Wednesday has come back.
Yesterday the Lord sent me a special blessing. He does that, from time to time. I was at work, walking through a very large manufacturing facility, and very down. Very discouraged. Very tired, very down on myself, down on everything. Miserable. And then .... someone drove up in one of those vehicles that those who work in manufacturing plants. Someone I had never seen before. A woman, I have no idea who she is. She just drove up to me and started praising God, telling me of how He has blessed her and put a smile on her face. It changed my attitude and my whole day. I don't know who she is, and may never see her again. And that is fine. I believe, believe firmly, that the Lord sent her my way, that this was no coincidence.
Two years ago, I was sitting in my office at work, meeting a salesman for the first (and only) time. I don't even remember his name. But, just as we were beginning our meeting, I received a phone call notifying me that my mother had just died. As anyone can imagine, there was a sudden and substantial change in my face, voice, and demeanor. I had to ask the visitor to reschedule our meeting, and told him why. He looked at me, this man who had never met me before, looked at me and said confidently, ''That's OK. You'll see her again.'' I have never forgotten that. I do not believe that it was accidental that he was there that morning. I believe that the Lord arranged it. It was a great blessing to me, and it was one that I shared when I went to speak at Mom's funeral service. Jesus loves me is not just the phrase in a song. It is also the literal truth, and it is visible if only we are wise enough to see it.
This morning's reading is chapters 34, 35, and 36 of the Exodus.
This evening's passage is verses 1 through 22 of the 23rd chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 23:1-221 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples,
2 Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:
3 All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not.
4 For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.
5 But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments,
6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,
7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.
11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
13 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.
14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.
15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
16 Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
17 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold?
18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
19 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?
20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.