Fire in Words

Parts of words have something like fire in them.  The key to today’s reading comes from the word “forgive.” The word has the root,give”and the prefix, “for.” The prefix comes from the Latin foris meaning “outside.” Those who speak Spanish will recognize the wordfuera, which has the same meaning.  

What does “forgive,”mean?  Simply this.  Take the feelings of pain, resentment, frustration, sadness, fear, etc., which you feel when someone was mean to you and “give them outside yourself.”This is just like saying, “Let go.” It means this: I no longer give permission to someone else to have power over me by the resentment that lingers in my heart.  Forgiveness really has nothing to do with whether the other has apologized or not; that would make my peace of heart depend upon the other.  Forgiveness is up to you, prompted by the grace of God.

Matthew 18:21-35

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.‘s Commentary.

In Year A, we continue to read from the Gospel of St. Matthew.

These Firestarters are 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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Glory Be to God

This is the close of what many people celebrate as the greatest teaching about Christ in the New Testament.  Martin Luther and John Wesley were especially moved by this letter.

Most of the passage is expressing gratitude for those who were especially close to St. Paul. The woman’s name, Phoebe, in verse 1, means “The Radiant One.”By our own shining faces and living in joy, we make God’s face shine to others. Your radiance of God’s faithful love is what people need to see. Recall verse 5 from Psalm 34 of yesterday: “Look to God and be radiant; so your[ faces shall never be ashamed.”

Get in touch with Paul’s burst of joy in the final verse: “May the glory be to God, who alone is wise! May the glory be to him through Jesus Christ forever! Amen.”  

Romans 16

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

Thursdays are dedicated to the letters of Paul, other letters,
the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation.

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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

A Radiant Face before God

Each of the twenty-two verses of this psalm begins with the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet.  If you had a spiritual metal detector, your heart would be sounding with beeps at every verse.  When I’m praying with those who are suffering or grieving a great loss, I recite verse 18: “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted,

and saves those crushed in spirit.” 

Of all the psalms, this is the one most quoted in the New Testament.  The psalm takes its place along with Isaiah, Paul, and Matthew this season who are especially uplifting to the spirit.  Verse 5 is wonderful: “Look to God and be radiant; so your[ faces shall never be ashamed.”  

Can you find words from A to Z that would catch the essence of each verse?

 Psalm 34

Check out Study Tools in BibleGateway.
I especially recommend the free resource
in Matthew Henry’s Commentary.

We read the Psalms in numerical order on Wednesdays

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 of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.