March 26, 2020 by John Mangrum
But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. -Psalm 131:2
March 26, 2020 by Steven Lulich
It was 1992, and I was home at Cypress Lane #28. Years earlier, my parents had acquired a cassette tape of country gospel music. As a twelve-year-old, I decided it was time that I memorized all the lyrics for all of the songs on that tape.
March 25, 2020 by Tim O’Connor
“I am the bread of life…For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him.” John 6:48, 55-56
My twenty-something year-old children, temporarily apartment-bound, are suddenly enthusiastic about bread. With people everywhere in ‘lockdown’ mode, they are learning the art of making good bread and delighting in consuming it. So this text from today’s Gospel reading naturally caught my eye.
Mar. 23, 2020 by Pastor Bob
His name was Simon of Cyrene. Until this moment no one in history had heard of him. After this moment everyone would know his name. According to Luke, he was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time. At least that is the way most people would have seen it.
In a world so wired an interconnected,
our anxious hearts are pummeled by
an endless barrage of troubling news.
We are daily aware of more grief, O Lord,
than we can rightly consider,
or more suffering and scandal
than we can respond to, or more
hostility, hatred, horror, and injustice
than we can engage with compassion.
First Morning: “My First Thought”
Eternal Father of my soul, let my first thought today be of you, let my first impulse be to worship you, let my first speech be your name, let my first action be to kneel before you.
Good morning, heavenly Father; good morning, Lord Jesus; good morning, Holy Spirit. Heavenly Father, I worship you as the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Lord Jesus, I worship you, Savior and Lord of the world. Holy Spirit, I worship you, Sanctifier of the people of God. Glory to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. Amen
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may live this day in your presence and please you more and more. Lord Jesus, I pray that this day I may take up my cross and follow you. Holy Spirit, I pray that this day you will fill me with yourself and cause your fruit to ripen in my life: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons in one God, have mercy upon me. Amen.
I recently read the incredible story of Gideon, a judge whom God raised up to free Israel from the tyranny of the Midianites. The men of Israel rally around Gideon and he gathers a thirty-thousand man army to do battle. But that’s not going to work for God’s purposes – he wants to make sure Israel, and the surrounding nations, know that it is God who is delivering Israel, not Gideon and and Israelite army. So, in an intriguing process, the LORD whittles Gideon’s army down to just three hundred men. And, these three hundred men route the Midianite army and send them fleeing.
The same principle applies, I believe to the church, local and universal. God wants to make sure the we know he is the one that gives the increase. It’s not our business savvy, our wise planning, our strategizing (though of course, those have a place). Nor is political power or cultural clout that will grow the church. That’s Gideon’s army of thirty-thousand. Nope, lay those things aside. It is the humble yet bold witness of the common Christian standing against seemingly impossible odds that God will use to grow the church and bring himself glory.
I haven’t posted a reflection in quite some time. To be honest, I fell behind and had some catching up to do.
Having finished the readings on the Law (Genesis thru Deuteronomy) I was struck by a few things that are consistent, but maybe under-noticed themes in these books.