24 March 2007

Today's Reading March 24

Good morning!
This morning's reading, from the Old Testament, is from Joshua, chapters 11, 12, and 13.
I know that to some, this record of the cities and regions of the Promised Land seems quaint, and pointless, and of no purpose. Look at the news. These lands remain a point of contention thousands of years later. And, as then, it is brutal warfare. I once wondered why so much fighting over land I wouldn't want. There are answers to that - the land and trade routes that cross between the great civilizations (at the time - no longer) of Egypt and Mesopotamia, for example. But the main point is that G-d Almighty assigned this land to these people and their descendants, and that land grant is the important one.
Thie evening's reading from the New Testament continues in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4, verses 1 through 32. This is the record of Jesus in the wilderness, tempted by the Devil, followed by His teaching at the synagogue in Nazareth.

23 March 2007

Today's Reading March 23

Good morning!
This morning's reading is from the book of Joshua, chapters 9 and 10. This is early in the accounts of the taking of the Promised Land, as the Lord had promised (and still does, by the way). Some of the place names are strange to us. Some are not, we hear them in the news even today. Places like Hebron. Places like Gaza. The issues that we see even today go far back, some further than this account, to the heritage of Ishmael and Lot and Esau.
This evening's New Testament reading is the 3rd chapter of the Gospel of Luke. This gets into the accounts of John the Baptizer's ministry, the baptism of Jesus, and the earthly lineage of Jesus the Christ.

22 March 2007

Today's Reading March 22

Morning reading from the Old Testament
Joshua, chapters 7 and 8
This is the account of the first attack on Ai, and the failure thereof due to sin in their midst, the consequences of that sin revealed, and the second, successful attack on the city of Ai.
Sin has consequences, for the sinner personally, and all too often for those around the sinner, those who often had no part in it.
Evening reading from the New Testament,
the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 25 through 52
this is some early accounts of the life of Jesus the Christ
- the prophesy of Simeon

29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
Isa 42:6
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

- the words of the prophetess Anna
- Jesus with the teachers in the temple

21 March 2007

Today's Reading March 21

Good morning, and Happy Spring!
This morning reading from the Old Testament comes from the book of Joshua, chapters 4, 5, and 6. This recounts the crossing of the Jordan River during flood stage and the entry into the land and the taking of Jericho.
This evening's portion continues in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 1 through 24. This probably the most familiar rendering of the Christmas story, the birth in Bethlehem, of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus the Christ. Please don't let it be so familiar that you skim over it. It's worth savoring the moment, always.

20 March 2007

Today's Readings March 20

Good morning to all. It is 04:57 as I write this, and it is still dark outside. But, just as the sun makes the day bright and chases away the shadows, so does the Son. Not poetic, perhaps, but true nonetheless.

This morning's reading, from the Old Testament, begins the book of Joshua. See how far we've come since 01 January! And in the same way, Joshua begins the record of the entrance of the Israelites into the Promised Land.
The passage for today is Joshua, chapters 1, 2, and 3. Herein is found another of those 'memory verse' passages - chapter 1, verses 7 through 9 but especially verse 9.

6 Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them.
7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Sometimes that is translated as ''be strong and courageous''.
One of the great quotes from Winston Churchill is ''Never give up. Never give up. Never, never, never give up.'' Sometimes all you can do is to just hang on. Sometimes that's all you have to do, Someone else is doing the heavy lifting. As was the case with the Israelites. Not a bad place to be, if you think about it.
This evening's reading is taken from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verses 57 through 80. This is the birth of John the Baptist, and contains yet another section of great, almost poetic, declamation, by John's father
67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,
75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

And all of that was, and is, true.
Have a great day.

19 March 2007

Today's Readings March 19

This morning's reading, from the Old Testament, is from the book of Deuteronomy, chapters 33 and 34. This completes the readings from Deuteronomy, and also from the Pentateuch, the five books of Moses. These are the most important Biblical portions for our Jewish friends. I regret to say that they are not nearly as familiar to Christians as they should be. They are vital. And yes, I know that all Scripture is important, and God-breathed, and vital.
This portion concludes Moses' farewell to the people before the Lord takes him, and includes one of my favorite verses,

27 The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms:

Seems to me you could make a hymn out of that line. (grin).

This evening's reading from the Old Testament is in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 1, verses 24 through 56. This is the Annuniciation to Mary which and her response, which I consider to be pure worshipful poetry -
46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

Would that we thank Him for His blessings as well as she did!

18 March 2007

Today's Reading March 18

Good morning!
This morning's Scripture reading, from the Old Testament, is taken from the book of Deuteronomy, chapters 31 and 32. This portion contains a passage that has been a great comfort to me in many times of great trial.

31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Heb 13:5 Deut 31:8 Joshua 1:5
7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for thou must go with this people unto the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.
8 And the LORD, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee: fear not, neither be dismayed.
Heb 13:5 Deut 31:6 Joshua 1:5

Each of us goes through this life and faces adversity, trial, fear, despair, loss, and opposition. It has meant more to me than I can express to be reminded that the One who sees every sparrow also sees me.

This evening's reading, from the New Testament, starts in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verses 1 through 23. This is the Annuniciation of the birth of John to his father while serving the Lord in the Temple. A miracle.