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 pray for Papua New Guinea, United Kingdom, Belize, Laos, CAR and the church in these countries as well as the lost. Help our leaders to be wise and patient. Strengthen the medical professionals and give them peace. Comfort the sick, lonely and hopeless. 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 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” Mark 3:20-21 NIV Father Greg Boyle runs a ministry in East Los Angeles called Homeboy Industries. Their mission statement reads: Homeboy Industries provides hope, training, and support to formerly gang-involved
and previously incarcerated men and women allowing them to redirect their lives
and become contributing members of our community. What you can’t see in this statement is the actual blood, sweat and tears that come when working with people caught up in violence, drugs, gang warfare, and debilitating cycles of poverty. Father G’s book Tattoos on the Heart* gives a powerful and moving look at what it means to love the people you serve. The homies often say, “Yo G’ You’re loco man.” Translation: “He’s out of his mind” Here's a story Father G shares... “I have been invited to give several talks in Bakersfield…so I snatch up Richie and Chepe (they are decidedly at risk, they haven’t committed a crime but it’s only a matter of time before America’s Most Wanted comes calling). We break up our road trip with dinner at Coco’s, a notch above Denny’s and a notch below, well every place else. The lady with the missile-silo hairstyle stands behind this reception counter and glowers at the three of us, well really at the Chepe and Richie, shaved heads, tattooed, and in all their baggy clothes gangster finery… We get to our table and Chepe whispers, ‘We don’t belong here, we should go someplace else.’ …’Would you relax. Our money is just as green as their money.’ I say trying to dampen their paranoia… The waitress deposits a slew of menus and Richie eyes the laminated array set before him. ‘Are these the things?’ ‘The things?’ ‘You know the things?’ ‘You mean menus?’ ‘Oh Come on G’, you know I don’t speak rich.’ This was their first time in a restaurant where you actually sat down, a waitress came to you, and you didn’t have to order by pointing at a luminous plastic picture of a cheeseburger. Our waitress was a totally different story from the frozen and awkward reception we got from everyone else. She puts her arms around the ‘fellas’ calling Chepe and Richie ‘Sweetie’ and ‘Honey’ and brings them refills (without even asking), with extra this and more of that. She is Jesus in an apron. Later as we walk to the car, they talk about our waitress, ‘She treated us like we were somebody. “In an acute gangster version of Stockholm syndrome, homies grow attached to, their weaknesses and difficulties and burdens. So you show them the bright blue sky of their sacredness and they are transfixed only by the ominous clouds, so you stand with them and encourage them to stare above and wait for the clouds to pass, as Pema Chodron would say, “You are the sky, everything else is just the weather.” Remember this applies to all of God’s children, including you. Jesus may have been crazy by the world’s standards, but then so are all who walk in His footsteps.
*Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion by Father Gregory Boyle - be aware the language in this book reflects actual ministry with homeboys and gangbangers, there are no stars and asterisks.
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/1-2-chronicles/ for an overview of 2 Chronicles and https://bibleproject.com/explore/2-corinthians/ for an overview of Paul’s second letter to the church in Corinth. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. 2 Chronicles 33:21-35:19 Josiah, as king, did what was right in the eyes of the Lord. What are some of the things he did? 34:14 is such an odd verse. Think about what this verse is saying. What does it mean, and what are the implications of this? How did Josiah respond when Shaphan read from the book of the Law? (34:19) Josiah’s response will not be sufficient to get Judah out of the trouble she was in, but what will God do for Josiah? (34:28) From chapter 35, it sounds like Josiah knew how to celebrate Passover. Are there any Holy Days that we celebrate with this much zeal? 2 Corinthians 2:12-3:6 In chapter 2, Paul will say that we are the aroma of Christ. What does this mean? (2:15-16) Paul talks about his value as one who ministers the New Covenant. How does he evaluate his ministry? (3:1-3) Proverbs 104:1-18 Understanding that the psalms are poetry, what is the psalmist saying? Even though we understand more about the world today, than they did 3,000 years ago, Do this change our perspective of God? Shouldn't we stand more in awe of Him, because of the complexities we can now see?