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Little Johnny’s new baby brother was screaming up a storm, when Johnny asked his mom, “Where’d he come from?”  “He came from heaven, Johnny” she replied. Johnny thought about that for a moment and then responded, “Wow! I can see why they threw him out!”

-pastor mike

LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun.  Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Father, we lift up Saudi Arabia, Mexico, El Salvadore, Australia, and Bhutan and our brothers and sisters in Christ in these countries. Today, we ask for grace and strength for the healthcare workers around the world. Today, we ask for wisdom and humility for the world’s leaders Today, we ask for healing and comfort for the sick, lonely and helpless. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen

MEDITATION “He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) Let’s continue to marinate on the images that we saw in the Bible Project video on justice ( Justice figures very prominently in today’s culture. Many super heroes fight for justice. DC comics superheroes formed the Justice League and meet in a Hall of Justice. Many U.S. courthouse are named halls of justice and we have a U.S. Department of Justice. There is even a girls clothing line named Justice. The concept of justice in the modern world is “retributive justice”; someone does something bad and they get punished for it.  This is definitively part of the Biblical idea of justice. Psalms are full of calls for justice and promises of God punishing wrongdoers. We are told that evil will be dealt with and that promise gives us hope when times are dark and evil seems to run rampant. The problem with how the world looks at evil and justice is that it requires a “good guy” and a “bad guy”. The “good guy” defeats the “bad guy” and all is right, but in reality it never works that way because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Every human being depending on the circumstances may be the “good guy” or the “bad guy”. Often we are all the “bad guys” because we choose our will over God’s will.  God still loves us and desires our salvation. He is willing to go to great lengths to reach out to us in our rebellion. This makes “retributive justice” a hard concept since we all deserve punishment; we want it for the “other guy” but we want grace for ourselves. However, instead of just giving us what we deserve, God has mercifully extended grace to us and offers us an opportunity to start new. He offers us restoration but at a very high cost. Jesus paid the price for our restoration, justice was satisfied, but at God’s expense. How do we live in a way that reflects what God has done for us? The Bible Project video states that “Justice and righteousness are all about a radical and selfless way of life.”* The Biblical idea of “restorative justice” is focused on the vulnerable. This means those who can’t defend themselves or care for themselves. In Biblical times that meant women (who had very little legal standing and could not earn money) especially widows, the handicapped, children, and immigrants. In today’s world who is in this same vulnerable situation? -nicole * from the Bible Project video on Justice

DAILY SCRIPTURE READING Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit for an overview of Ecclesiastes and for an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Ecclesiastes 7:1-9:12 I find 7:10 an interesting verse. Actually, so much of chapter 7 seems a little contrary to what I’ve come to learn, at least without the idea of the resurrection. What do you think? Solomon seems to be overly focused upon death. As you read his thoughts, why do you think this is? What is so important about death in regards to the righteous and the wicked? 1 Corinthians 7:36-8:13 I feel that verses 8:9-13 are incredibly relevant to the particular moment we are in. Go back and re-read these. How do these verses related to any of the “hot button” topics currently found in the news? How do we show love? Psalm 95:1-11 The psalmist encourages us to worship God, “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord…” Worship and in particular giving thanks, will keep us from what? Look at verses 8-11.   

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