Monthly Archives: February 2013
THE BOY ASKED, “Why doesn’t God send Jesus back to earth again to remove all doubt?” He took the thought no further. What would he have wanted? That Jesus come to Iowa, climb the steps to his parents’ porch, and knock on his door?
HAVE YOU EVER FELT like that clay pot? Looking around and thinking, hey I’m a pretty good pot. I’m pleasant to look at; I hold cold, clean water for people to drink; I am always available whenever I’m needed. I’m doing just what a pot should do. And I’m feeling pretty good about myself. Then along comes the potter to take a look at you.
The deadline for the Parish Questionnaire is extended to Sunday, March 3, to enable everyone to participate. A reminder that the parish Questionnaire can be found online here. Hard copies are available in the Parish Hall or Narthex, as are drop boxes for completed questionnaires. The first of two Parish Round Table Discussions will be …
I AM A TRUE PRODUCT of the Me Generation, whose litany has been: “I’ll do it alone / No help needed / Can’t listen to you as I am too busy with myself and my worldly goals.” This mantra had encased my nascent spiritual life in a polished and seemingly impregnable cocoon, and therefore, isolated, I believed my relationship with God to be unique.
BOTH PSALM 79 AND DANIEL are about asking God for his compassion and forgiveness after the people of Israel have gone against God’s wishes. Daniel prays to the Lord, asking him for forgiveness because the people “have sinned and done wrong and acted wickedly and rebelled, turning aside from the commandments and ordinances.”
“YOU THEREFORE, MUST BE AS PERFECT, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Ah, the perennial reminder: You fall short; keep going! There is always more slope ahead, even when the top seems near, for the Father is perfection, and by definition, none can approach his perfection. Why such an impossible goal?
In most parts of the Bible, the King James Version speaks to me more movingly than the Revised Standard Version, and Psalm 130 is no exception. However, I sometimes gain interesting and valuable insights by comparing the older and more poetic translation with the new and presumably more accurate one.
THE PASSAGE FROM MATTHEW’S GOSPEL is part of his account of the Sermon on the Mount, the great cornerstone of Christ’s teaching and theology. In verse 12, Christ instructs us “…whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.” With this statement, the Sermon on the Mount reaches its highest point. The Rev. William Barclay of Trinity College, Glasgow, wrote in his analysis of Matthew, published in 1956: “This saying is the topmost peak of social ethics, and the Everest of all ethical teaching.”
WE FIND, NOT SURPRISINGLY, THE THEME of repentance in all three readings. The psalm is lyrical, highly rhythmic and poetic in the King James translation, and the parallelisms in verses 11 and 12 make repentance actually an expression of desire and a reaching toward divine union. “Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with thy free spirit.”