To Live Is to Love

I assure you that whoever gives you a cup of water to drink
because you belong to Christ will certainly be rewarded.

Mark 9:41

Jesus draws clear lines between what is good and what is bad. The kind of life we live in God depends upon how well we love.

Jesus uses very strong language to wake us up to the how important it is to live a life of love by taking what we consider basics in life—hands, feet and eyes and teaching how these are less important than the saving of one’s life. If the use of these gifts from God leads us to sin and do wrong, then what good are they?

We can easily take for granted the basic gifts of life. So let’s stop now and thank God for them, and remind ourselves of their purpose—to lead us and others to the God who made us through the love we share.

Mark 9:38-50

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer from today’s reading:
Cup of water in Your name v. 41
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the fifth of thirteen weeks in the season of Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north.  Year B.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

God with Us in the Tent

 Speak to the Israelites and say to them:
When you enter the land that I am giving you and harvest its produce,
you must bring the first bundle of your harvest to the priest.

Leviticus 23:10

Since Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, Jewish people have been celebrating the “The High Holy days.” Remember, that our word holiday originally meant that—holy days! We have come to one of the final celebrations, recalling the time when our Hebrew ancestors made their way from slavery to freedom through the desert, staying in tents as they camped along the way.

Judaism is a family religion. As a way of remembering this evening, many Jewish families make little tents inside their houses. Something like this is popular these days when children sleep in little tents in their room, or have beds with covering on them. My grandson, Dylan’s bed was like a car when he was a child!

We read in St. John that when God became human in Jesus, he “pitched his tent among us.” God is with us in our tents, little club houses and places in the house where we like to be by ourselves. I believe that God has made us wanting to be alone sometimes, so that we can have some time just to be with God. God loves for us to spend time with Him. When you are alone, think about this: you are not really alone, for God who made you continues to live very close to you—in fact, inside of you!

Leviticus 22:26—23:44

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Off’ring to You my first fruits 23:10
For more information about this creative way to pray,
see Bible Breaths.

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 second part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…

 

Right Side Up

Therefore I say to you, whatever you pray and ask for,
believe that you will receive it, and it will be so for you.

Mark 11:24

Once into Jerusalem, Jesus decides that it’s time to “clean house.” The house is God’s holy Temple. It had become a place of business—selling the animals for the sacrifices at the sacred festivals. In an act of boldness and outrage at the disrespect for his Father, Jesus drives out the animals and the money changers and flips over their tables. Like a spiritual “power ranger,” Jesus gets the job done!

The boldness of Jesus is a model for faith, as we read about the power of faith to move mountains. Is there anything small or big like a mountain that stands between you and the joy and love of life that God wants to give you? Stand against it in the name of Jesus, and flip it over in your heart, like those tables that Jesus turned over in the Temple. If you life seems turned upside down, let Jesus get a hold of it and flip it again so that it can be right side up!

Mark 11:15-33

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
My inner house filled with prayer.  v. 24
For more information about
this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the First Week in the season of Autumn/Kingdomtide, Year B.
Fridays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.
We read the Gospel of Mark in Year B.

Calendar for 2018: “God’s Year of Grace”

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet.  More information…