Growth in the Body

Saturdays: The Sabbath Torah Portions
Numbers 4:21—5:10

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Every man in the range of age indicated is assigned a task in the arrangement of the articles in the tabernacle. All the details of the adornments have spiritual meaning for worship, serving also to define the meaning of each person’s part in the whole.

While the activities are restricted to men of certain ages, there is completeness with everyone having a part. Paul develops this in Ephesians 4:16 where the tabernacle is no longer an edifice with objects within, but rather the Body of the Risen Lord. Every believer is a part of the whole, each doing his/her part to have the body of Christ grow into wholeness.

Reflect upon how you can find the meaning of your life through the way you share your uniqueness with others. Anything less limits the growth in the Body of Christ.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
My task within Your body 4:21ff
Finding You in everything
Unity in bond of peace Eph 4:3
Growing up into You, Christ Eph 4:15

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for the version for children and families.

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

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The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Near Death – Near Life

Fridays: The Gospels
John 10:1-21

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Those who have had a near-death experience speak about passing through a tunnel having a great light at the end. Actually, these are “near-life” experiences.

Jesus is the door. As you approach Jesus in faith, you are having such a near-life experience. Pass through the door, which is Jesus, and rest with the Good Shepherd.

Do not be satisfied with merely a near-death experience of self, but rather a whole-death one. Lift your heart into the open doorway of the side of Jesus. His heart waits to receive you as the bridegroom of your soul. Return often during the day to the image of Jesus as your Good Shepherd.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Hearing now the Shepherd’s voice v. 3
Safe when entering the Gate v. 9
Good Shepherd dies for the sheep. v. 11
One day, one flock, one Shepherd v. 16

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Sixth in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We read the Gospel of John during Lent and Easter.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
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The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

A Path Through the Word

Thursdays: The New Testament
Acts 8

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The church grows as an explosion in the Book of Acts. The rage of persecutions only fans the flames of fervor. Joy expands.

There is saying of Tertullian from the second century: “The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians.” Saul was present at the blood bath of Stephen. It quickened his personal resolve to persecute. However, this is the last chapter about Saul; in the next one, he is Paul with energies transformed for Christ.

Simon is a wheeler and dealer, reminding us to beware of turning the power of the Spirit to selfish ends. Give God all the glory for the wonderful things God wants to do in you and through you. May the Spirit guide you through these daily readings, as Philip guides the eunuch on his path through the Word of God.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
“Blood of martyrs, seed of faith.” Tertullian
Joy in the healing of God v. 8
Laying hands, Spirit received v. 17
Spirit guiding through Your word v. 31

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Sixth Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

All You Need

Wednesdays: The Psalms
Psalm 20

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A series of loving blessings flow from the heart of the psalmist. He is an intercessor for you. The Holy Spirit groans inwardly to set you free and brings the gift of God’s helping presence to you. What are the circumstances in your life that come to mind that concretely unfold for you just how and where you need help from the Lord?

The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is available to you. Take verse 7 for today and treasure it. The power of Jesus’name has been given to you. He stands before you now as the risen Lord. See the smile and feel the arms of Christ who embraces and protects you.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Your help comes from inner space.v. 2
You grant me my heart’s desire. v. 4
Pride in the name of the Lord v. 7
We shall rise and stand upright. v. 8

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Sixth Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms,
one each week over the three-year cycle.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image courtesy of Joann Mathews – http://joannmathews.wordpress.com

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Disconnected Love

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

Song of Songs 5—6

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The readings from The Song of Songs come in sharp contrast with Monday’s stark passages from Ezekiel. The tender, sensual love poetry of the Song is set against the violence, famine, death, and exile spoken by Ezekiel. However, God’s intense love for his people and their absence from this love still emerge in both readings as a common theme. Surely, chapter 5, verse 6 was in St. John’s mind when he developed the scene of Mary Magdalene searching for Jesus in this year’s Easter Gospel.

Though faithful, yet without her proper clothing, the security guards of the city believe the Shulamite is a prostitute. Even when love is faithful, there are disconnections, misunderstandings and confusions that can have the timing of love be out of sync.

Receive the description of the Shulamite of her Beloved as expressions of the beauty of the Body of Christ.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
My inner garden with You 5:1
The beauty of Your body
Your tender voice within me 5:16
I belong to You, O Lord. 6:3

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Sixth Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image courtesy of http://anotherredletterday.com

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Prophetic Symbols

Mondays: The Prophets
Ezekiel 12—14

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Forty-seven times the number four appears in Ezekiel, seven times in just six verses in chapter 10. As the Alphabyte “Quarters” suggests, four is basic to life, symbol of fullness and completion.

The word “prophesy” literally means, “to speak on behalf” of God. However, in addition to the voice, God often speaks through symbolic gestures of the prophets such as Jeremiah, commanded not to marry and Hosea, ordered to marry a prostitute. These gestures express the infidelity that wounds the heart of God who loves so much. In today’s reading, Ezekiel is to gather up his belongings as though going into exile—sign of what is going to happen to God’s rebellious people.

Beyond the anger of God, read God’s hurt as that of a beloved treated with indifference and infidelity on the part of the spouse. The denial of bread, a consequence to immanent siege, is similar to the refusal of the Bread of Life in last Friday’s reading.

What symbolic gestures does God suggest to you, to express how you are relating to the Lord these days?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
When You speak, it comes to pass. 12:25
Uplifting others for good 13:22
You taking hold of my heart 14:5
We Your people; You our God 14:11

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for the version for children and families.

This is the Sixth Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets; during Lent we read Jeremiah; during the Easter seasons, Ezekiel.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

Today’s image, courtesy of http://www.marysrosaries.com

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.

Behind the Veil

Sundays: The Gospels from the Lectionary
John 14:15-21

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On Good Friday, the veil in the Temple was torn in two; the separation between the divine and human was removed. In the final weeks of Easter, we peer into the mystery of God behind the place where the veil used to be.

The key to understanding is once again, meno, “to abide.” Repeatedly this word appears, weaving Jesus’profound expression in this and the following chapter.

The word for the Holy Spirit that John uses is the Greek parakletos, sometimes simply transferred into English as “Paraclete.” The word literally means “one who is called to be at your side” as a lawyer, advocate, counselor, “helper,” or in the King James version, “Comforter.”

Meditate upon these and other words that may be given to you, all variations of the intimate living-with that the Spirit brings.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Advocate with me always v. 16
Spirit abiding in me v. 17
Because You live, I will live. v. 19
Loved by You; loved by Father v. 21

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the Sixth Week in Easter, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.

Scripture Recordings in over 700 languages!
Faith Comes By Hearing

Audio Bible App from www.bible.is

The Firestarters and readings are posted in the timezone UTC+12,
so that they are available in New Zealand and other regions
near the International Date Line.