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Showing posts from February, 2009

Lent - Day 4, Saturday

Today's scripture readings from the Book of Common Prayer were interesting: Psalm 30, 32, 42, 43; Deuteronomy 7:17-26; Titus 3:1-15; and John 1:43-51.
A sample of a few verses that stood out to me:

Psalm 30:7-12 (NRSV)
7 By your favor, O LORD, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed.
8 To you, O LORD, I cried, and to the LORD I made supplication:
9 "What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me! O LORD, be my helper!"
11 You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Psalm 32:6-7 (NRSV)
6 Therefore let all who are faithful offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, the rush of mighty waters shall not reach them.
7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from tro…

Lent - Day 3

Coming to God involves living the tension of His Holiness and His Grace. God has been misrepresented in our times. He is either spoken about as a stern finger pointing judge or as the type of loving God who will overlook the sin, never judge, and always forgives whether repentance is actually embraced or not.
I do not claim to know totally the character of God's grace, mercy, holiness and judgements. What I do know is that there is a tension that we must live within. We worship God as God...the loving, merciful God who is Holy and hates sin...ours included. Read out loud the words of the Psalmist:

Psalm 95:1-11 (NRSV)
1 O come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
5 The sea is his, …

Lent - Day 2

This morning in my time to read I read from Psalm 37, Deut 7:6-11, Titus 1:1-16, and John 1:29-34. I was struck by God's reminder that while evil may surround us, we can do something about it. For example, note this Reading:
Psalm 37:1-8 (NRSV)
1 Do not fret because of the wicked; do not be envious of wrongdoers,
2 for they will soon fade like the grass, and wither like the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so you will live in the land, and enjoy security.
4 Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
5 Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.
6 He will make your vindication shine like the light, and the justice of your cause like the noonday.
7 Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him; do not fret over those who prosper in their way, over those who carry out evil devices.
8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath. Do not fret--it leads only to evil.

Later on in the readings, I came to John 1:29 (NRSV)
29 The…

Ash Wednesday - 1st Day of Lent

Lent is the season of 40 days that precedes Easter. Unfortunately, it has fallen on hard times in my Evangelical and Charismatic circles largely because it is usually associated with High Church Liturgy (e.g. Anglican, Catholic, Lutheran, etc...).

Lent actually began in the early church as a season of preparation for new believers to be baptised. This was an intense season of prayerful preparation, study and reflections on the death of Christ as the new believer became a part of the Christian community. Gradually the celebration of Lent took on it's own ethos as it meant a time for all believers to reflect and prepare for the celebration of the death of Christ (Good Friday) and the resurrection of Christ (Easter). There's significance, biblically, in the number 40 -- 40 days and nights of the Flood in Genesis, 40 days and nights for Moses on Sinai, and 40 days of wilderness temptations for Jesus at the onset of his public ministry -- all of which invite us to a season of ref…

An Awesome Video

Among the many things that the Kingdom of God is about is JUSTICE.
It's an interesting word and even more wonderful idea. The difficulties are that many evangelical western Christians don't have much of biblical grid for how God perceives issues of Justice. The theme appears over and over again in the Prophets, which makes me sad that we don't think about it often enough.
One thing I encouraged about is the number of Young Adults today who have put the biblical idea of Justice front and center in their practical theology. May their tribe increase.
Here's a video of a place that is practicing Kingdom justice ministry. It's worth the ten minute watch;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB6YOpGLCzI

Thanks

Elliott