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. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; Lord, this is a frustrating time, give us patience. This is a scary time, give us courage. This is a hard time, give us endurance. And Lord let us never cease to be grateful no matter what! 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 This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders. You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone. God is building a home. He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what he is building. He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation. Now he’s using you, fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone, with Christ Jesus as the cornerstone that holds all the parts together. We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home. Ephesians 2:19-22 MSG The older I get the more I realize how little I fully understand. Mark Twain observed, ““When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” In his wry way, Twain was observing his own ignorance. The world is a complex place full of complex people with complex and competing allegiances. We want to be good, we want to be liked, we want what we want, we want to please God, we want a bowl of ice cream even though we are lactose intolerant; we are a mess. Each and every one of us is warped by sin and hurt. Yet we want simple answers, short and simple solutions, ten simple steps to solve all our problems. It’s why campaign slogans can appeal to us, yet it is foolishness to believe that this world’s gritty, murky and intractable problems are going to magically go “Poof!” with the right catch-phrase and enough charisma. Poverty, war, inequality, racism, injustice have only ever budged in response to one force: love. But while love is many things it is not simple, it is costly and complex. Love is a dynamic relationship lived out between autonomous individuals who choose to put the other first at their own cost. Love is lavished on the undeserving, it is willing to go where no one else wants to go. It lays down it’s life for another and expects nothing in return. Love is able to bridge time, age, and experience to knit wildly different people together. Love can do all these things because it is alive, not static or rigid. It is not a set of rules or a to-do list, it is an active response of gratitude towards God. He first loved us so we choose to live lives of love whether we feel like it or not. Love is not simple, it is not cheap. Love is not harsh or demanding, it is not judgmental. It never gives up, it never surrenders. It is the “why” of every act of grace, kindness, patience or heroism you’ve ever seen I do not have the answers. You do not have all the answers. There are no easy answers. But one thing is clear; if there was ever a year that the world needs God’s people to overflow with humility and love - 2020 is IT!
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/isaiah/ for an overview of Isaiah and https://bibleproject.com/explore/galatians/ for an overview of Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes. Isaiah 41:1-42:25 Chapter 41 seems to focus on what God is up to. Which stands in contrast to the nations or islands or even idols. Take for example verses 21 through 24. Why do you think God wants Israel to remember this? In chapter 42, Isaiah goes on to describe God’s justice and his judgment. The beginning of 42 is another one of the messianic texts. Does it sound familiar? Galatians 3:10-25 I think I have said before just how much I hated philosophy in college and seminary. Our text for this morning seems to go round and round, until we get to verses 24 and 25, which in my mind pretty much sum up what Paul is saying. So, what is Paul saying? What is the difference between what the law can offer us and what Christ can offer us? Proverbs 22:28-23:9 It seems that a number of the proverbs for this morning talk about chasing after various temptations. Can you list a few?