The speed of warfare and the Delta

April 15, 2012

Several members of our church are reading The One Year Bible, which reads through the Bible, an OT, NT, psalm, and proverb passage every day.  We are currently in Joshua.  I was stunned by the speed of his military campaign against the five Amorite kings in chapters 9 and 10.  More Amorites died from large hailstones than from the sword.  It was in this campaign comes the famous episode:

Joshua 10:12-13  (ESV)

 At that time Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord gave the Amorites over to the sons of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel,

“Sun, stand still at Gibeon,
    and moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”
And the sun stood still, and the moon stopped,
    until the nation took vengeance on their enemies.

Is this not written in the Book of Jashar? The sun stopped in the midst of heaven and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.

In my mind, the account of the eradication of the Amorites is a faint echo of Jesus’s forecast of the end of the age:

Matthew 13:41-43 (ESV)

 The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers,  and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.  Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.  He who has ears, let him hear.

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank You that Your ways are not my ways and Your thoughts are not my thoughts.  Although I don’t fully comprehend Your work in the world, I invite You into my heart, my parish,  my city, and my county today.   Yazoo City is the gateway to the Mississippi Delta.  I invite you into the Delta today.  I cry out for Your kingdom to come and Your will to be done in the Delta as it is in heaven. 

Come, Lord Jesus.  Come with haste, Jehovah Sabaoth.  Come to the Delta today.  Amen.

A prayer for the Second Sunday of Easter

April 15, 2012

Risen Christ,

for whom no door is locked,               

no entrance barred:

open the doors of our hearts,

that we may seek the good of others

and walk the joyful road of sacrifice

and peace,

to the praise of God the Father.

– from Common Worship, Collects for the Second Sunday of Easter

art credit

Leah and orthodox Episcopalians

April 15, 2012

Leah was married by the trickery of her father Laban. Despite being faithful all of her life, bearing six sons and one daughter to Jacob, and giving her maid to Jacob as a concubine, she never received the love that her sister Rachel did. Yet, it was from her lineage, the tribe of Judah, that the Messiah came.
For those orthodox Episcopalians called by God to remain within the Episcopal Church, despite being blacklisted, marginalized, lied to, or diminished by namecalling, we can learn from Leah to look to the generations.

We thank You that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Grant us the eyes of Christ that we may see, understand, and love the Episcopal Church as Jesus does. Amen.

The ideas for this post and yesterday’s Samuel post originated with some Arthur Burk reflections.

John 20:19-31

April 15, 2012

Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” (John 20:19)
      Jesus, I offer you my fears; please help me accept your peace.

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. (John 20:20)
      Jesus, you have gone through so much for your disciples; help me find gladness in seeing you and what you have done for me as they did.

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent me, I also send you.” (John 20:21)
      Father, please help me go where Jesus sends me.

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (John 20:22)
      Breathe on me Breath of God.
      Jesus, please help me receive more of your Holy Spirit.

If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” (John 20:23)
      Father, help me forgive others as you have forgiven me.

Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” (John 20:24-25)
      When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. (Matthew 28:17) Holy Spirit, help each of us get past our doubts and fears and meet Jesus in a fresh new way.

And after eight days his disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” (John 20:26)
      Jesus, please keep speaking your word of “Peace,” to me.

Then he said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at my hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” (John 20:27)
      Jesus, speak to my doubts and fears as you did with Thomas.

And Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:28 )
      Holy Spirit, help me daily proclaim Jesus as my Lord and my God!

Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29)
      Jesus, thank you for all that you have let me see and experience of you and your work. Please help me share that with those who have not seen so that they may believe.

And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:30-31)
      Father, thank you for those faithful witnesses who recorded what Jesus did and said. Please help me be a faithful witness of his words and deeds. Thank you.

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Start now reading and reflecting on the lessons for next Sunday so that you can receive all that God has for you (Psalm 98 or 98:1-5; Acts 4:5-12 or Micah 4:1-5; 1 John 1:1-2:2 or Acts 4:5-12; Luke 24:36b-48 ).

Albany Intercessor

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