A Look from the End of Life

AnimFireStarterThe end of something is better than its beginning.
    Patience is better than arrogance.

Ecclesiastes 7:8

Each last Tuesday of the church year, we take a look at a book that is said to have been written by Solomon toward the end of his life. It’s called Ecclesiastes. He takes a somber look in many ways, yet one that has quiet wisdom running through it. Solomon stands at the end of his life and looks back on everything. From that point of view, things fall into place alongside other things and events.

“Finishing is better than starting”…I like that line. The crowd of people beginning to run a Marathon is not as interesting as the few that lead the race and the ones who come in ahead of all.

As you imagine the end of your life, whether it ends in the far off distance, and maybe even sadly, much sooner: take a moment and go to the end and think for some moments about what was really important to you in your whole life. I hope it’s got something do to with loving others, finding God’s plan for your life and doing it, looking at the qualities about yourself by which you’ll want to be remembered.
Well, you’re not dead yet! There’s time for you right now to become the kind of person you really want to be.

Ecclesiastes 7:8-13

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:
Patience better than anger.  v. 8
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the last week in the season of Kingdomtide,
Autumn in the north. Year B.
Tuesdays are dedicated to Hebrew History and “The Writings.”

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’s Point of View

“Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealeduntil the time of the end.  Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.

Daniel 12:9-10

Daniel is given a vision of what is going to happen at the end of the world.  Matthew, Mark and Luke have similar stories offered by Jesus and his disciples as they stand before the great Temple. The book of Revelation has similar stories.  

It sounds like a scary time, yet Jesus our King is in charge and with us.  The picture of the man in linen white…Though Daniel lives centuries before Christ, he gets a glimpse of  Jesus in this man dressed in linen.  I’m reminded of Revelation 7 we read a few weeks back, how the suffering of the saints caused their clothes to become white when they were drenched in the blood of the lamb: Jesus.

So we come to the end of book of Daniel which has been with us for the past thirteen Mondays.  This young teenager went through adventures, saw visions—every moment of his life, he was touched by God because he was willing to be close to God and to do what God wants.  If you and I have that same desire, God will show us what we need to know about the deep, inner meaning of things.  This does not only mean at the end of the world, but at the end of each moment, when we pause and spend some time being quiet. God will give us the wisdom to understand what situations and events mean from God’s point of view.  Hey, now there’s a point of view I would like to have!

Daniel 12 

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer

Purified, cleansed, and refined v. 10
For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the last of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide,
autumn in the north, Year B.
Mondays in this season are dedicated to the Prophet Daniel.

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…

Jesus: King of Your World

 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered,
“You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

John 18:37

What a sight: the King of the World stands before a wicked governor of a province in the Roman Empire.  Look at the contrasts: Jesus’ cloak is soaked and stained with blood; his head streams with fresh blood that flows down his face.  And Pilate…arrogant, proud, yet underneath, afraid of the Jewish crowd outside.

Today is Christ the King Sunday, the last Sunday in God’s year of grace.  Before you is your King who silently endures the immensity and pain for you and me so that we could be free of the effects of evil and meanness in our lives.  Jesus wears the kingly color of crimson…and even a crown, for it’s true: underneath all this pain and blood is the holy Son of God, the King of the World.

Is Jesus king of your world?As you move about your days and talk and have fun with your friends—listen to music and respond to the love in your family—this world of yours…Do you let Jesus be the king of your world?In his suffering and death, he was in charge, though Pilate and others didn’t know it.  Do you know that he is in charge of your world?  

John 18:33-37

Here is a sample of a seven-syllable breath-prayer
from today’s reading:

You, the Way, the Truth and Life John 14:6

For more information about this creative way to pray, see Bible Breaths.

This is the last 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…