, the builder will suffer loss; the builder will be saved, but only as through fire.
16Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
18Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.”
21So let no one boast about human leaders. For all things are yours,22whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you, 23and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

Matthew 5:38-48
38“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Comments
In 1996 the Historical Committee of the Mennonite Church (Old Mennonite) published a commemorative fraktur for the 500th anniversary of the birth of Menno Simons. At the bottom of the fraktur, printed on the sturdy stones, is the Bible verse from First Corinthians 3:11:
11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ

This Bible verse was said to be Menno Simons’ favorite. The Mennonites were named after Menno Simons. He was one of the early Anabaptist leaders in Europe who survived persecution and lived long enough to have his name associated with the Anabaptist movement, sometimes referred to as the radical wing of the Great Reformation. Menno was born in 1496 and died peacefully in 1561. He became a Catholic priest in the Netherlands at the age of 28 and over the next dozen years or so he wrestled with the corruption of the church, the interpretation of the scriptures, and the social and nationalism movements of his day. His commitment to the reforms of the peaceful Anabaptist movement solidified when his brother, Peter Simons, was killed by authorities. Peter was part of a group who took over a monastery and attempted to hold it by force. Menno did not agree with using violence to bring about reform and changes but he sympathized with need to reform the church.
Author Phyllis Tickle believes the church is going through another period of upheaval similar to the Great Reformation of the 1500’s. In her book The Great Emergence (Baker, 2008) she notes that significant changes tend to come every five hundred or so years, including the coming of Christ in the first century, approximately 500 years after the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The temple was replaced by a different form of Judaism more centered in synagogue and scripture. The Jesus movement reinterpreted that understanding and the Christian church emerged. With the decline of the Roman Empire the church consolidated under Gregory the Great in the fifth and sixth centuries. Tickle argues that the pattern continues with the Great Schism of the 11th century which generated the Catholic and Orthodox streams, and the Reformation of the 16th century which generated many tributaries. From this historical trend, Tickle deduces that, here in the 2000s, we’re poised for another such seismic change. She calls it The Great Emergence.
What is at stake in these times of upheaval has been the question of authority. Where does the buck stop? Our denomination, the new Mennonite Church USA is engaged with that question with the latest round of discussions and actions related to how we deal with sexual minorities in the church. Some are convinced that the authority of the scripture says one thing. Some are convinced that the authority of scripture says something else. Some say the authority of the church documents are what we agree to follow. Others say, no, they are not those kind of documents. Where does the buck stop on this topic?
In some ways, the texts for this Sunday are foundational assertions. The Deuteronomy texts invoke the commandments given to Moses as authoritative. Psalm 119 affirms and celebrates the following of the law. The New Testament texts, of course, turn to Jesus the Christ as the foundation of faith.

The Apostle Paul declares to the church that they are the dwelling place of God. We have used this image in a more individualistic way to feel guilty about using our bodies in self-destructive ways – smoking, excessive eating, drinking, sexual excess and the variety of other ways we indulge our bodies in harmful ways. We have this idea that God’s temple should be a place of purity, holiness and moderation. Whether Paul is talking about our individual bodies or about the church, the community of Christ-followers, there is still a sense of intimacy with God’s Spirit that is conveyed. We are in union with God, a central truth of the Christian faith. This union leads to unconditional love and Paul’s words about that kind of love are expressed eloquently a few chapters later in his letter to the Corinthian church – “If I do not have love, I am nothing.”
The text from Matthew’s Gospel offers the teaching of Jesus on the everyday implications of living in union with God and expressing love for all, including enemies.
Walking in the way of Jesus, in union with God, led by God’s Spirit and driven by divine love, is a demanding standard for our individual lives and for the church. Is it the cornerstone of our faith?

Aside

Reading the Ancient Texts 103013

English: By Rembrandt.

English: By Rembrandt. (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 84:8-12 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2084:8-12&version=MSG

 

Daniel 5:13-31 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel%205:13-31&version=MSG

 

Matthew 21:28-32 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2021:28-32&version=MSG

 

 

Reading the Ancient Texts 103013

 

As disciples of Jesus we often make a commitment to read the Gospels frequently and also to read the Hebrew books, our ‘Old Testament‘.

 

Reading the New Testament, the Gospels, makes instant sense to us; we can read through and pick out the words of Jesus himself, and I must admit I still prefer a Bible that has ‘the words of Jesus in red’. On a page of text, the clear, prominent words in red jump out to me, and speak clearly to me. Even though the words of Jesus are 2,000 years removed from now almost, and Jesus was a Mediterranean Jewish peasant (and most of us are not) the words, the characters, the events speak out loud to me, and have become a foundation of our culture.

 

The Old Testament is more problematic. The morals, the stories, the characters and the teachings sometimes just do not speak to me, or to many disciples. We are not pre-Christian, Jews living in a Roman, a Babylonian, or a Jewish kingdom. I’ve never lived the life of nomadic shepherds or seen what the temple was like. Neither have I lived a life such that family, community and the temple were the key features of my identity, and actually, my identity as a disciple of Jesus does not easily tie into the ancient, Semitic language and culture. Sure, we are all human, but there is much I just don’t understand.

 

But, if I read the Old Testament and make allowances for it—such as, ‘well, it is the honest voice and history of God’s people‘ even if I don’t understand it completely, then what should I say when I read an ancient Buddhist, Taoist or Hindu text? Are those texts also the honest voice and history of God’s people?

 

There’s much to consider here. If an old Buddhist text recommends I wear an orange or ochre robe, pray and burn incense, should I? No, but then neither do I slaughter lambs, and doves and pigeons and make burnt meat offerings to God in the temple.

 

So, I’m left confused. Do my beliefs and faith as a disciple of Christ compel me to behave like an ancient Jew, and does reading an ancient text from any ancient religion or philosophy compel to practice as the ancients practiced? Perhaps, but remember that burning incense is a primary cause of home fires. Be careful.

 

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 84:8-12

The Message (MSG)

8-9 God-of-the-Angel-Armies, listen:
O God of Jacob, open your ears—I’m praying!
Look at our shields, glistening in the sun,
our faces, shining with your gracious anointing.

10-12 One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship,
beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches.
I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God
than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
All sunshine and sovereign is God,
generous in gifts and glory.
He doesn’t scrimp with his traveling companions.
It’s smooth sailing all the way with God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

Daniel 5:13-31

The Message (MSG)

13-16 So Daniel was called in. The king asked him, “Are you the Daniel who was one of the Jewish exiles my father brought here from Judah? I’ve heard about you—that you’re full of the Holy Spirit, that you’ve got a brilliant mind, that you are incredibly wise. The wise men and enchanters were brought in here to read this writing on the wall and interpret it for me. They couldn’t figure it out—not a word, not a syllable. But I’ve heard that you interpret dreams and solve mysteries. So—if you can read the writing and interpret it for me, you’ll be rich and famous—a purple robe, the great gold chain around your neck—and third-in-command in the kingdom.”

17 Daniel answered the king, “You can keep your gifts, or give them to someone else. But I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.

18-21 “Listen, O king! The High God gave your father Nebuchadnezzar a great kingdom and a glorious reputation. Because God made him so famous, people from everywhere, whatever their race, color, and creed, were totally intimidated by him. He killed or spared people on whim. He promoted or humiliated people capriciously. He developed a big head and a hard spirit. Then God knocked him off his high horse and stripped him of his fame. He was thrown out of human company, lost his mind, and lived like a wild animal. He ate grass like an ox and was soaked by heaven’s dew until he learned his lesson: that the High God rules human kingdoms and puts anyone he wants in charge.

22-23 “You are his son and have known all this, yet you’re as arrogant as he ever was. Look at you, setting yourself up in competition against the Master of heaven! You had the sacred chalices from his Temple brought into your drunken party so that you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines, could drink from them. You used the sacred chalices to toast your gods of silver and gold, bronze and iron, wood and stone—blind, deaf, and imbecile gods. But you treat with contempt the living God who holds your entire life from birth to death in his hand.

24-26 “God sent the hand that wrote on the wall, and this is what is written: mene, teqel, and peres. This is what the words mean:

Mene: God has numbered the days of your rule and they don’t add up.

27 “Teqel: You have been weighed on the scales and you don’t weigh much.

28 “Peres: Your kingdom has been divided up and handed over to the Medes and Persians.”

29 Belshazzar did what he had promised. He robed Daniel in purple, draped the great gold chain around his neck, and promoted him to third-in-charge in the kingdom.

30-31 That same night the Babylonian king Belshazzar was murdered. Darius the Mede was sixty-two years old when he succeeded him as king.

Matthew 21:28-32

The Message (MSG)

The Story of Two Sons

28 “Tell me what you think of this story: A man had two sons. He went up to the first and said, ‘Son, go out for the day and work in the vineyard.’

29 “The son answered, ‘I don’t want to.’ Later on he thought better of it and went.

30 “The father gave the same command to the second son. He answered, ‘Sure, glad to.’ But he never went.

31-32 “Which of the two sons did what the father asked?”

They said, “The first.”

Jesus said, “Yes, and I tell you that crooks and whores are going to precede you into God’

kingdom. John came to you showing you the right road. You turned up your noses at him, but the crooks and whores believed him. Even when you saw their changed lives, you didn’t care enough to change and believe him.

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.

 

 

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.

 

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

Psalm 68:1-10

The Message (MSG)

A David Psalm

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

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

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

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)

God in Our Imagination 060413

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

Columbia, MO

www.peacemennonitechurch.net

God the Father 16

God the Father 16 (Photo credit: Waiting For The Word)

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 5 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%205%09&version=MSG

Nehemiah 1:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah%201:1-11%09&version=MSG

Acts 3:1-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%203:1-10%09&version=MSG

God in Our Imagination 060413

As spring wears into very early summer, I’ve begun considering the

nature of God. The flowers of spring and the rampant green growth

usually (every year!) lead me into a vibrant,alive spirituality. I

love God in the springtime for what he has done. And when I see the

beauty of spring, I love God. I love God for what it looks like he

has created. If instead, spring was filled with concrete,

overpopulated cities, despoiled hazardous waste landfills, blackened

and poisonous rivers and streams—if that’s all there was, would I

not love God?

A friend of mine basically left the church—all churches—because he

concluded that God was ultimately,a product of my imagination. He

saw, he said, that we didn’t know God, or know if there was a God,

because God was really, JUST a product of our imagination. He was a minster, and I hope he returns eventually to

being a minister again; he was good at it.

But, when I think about what my old friend had said and thought, I can’t

say I disagree much, except I do not limit God to my small ideas. God

exists independently of my mind, thankfully.

But God is still not clear to me—if I have a vision of God, it is

probably my own idea. For instance, I normally call God a man, and

seldom a woman, but neither is for sure. Gender is not necessarily

part of God’s being.

Despite acknowledging that my idea of God is basically of my imagination, I

still see my idea as proof that I love God, and that God is so far

beyond anything I could imagine, that my own ideas prove that God is

far bigger, more ‘infinite’ and unlimited, and more beautiful and

creative than any human or living mind can envision. Our limitations

prove the unlimitedness of God. So, I do not see this God as a

negative. Instead, a God that is forever infinitely beyond me is

exactly the kind of God I can love and worship.

I realize the above might not make sense, but that’s okay too. One’s

spirituality dos not have to be logical. Think about God, but not too

hard.

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  Can we pray with you and for you?

(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 5

The Message (MSG)

A

David Psalm

5 1-3 Listen, God!
Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
King-God, I need your help.
Every morning you’ll hear me at
it again.
Every morning I lay out the
pieces of my life on your altar
and

7 Lucky Gods of japan

7 Lucky Gods of japan (Photo credit: Steve-kun)

watch for fire to descend.

4-6 You

don’t socialize with Wicked,
or invite

Evil over as your houseguest.
Hot-Air-Boaster collapses in front

of you;
you shake your head over

Mischief-Maker.
God destroys Lie-Speaker;
Blood-Thirsty

and Truth-Bender disgust you.

7-8 And

here I am, your invited guest—
it’s

incredible!
I enter your house; here I am,
prostrate

in your inner sanctum,
Waiting for directions
to

get me safely through enemy lines.

9-10 Every

word they speak is a land mine;
their

lungs breathe out poison gas.
Their throats are gaping

graves,
their tongues slick as

mudslides.
Pile on the guilt, God!
Let

their so-called wisdom wreck them.
Kick them out! They’ve had

their chance.

11-12 But

you’ll welcome us with open arms
when we

run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
Stand

guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming

God-seekers,
for decking us out in

delight.

Nehemiah 1:1-11

The Message (MSG)

1 1-2 The

memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

It was the month of Kislev in the

twentieth year. At the time I was in the palace complex at Susa.

Hanani, one of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some

fellow Jews. I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there

who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem.

3 They

told me, “The exile survivors who are left there in the province

are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is

still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.”

4 When

I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and

praying before the God-of-Heaven.

5-6 I

said, “God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his

covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands:

Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your

servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your

servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of

Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those

who have sinned against you.

7-9 “We’ve

treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t

followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you

gave to Moses your servant. All the same, remember the warning you

posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you

to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you,

I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended

up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.’

10-11 “Well,

there they are—your servants, your people whom you so powerfully

and impressively redeemed. O Master, listen to me, listen to your

servant’s prayer—and yes, to all your servants who delight in

honoring you—and make me successful today so that I get what I want

from the king.”

I was cupbearer to the king.

Acts 3:1-10

The Message (MSG)

3 1-5 One

day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their

way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a

man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down

at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going

into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the

Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked

him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up,

expecting to get something from them.

6-8 Peter

said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I

give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He

grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his

feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.

8-10 The

man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing

and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising

God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple’s

Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing

what they were seeing.

Whom the Church Has Harmed 050813

Ribbons of prayer for the victims of the Iraq ...

Ribbons of prayer for the victims of the Iraq War at the Marble Collegiate Church on 5th Avenue and 29th Street in New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Miniature in a prayer book from the beginning ...

Miniature in a prayer book from the beginning of the 15th Century. Pope Gregory I (590 – 604) leads a procession around the proximity of Rome, in order to pray for the end of the plague. In the foreground two victims have fallen, a child and a monk. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

Whom the Church Has Harmed 050813

 

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 93 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2093&version=MSG

 

2 Chronicles 34:20-33 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2%20Chronicles%2034:20-33%20&version=MSG

 

Luke 2:25-38 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke%202:25-38%20&version=MSG

 

Whom the Church Has Harmed 050813

 

A close friend has expressed to me how they have suffered for several years after an incident of injustice and hurt caused her to leave the
church. We’ve all been part of these situations, as a participant, as a victim or as an observer. The church sometimes, maybe often, hurts
those whom Jesus loves.

 

The idea occurred to this person that a church made up of those who had been hurt would be the largest church in the United States, or maybe
in the world. There are several ways of looking at this, and how we look at it may determine what we decide to do.

 

If we think the hurt was just the action of several mean people, or stupid people or ignorant power hungry people we may seek another
church, just to find that the new church is just as bad as the old.

 

Or we may decide that modern Christianity tolerates abuse of people, and realize that the safety of Jesus, the comfort of Jesus has been deleted from the modern church and replaced with the notion of church as being a burden to be tolerated, because it what we were taught we should do.

 

So,the church becomes an institution of social control and victimization, rather than an institution of spiritual freedom and spiritual joy, of a magnitude that human beings cannot find any other
place. What has happened?

 

How can we stay loyal to Jesus and ask for complete change within the church? And who dares to go first?

 

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 93
The Message (MSG)

 

93 1-2 God is King, robed and ruling, God is robed and surging with strength.

 

And yes, the world is firm, immovable, Your throne ever firm—you’re Eternal!

 

3-4 Sea storms are up, God,
Sea storms wild and roaring,
Sea storms with thunderous breakers.

 

Stronger than wild sea storms,
Mightier than sea-storm breakers,
Mighty God rules from High Heaven.

 

5 What you say goes—it always has.
“Beauty” and “Holy” mark your palace rule,
God, to the very end of time.

 

2 Chronicles 34:20-33

 

The Message (MSG)

 

19-21 When the king heard what was written in the book, God’s Revelation, he ripped his robes in
dismay. And then he called for Hilkiah, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Abdon son of Micah, Shaphan the royal secretary, and Asaiah the king’s
personal aide. He ordered them all: “Go and pray to God for me and what’s left of Israel and Judah. Find out what we must do in
response to what is written in this book that has just been found!

God’s anger must be burning furiously against us—our ancestors haven’t obeyed a thing written in this book of God, followed none
of the instructions directed to us.”

 

22-25 Hilkiah and those picked by the king went straight to Huldah the prophetess. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, who was in charge of the
palace wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter. The men consulted with her. In response to them she said, “God’s
word, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you here, ‘God has spoken, I’m on my way to bring the doom of judgment on this place
and this people. Every word written in the book read by the king of Judah will happen. And why? Because they’ve deserted me and taken
up with other gods; they’ve made me thoroughly angry by setting up their god-making businesses. My anger is raging white-hot against
this place and nobody is going to put it out.’

 

26-28 “And also tell the king of Judah, since he sent you to ask God for direction, God’s comment on what he read in the book: ‘Because you took seriously the doom of
judgment I spoke against this place and people, and because you responded in humble repentance, tearing your robe in dismay and weeping before me, I’m taking you seriously. God’s word. I’ll
take care of you; you’ll have a quiet death and be buried in peace.

You won’t be around to see the doom that I’m going to bring upon this place and people.’”

 

The men took her message back to the king.

 

29-31 The king acted immediately,assembling all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem, and then proceeding
to The Temple of God bringing everyone in his train—priests and prophets and people ranging from the least to the greatest. Then he
read out publicly everything written in the Book of the Covenant that was found in The Temple of God. The king stood by his pillar and
before God solemnly committed himself to the covenant: to follow God believingly and obediently; to follow his instructions, heart and
soul, on what to believe and do; to confirm with his life the entire covenant, all that was written in the book.

 

32 Then he made everyone in Jerusalem and Benjamin commit themselves. And they did it. They committed themselves to the covenant of God, the God of their
ancestors.

 

33 Josiah did a thorough job of cleaning up the pollution that had spread throughout Israelite territory and got everyone started fresh again, serving and
worshiping their God. All through Josiah’s life the people kept to  the straight and narrow, obediently following God, the God of their ancestors.

 

Luke 2:25-38

 

The Message (MSG)

 

25-32 In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:

 

God, you can now release your servant;   release me in peace as you promised. With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel.

 

33-35 Jesus’ father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless
them, and said to Mary his mother, This child marks both the failure and   thenrecovery of many in Israel,
A figure misunderstood andcontradicted—   the pain of a sword-thrust through you—
But the rejection will force honesty, as God reveals who they really are.

 

36-38 Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for
eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked
about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

 

The Great Thaw 031213

English: Daffodil field in South East Cornwall

English: Daffodil field in South East Cornwall (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Daffodils

Daffodils (Photo credit: tejvanphotos)

Daffodil

Daffodil (Photo credit: Sentrawoods.)

Daffodils

Daffodils (Photo credit: zebble)

 

 

 

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 5 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%205&version=MSG

 

Nehemiah 1:1-11 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Nehemiah%201:1-11&version=MSG

 

Acts 3:1-10 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%203:1-10&version=MSG

 

 

 

The Great Thaw 031213

 

 

 

It’s been a hard and cold winter for many. The snow has been this high for weeks or maybe months, and I’ve had a tractor, a car, and a big truck stuck for several week.

 

 

 

Now, all of a sudden—the great thaw is on. The Missouri and Mississippi Rivers are flowing and I saw a barge moving down the Missouri this morning, where the drought of the last two years had left only a sandbar.

 

 

 

And when the snow melted, the daffodils were there waiting.

 

 

 

I realize that our lives are sometimes like this, and our spiritual lives especially. After a spell of months of what seemed like all darkness and cold, something in us melts, and spring is coming! And I think Jesus works in us this same way—slowly, quietly, under the cold, in the darl, spring is coming to our souls.

 

 

 

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 5

 

The Message (MSG)

 

A David Psalm

 

5 1-3 Listen, God! Please, pay attention!
Can you make sense of these ramblings,
my groans and cries?
King-God, I need your help.
Every morning
you’ll hear me at it again.
Every morning
I lay out the pieces of my life
on your altar
and watch for fire to descend.

 

4-6 You don’t socialize with Wicked,
or invite Evil over as your houseguest.
Hot-Air-Boaster collapses in front of you;
you shake your head over Mischief-Maker.
God destroys Lie-Speaker;
Blood-Thirsty and Truth-Bender disgust you.

 

7-8 And here I am, your invited guest—
it’s incredible!
I enter your house; here I am,
prostrate in your inner sanctum,
Waiting for directions
to get me safely through enemy lines.

 

9-10 Every word they speak is a land mine;
their lungs breathe out poison gas.
Their throats are gaping graves,
their tongues slick as mudslides.
Pile on the guilt, God!
Let their so-called wisdom wreck them.
Kick them out! They’ve had their chance.

 

11-12 But you’ll welcome us with open arms
when we run for cover to you.
Let the party last all night!
Stand guard over our celebration.
You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers,
for decking us out in delight.

 

Nehemiah 1:1-11

 

The Message (MSG)

 

1 1-2 The memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

 

It was the month of Kislev in the twentieth year. At the time I was in the palace complex at Susa. Hanani, one of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some fellow Jews. I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem.

 

3 They told me, “The exile survivors who are left there in the province are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.”

 

4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven.

 

5-6 I said, “God, God-of-Heaven, the great and awesome God, loyal to his covenant and faithful to those who love him and obey his commands: Look at me, listen to me. Pay attention to this prayer of your servant that I’m praying day and night in intercession for your servants, the People of Israel, confessing the sins of the People of Israel. And I’m including myself, I and my ancestors, among those who have sinned against you.

 

7-9 “We’ve treated you like dirt: We haven’t done what you told us, haven’t followed your commands, and haven’t respected the decisions you gave to Moses your servant. All the same, remember the warning you posted to your servant Moses: ‘If you betray me, I’ll scatter you to the four winds, but if you come back to me and do what I tell you, I’ll gather up all these scattered peoples from wherever they ended up and put them back in the place I chose to mark with my Name.’

 

10-11 “Well, there they are—your servants, your people whom you so powerfully and impressively redeemed. O Master, listen to me, listen to your servant’s prayer—and yes, to all your servants who delight in honoring you—and make me successful today so that I get what I want from the king.”

 

I was cupbearer to the king.

 

Acts 3:1-10

 

The Message (MSG)

 

3 1-5 One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, Peter and John were on their way into the Temple for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set down at the Temple gate, the one named Beautiful, to beg from those going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter the Temple, he asked for a handout. Peter, with John at his side, looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up, expecting to get something from them.

 

6-8 Peter said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.

 

8-10 The man went into the Temple with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging at the Temple’s Gate Beautiful and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing what they were seeing.

 

 

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