Hiberation

17 Feb

Good Morning,

Life has been slow.  Slower than I remember in many years.  Life at my previous church was crazy busy.  Then I can here to help Mom care for Dad.  Now, with Dad gone, life is slow.  I say all of this as my excuse for not getting the material for Celebration of Discipline in my blog.

There are two of you who have said you want to work along with my churches on this study.  Well, our first session was canceled due to weather.  We did not have church on the windy mountaintop when 55 mph winds were expected with below freezing wind chills.  It was a good call.  So, on blogging buddies could have started to do the prep work for the study in an orderly fashion, if I had started on Sunday.

There are daily scripture reading to prepare for each week study group.  Each week the group works through a chapter of Celebration of Discipline.  I have printed them out in a booklet for the folks who are taking the study, so I will print them in my blog for you who are following on line.  But, as I eluded to, we have some catching up to do.

Sunday, The longing to go deeper

Psalm 42

As a deer longs for flowing streams,
so my soul longs for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
My tears have been my food
day and night,
while people say to me continually,
“Where is your God?”

These things I remember,
as I pour out my soul:
how I went with the throng,
and led them in procession to the house of God,
with glad shouts and songs of thanksgiving,
a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

My soul is cast down within me;
therefore I remember you
from the land of Jordan and of Hermon,
from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep
at the thunder of your cataracts;
all your waves and your billows
have gone over me.
By day the Lord commands his steadfast love,
and at night his song is with me,
a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God, my rock,

“Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I walk about mournfully
because the enemy oppresses me?”
10 As with a deadly wound in my body,
my adversaries taunt me,
while they say to me continually,
“Where is your God?”

11 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

So that was Sunday’s reading.  I guess I will comment on each scripture.  Do you feel the passion?  What if our world felt that passion for the Divine without hatred.  I think of all the groups in the world who call on God, out of their passion, and kill others.  This text is a love song to God.  Searching for God, for meaning, for love.  I think that everyone is on this quest.

 

Monday, The slavery of ingrained habits

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you alone, have I sinned,
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your sentence
and blameless when you pass judgment.
Indeed, I was born guilty,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.

You desire truth in the inward being;
therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and put a new and right spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me away from your presence,
    and do not take your holy spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and sustain in me a willing spirit.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.

 O Lord, open my lips,and my mouth will declare your praise.

16 For you have no delight in sacrifice;
if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
17 The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,
19 then you will delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

This psalm is part of the readings for Ash Wednesday – which is tomorrow.  A desire to let God have all of our lives, to give to God the sacrifice of our broken spirit and broken and contrite heart.  I once did a children’s message with hard packed dirt.  I show that you could not plant or water until the earth was broken apart.  I like this image when I am thinking about the sacrifice that is acceptable to God.  The sacrifice that will bring us closer to God and to our true selves.

Tuesday, The slavery of ingrained habits

Romans 7:12-25

12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good

13 Did what is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.

14 For we know that the law is spiritual; but I am of the flesh, sold into slavery under sin. 15 I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. 17 But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, 23 but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, with my mind I am a slave to the law of God, but with my flesh I am a slave to the law of sin.

I really do love the writings of Paul.  He is so very honest about his struggles in his faith journey.  My perfect and timely example of this text from Romans is that I really do want to study this book, and I want to talk about it with others.  And yet, and yet, it has taken me days to post these scriptures.  And it is not like I have been busy, just lazy and unfocused.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed these scripture readings as much as I have; I will endeavor to get them posted daily from now on.  I have been sitting at the sunroom window watching the birds at the feeder finding food through the snow.  So, I hope that even in the midst of the coldness and barrenness that is often marks our lives, you will find the nutritious sustenance of God’s word to feed on.through this study.  Peace.


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2 Responses to “Hiberation”

  1. Phyllis Terwilliger February 17, 2015 at 3:37 pm #

    Thanks!

  2. Lauri Capwell February 18, 2015 at 2:20 am #

    Thank you for sharing with us, Mary!

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