A sign was hung in an office window. It read: Help wanted. Must type 70 words a minute. Must be computer literate. Must be bilingual. An equal opportunity employer. A dog was ambling down the street and saw the sign. He looked at it for a moment, pulled it down with his mouth, and walked into the manager's office, making it clear he wished to apply for the job. The office manager laughed and said, "I can't hire a dog for this job." The dog pointed to the line: "An equal opportunity employer." So the manager said, "OK, take this letter and type it." The dog went off to the word processor and returned a minute later with the finished letter, perfectly formatted. The manager said, "Alright, here's a problem. Write a computer program for it and run it." Fifteen minutes later, the dog came back with the task accomplished. The manager still wasn't convinced. "I can't hire you for this position. You've got to be bilingual." The dog looked up at the manager and said, "Meow."
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. Today, Lord we lift up the people of Lebanon (esp. affected by the explosion), Estonia, Benin, Columbia, and India. Lord, nourish the church in these countries and reveal Your love and truth to the lost. Lord give all who serve the courage and strength to continue. Comfort the sick. Guide, instruct and convict those in leadership. 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 “…(God) has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV) You may be wondering if we are ever going to read a new verse or talk about anything other than reconciliation. The answer is of course, “Yes, but not quite yet,” and we will be circling back around to reconciliation in future meditations. You may wonder why? Simply because it is a core component of love in action, without reconciliation how do we address the mess of our lives? In a perfect world, no relationship would ever veer off the rails, we would live in perfect harmony with God, each other, ourselves, and the natural world. There would be no need for grace, forgiveness, compassion, or reconciliation since there would be no broken relationships to mend. However, the world that we occupy has deviated from God’s good plan, it has been marred by sin and vandalized by selfishness and hatred. While we were created for relationship, our experience of relationship has been hijacked by brokenness; we struggle to love God, our neighbor and ourselves. A few weeks ago Mike and I had a fight. It was a result of careless and foolish talk on my part and misunderstanding on Mike’s. It escalated, it involved heated words and lots of angry and hurt feelings. I was frantic to fix it, Mike wanted to prevent it from happening again, this led to more hurt and frustration, until in one phone call I expressed remorse and sadness and Mike simply said, “It’s okay, it’s okay, I hear you.” There is no way to communicate the relief and joy I felt. Mike heard me, we could find a way through, there was hope to bring resolution to the fracturing that had occurred. In a word: reconciliation. Mike wasn’t saying what had happened was okay, he was saying, “We will be okay, I hear your sorrow, I want to reconnect too, I forgive you, let’s work together = It’s okay.” Reconciliation is the bringing back together what we all long for and desperately need and we must experience it before we can be true ambassadors to others. If you struggle with anyone, including God, reach out for help. Call Pastor Mike or a church elder and begin a conversation. If life’s okay, but God seems distant then this is the place to start. If God is near but you still dislike yourself, well then that needs addressed. If you and God are good but you hate your neighbor or your brother then that’s your mission. We were made for community, connection and love; don’t let another day go by alone when Jesus is waiting to hear from you.
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 Chronicles and https://bibleproject.com/explore/1-corinthians/ for an overview of the letter that Paul sent to the church in Corinth. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. 1 Chronicles 19:1-22:1 What happens in chapter 19 that will lead to war? (3) What was David’s intent? (2) How often do we “mis-read” someone else’s intentions? How often does conflict arise from a mis-understanding? Chapter 20 begins with a phrase we have heard before. Look up 2 Samuel 11:1ff. What is different about these two accounts? Why do you think the account of Bathsheba is not included? Chapter 21 finds David ordering a census. What’s interesting is that the author of Chronicles attributes this to Satan. Joab knows that this is a bad idea. (Re-read 21:6-7) But why? We don’t really know the sin that is being committed here, and how Joab sees it but not David. There is a requirement in Exodus 30:12-16 about an offering that is made during the time of a census. It is to make atonement to the Lord, but again, it’s not really clear if this is the sin or not. Some things in scripture are cultural, and are lost to us. We can propose an idea, but we must hold it loosely. 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5 As we begin Paul’s letter to the church in Corinth, what was the issue from our reading yesterday? (1:11-12) What is Paul’s point in reference to this division? (2:2) How does Christ crucified speak to the issue of division? Psalm 91:1-8 How does trusting in the Lord as “my refuge and my fortress” keep us from fear?