The Timple

Did I make a typo in the title of today’s Firestarter?  No; I’m playing with the words “temple,” a physical building occupying space, and a temple inside us that occupies time, rather than space.  It’s a timple!

I got this idea when St. John talks about the various fruits that come from the Tree of Life throughout the twelve months of the year.  Since there is no more a physical temple, but rather the Lamb of God, Christ risen is the temple, this means that the Christ-Temple is always with us wherever we go, all during the twelve months of the year, for God lives inside us. 

Taking the idea of yesterday when I invited us to let our every breath praise God, we can be praising God every second of our lives.  This will go on and on until the temple of God which is our body gives up its work, passing us on to eternal life and the heaven-temple that will last forever.

 Revelation 22

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.

Every Breath a Prayer

If a person lives to be eighty years old, he or she will take about 672,768,000 breaths!  In and out, whether we are awake or asleep, our chests rise and fall with air entering and going out, bringing life to our blood which then carries this life in a wondrous flow throughout out bodies.

Psalm 150 is a brief list of ways that we can praise the Lord, finishing off with the final verse, the last one in the whole book of Psalms: “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.”   It makes me think of something similar: “Let every breath praise the Lord.”   When you get up in the morning, and come to be aware that you are still alive and breathing, offer every breath you will take in the course of the day to be a silent, ongoing prayer of praise to God.

Psalm 150

Wednesdays are devoted to the reading of the Psalms,
one a week across the three-year cycle.

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.

The Most Important Thing

For those in the northern hemisphere, it’s autumn.  Night comes in the late afternoon.   Find some quiet time in the evening…light a candle….have a cup of hot cider or hot chocolate and slowly read the passages for today with your family.

The Book of Ecclesiastes doesn’t have much emotion in it; rather it offers wise sayings and thoughts about wisdom to be pondered slowly.  Throughout the book, this phrase often appears: “Everything is pointless.”  While this isn’t a very optimistic outlook on life, the writer does invite to do only what is important and not do what is only a waste of time.   

The most important thing in life is to love….everything else is pointless!

Ecclesiastes 9:13-18; 11:1-10

Tuesdays are dedicated to the the History and Writings
of the Hebrew Scriptures.

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.

The Circle and the Cycle

Ever think of this?  Where does a circle begin and end?  There is no beginning or end.  That’s the way it is with God’s love.  We don’t now when God’s love began and we know it will never end. 

Today’s passage is the last one in the Old Testament for the circle or cycle of this year of God’s love in our Bible reading plan.   Malachi mentions a messenger that is coming.   We think of John the Baptist, a key figure in the Advent season that begins next week.  He will be the one to prepare the people for the coming of Jesus.  The story of God’s love begins all over again as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Here’s a verse to pray very slowly: “The sun of righteousness will rise on those revering my name;healing will be in its wings so that you will go forth and jump about like calves in the stall.”

The “Sun of righteousness” is the “Son of God”!

 Malachi 3:1-4; 4:1-3

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.

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.

The Thief Taken Up

Mingle with the crowd at the cross of Jesus.  What do you hear?  Shouting and mocking.  Two thieves were bound to their crosses next to Jesus. One of them added his voice to the shouting; the other kept silent, watching Jesus and listening to the silence that flowed from his breaths. The Spirit moved into the heart of this thief. Listen to the sweet conversation between Jesus and him.  No longer did this man even notice the crowd, or hear all the noise; he even forget his own pain for a moment as he gave himself to Jesus.

A famous spiritual leader, Fulton Sheen said: “The thief on the left wanted to be taken down; the thief on the right wanted to be taken up!”  

 Luke 23:33-43

On Sundays we follow the Gospels from the Revised Common Lectionary.

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.

The Passing of Sarah

For the first time in the stories in the Bible, we have two persons we have gotten to know—Abraham and Sarah.  All the others before them such as Adam, Eve and Noah, really don’t have personalities.  What’s more important for them are the simple facts of disobedience in Adam and Eve contrasting the obedience of  Noah.

With Abraham and Sarah, it’s different.  We remember Sarah’s laugh, saying, in effect, “You’ve got to be kidding!” when she was told that Isaac would be born from her in her old age.  With the story of the passing of Sarah, we feel compassion for Abraham.  We got to know this special couple.

The stage is set for the story of the next couple, Isaac and   On and on, the story of God’s salvation unfolds, as each of the players, with good and not so good qualities, adds their lives to God’s plan: for us to live in joy and love in the presence of God who loves us so much.    

 Genesis 23:1—24:9

The Saturday passages follow the reading list that Jewish people use in their synagogue worship throughout the world. They are taken from
“The Torah,” the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy that are read each year beginning with autumn.

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.

Joy and Wonder

I love praying today’s story, imagining that I am walking with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  You do the same.  Feel their sadness and their disappointment as they walk along the road, perhaps on their home.  They going to return to the life they knew before they met Jesus.

Jesus walks with these disciples who don’t recognize that it was Jesus.   Catch their joy and wonder when they recognize Jesus as they break bread together.  We too recognize Jesus in the breaking of the bread of Holy Communion.

Jesus opens their minds to understand the Scripture.  Just before you pray the Bible passage each day, pray to the Holy Spirit that your mind as well be opened to understand and believe.

Luke 24:1-35

Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This being Year C,
the third year in the cycle, we generally read from the Gospel of Luke.

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.