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Posts Tagged ‘God’s promises’


Psalm 111: Hallelujah

Monday, June 5, 2017

These verses remind us that the beauty surrounding us does not occur through coincidence.

I give thanks to God with everything I’ve got – wherever good people gather, and in the congregation. God’s works are so great, worth a lifetime of study – endless enjoyment! Splendor and beauty mark God’s craft; God’s generosity never gives out. God’s miracles are God’s memorial – this God of Grace, this God of Love.

These words remind us that God’s miracles are gifts from a loving creator.

God gave food to those who love the LORD, God remembered to keep God’s ancient promise. God proved to the people that God could do what God said. God manufactures truth and justice; all God’s products are guaranteed to last – never out-of-date, never obsolete, rust-proof. All that God makes and does is honest and true.

These verses remind us that God’s authority and works are authentic and sustaining, and last forever.

God is so personal and holy, worthy of our respect.

These verses remind us that God’s love is intimate and transforming, bringing with it the healing of our woes, the blessings for a lifetime.

The good life begins in the love of God – do that and you’ll know the blessing of God. God’s Hallelujah lasts forever!

These words remind us that we might join in with God’s great Hallelujah.

The ten Hallelujah Psalms are numbers 106, 111-113, 135, and 146-150. When we spend time with these songs and compare differing translations, we find renewal in the Spirit of Pentecost.

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Sirach 44:1-15: The Upright

erik erikson

Erik Erikson

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fr. Richard Rohr speaks of psychologist Erik Erikson’s (1902-1994) description of a generative person as “one who is eager and able to generate life from his or her own abundance and for the benefit of following generations”. (Rohr 160)

When we reflect on this topic and how it links with Old Testament thinking, we might spend time with these verses from this ancient book of wisdom. The commentary in the HARPERCOLLINS STUDY BIBLE tells us: “The ancestors are glorious because of their recognition by God, their honorable achievements, their recognition by their own generations, their godliness, their legacy to their children, and their lasting name and memory”.   (Meeks, 1601)

We consider what it means to be upright in God and we look at Acts 2:36-41: For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.  

All generations – from our distant ancestors to our childrens’ childrens’ children are known to God.

All generations – from the beginning of time to its ending – are well loved by God.

All generations have the opportunity to be upright in and with God.

Rohr continues: “The God [of generative people] is no longer small, punitive, or tribal. They once worshipped their raft; now they love the shore where it has taken them. They once defended signposts; now they have arrived where the signs pointed. They now enjoy the moon itself instead of fighting over whose finger points to it most accurately, quickly, or definitively”. (Rohr 160)

And so we ask ourselves . . . What raft do we steer, and on what shore have we landed? What signposts do we hold up, and which do we follow? On what moon do we set our gaze, and what do we do with the gift of God’s promises?

Tomorrow, whose gaze do we follow?

Adapted from a reflection written on April 26, 2017. 

For more about Erik Erikson, click on the image above.

Richard Rohr, OFM. A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations. Albuquerque, NM: CAC Publishing, 2016.

Meeks, Wayne A., Gen. Ed. HARPERCOLLINS STUDY BIBLE (NRSV). New York, New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1989. Print. 

 

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Exodus 2:6: Behold the Child

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Edwin Longsden Long: The Finding of Moses

Edwin Longsden Long: The Finding of Moses

In this final week of Advent, let us decide to make our hopes tangible, our dreams a prayer for our reality, our faith unwavering and our love secure. Let us cleave to the Creator, follow the Redeemer and rest in the Spirit. This week let us give one another the gift of preparing for the very real promise of eternity.

The Old Testament prepares us for a child born in dangerous circumstances who will later save a nation.

When the daughter of Pharaoh opened the basket, she saw the child, and behold, the boy was crying. And she had pity on him and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” (NRSV)

The story of the Hebrew captivity in Egypt prepares us to be a people in exile.

The princess opened the basket and saw a baby boy. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. “This is one of the Hebrew babies,” she said. (GNT)

The story of the Hebrew Exodus to a place of promise prepares us to be a pilgrim church.

She opened the basket and looked inside, and there in front of her was a crying baby boy! Moved with pity, she said, “This must be one of the Hebrews’ children.” (CJB)

The story of the foreign princess nurturing a child who will rescue a nation prepares us for God’s promises.

Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the Nile to bathe; her maidens strolled on the bank. She saw the basket-boat floating in the reeds and sent her maid to get it. She opened it and saw the child—a baby crying! Her heart went out to him. She said, “This must be one of the Hebrew babies.” (MSG)

Behold, God uses the marginalized to reveal the false security of the center.

When we reflect on other translations of the Moses story, we understand that God speaks to always with stories of inversion. And we realize that our own story must stand on its head if it is to align with the story of Christ.

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Romans 15:7-9: Reaching Out

Monday, May 9, 2016GodsPromises

It is too easy to exclude those with whom we do not get along. It is too simple to reject enemies and assume negative thinking. It is too simple to form ourselves with dualistic thinking, creating tribes of those for and those against our way of thinking. Paul tells us that there is another way to behave when faced with the real meaning of the Gospel.

So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!

It is so difficult to put down our fears to extend a hand to those who announced our destruction as their intent. It is so disruptive to invite discordant voices into the symphony. It is so chaotic to have to explain ourselves yet again to those who will not listen.

Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them.

It is so simple when we place out trust in God. It is so authentic when we live as Jesus does. It is so refreshing to witness truth to lies by responding with patience rather than anger

As a result, the non-Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God.

It is so surprising when we discover what God has in mind for us. It is so uplifting when we allow God’s will to transform us. It is so salvific when we do as Jesus asks and as the Spirit directs.

Just think of all the Scriptures that will come true in what we do! 

god-hands-610x233It is so promising when we allow ourselves to reach out to others, even our enemies . . . especially our enemies. It is so rewarding when we stay true to the Gospel Jesus lives for us. It is so comforting when we rest in God’s enormous, wise and immutable hands . . . that reach out to bring us into the fold.

Click on the image of the flower above for a series of reflections that remind us of the many promises God makes and keeps, or visit: http://www.fwnl.org/tag/gods-promises/ 

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Isaiah 62: Building Upbride

Friday, April 15, 2016

Yesterday Isaiah gave us clear evidence that God can and will do the impossible in our lives. Today he tells us that God’s bounty promises more than we can imagine.

I will speak out to encourage Jerusalem;
I will not be silent until she is saved,
And her victory shines like a torch in the night.

Images of marriage, of building, and of sentinels watching for the coming of one who saves are all familiar to those who read scripture.  They will not be disappointed in today’s Noontime reading.

I will speak out . . . I will not be silent until she is saved . . . 

isaiah62I am thinking of the emotion we feel when we anticipate reunion with a loved one, when we enter into a new project or we feel the coming of change in our lives.  Sometimes we can smell or taste or even feel a shift in the air.  Sometimes these changes are good, sometimes not.  In either case, change will arrive and although we have little or no control of what takes place, we do have control of our own behavior and of our own reactions to change.  Isaiah here predicts something good in the offing.  The fulfillment of a promise made by God, a promise that is certain to be kept, a promise that builds up and does not take away, a promise that brings light rather than dark, hope rather than despair.

I will speak out . . . I will not be silent . . . And her victory shines like a torch in the night.

And so we pray . . .

O God of justice and of love, you care for your people in every time and place, despite our tendency to stray from you in foolishness.  Keep us in your care from morning until evening, that we may come to rest safely in the shadow of your all-powerful wings.  We ask through our lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.  Amen. 

Adapted from a reflection written on Wednesday, August 25, 2010.

Visit the I will not be silent post on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2013/04/17/i-will-not-be-silent/

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Acts 5:17-42: Obeying God

Wednesday, April 13, 2016obeygodnotman

And the Apostles said in reply: We must obey God rather than men . . .

Do we see Jesus’ Apostles as only the twelve who followed him? Do we believe that Jesus’ followers were men alone? Can we stretch beyond any narrowness to believe that we number among Jesus’ Apostles today? Are we willing to stand during difficult times to say . . . we must obey God rather than men . . .?

When we read these verses in their varying translations, how do they speak to us of Jesus’ remarkable gift of resurrection? What do they reveal to us about God’s generous promises? And why do they call us – or perhaps not call us – to become one with the Spirit that wants to heal a troubled world? When we use the scripture link to explore this story of the Apostles who carry out miracles in Jesus’ name well after his death, we find new life and new energy to carry out the Gospel in all we say and do. When we allow God’s goodness to settle into our bones, we find new courage and new patience to smile in the face of adversity.

A video presentation of Acts 5:17-42 may be of interest. While we may not be in accord with all the speaker tells us, we are invited to reflect on this story of the importance of obeying God. Click on the image above or go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MiSr5yx9nA

 

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Ezekiel 19Allegorylions

Second Sunday of Advent, December 6, 2015

Commentary tells us that the meaning of these two allegories has been lost but that scholars believe the two young cubs in the first refer to princes who were deported to Egypt and to Babylon (likely Jehoahaz and Zedekiah), and that the mother vine represents Judah.  Ezekiel already knows that Jerusalem has been destroyed and perhaps he writes these two metaphors in order to convey the trauma of the event.  We will never know; yet what we do know is this: Even though this prophet writes of a nation whose roots have been destroyed forever, yet he holds out hope for a new arising, for a rebirth, for restoration, for another coming.  In 37:24-28 he tells us: My servant David shall be prince over them, and there shall be one shepherd for them all; they shall live by my statutes and carefully observe my decrees.  They shall live on the land which I gave to my servant Jacob . . . I will make them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them, and I will multiply them, and put my sanctuary among them forever.  My dwelling shall be with them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 

If we choose, we might write our own allegory, describing how and why we elect to follow this God who promises much and who never forgets his promises.

God’s dwelling has been made among us, just as he has promised.

In this season of joy, let us celebrate his coming.

The shoot from the stalk of Jesse has come to shepherd us.

In this season of hope, let us rise to walk with this God.

A covenant of peace has been made with us.

In this season of peace, let us share the good news of this coming and this covenant.

God’s Law of Love is written on our foreheads and on our hearts.

In this season of love, let us share this love with others – especially those who do us harm. 

We have our God, and we are God’s people.

In this season of possibility, let us dare to be one with this God. 

And may Christ’s peace and joy and love be upon us all.  Amen.

For notes on Ezekiel 19 click on the image above, or visit: http://www.lorisreflections.com/god-lessons/friday-revelation-lament-israel/

A Favorite from December 12, 2009.

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Baruch 2: The Road to Destruction or Redemption – Part I

Tuesday, November 24, 2015road to destruction

The apocryphal book of Baruch tells us how to live in exile; and in particular Chapter 2 gives us an important, two-fold message.  It reminds us that God always fulfills promises, and it also gives us an outline of how we might make our way back to the covenant we have chosen to abandon.

In Chapters 16 to 18 of Revelation we come upon something that reminds us of the infinite forgiveness and mercy of God.  We see once again that in God all things are possible.  We have understood the importance of being faithful in small ways to God.  We have understood that closed, exclusive groups which stultify possibility and potential, darkness which hides and subsumes potential, and silence which conceals and enables deceit . . . will never conquer openness which spawns universal communion, light which calls forth authentic life lead in integrity, and praise of God which magnifies truth and joy.

Light_at_the_End_of_the_RoadIn the end, God’s will of universal openness and light leads to jubilation.  The dark world which opposes this truth germinates in envy and ends in destruction.  And those who work so hard at building up a closed empire of self rather than an open kingdom of all, bring about their own  destruction at their own hands.  We see this countless times.  What is the allure of the darkness and deceit that is so tempting?  It is the same siren call of Satan to Adam and Eve in Eden, You will be like gods . . .

There is something about the road to perdition that answers our human need to control.  There is something about this broad highway leading to the wide gate that brings comfort to those who travel it in their closed special groups.  The aching longing to be the bride who is rescued and loved by the steadfast, powerful groom is universal.  Yet we insist on filling this yearning with superficial, finite relationships which ironically do not satisfy . . . and which ultimately destroy.  We must respond to the summons of the road and choose redemption rather than perdition.

Tomorrow, Part II.

Adapted from a favorite from November 8, 2008.

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Isaiah 42:16: The Mystery of Wisdom – Part IIIheart-path

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

I will lead the blind by a way they do not know . . .

God says: Never doubt that I am with you.

In paths they do not know I will guide them . . .

God says: I know that anxiety and fear too often govern you.

I will make darkness into light before them . . .

God says: Believe it or not, I love you and will not let you go astray.

And rugged places into plains . . .

God says: What look like insurmountable obstacles are opportunities to draw close to me.

These are the things I will do . . .

God says: I always keep my promises. This trust I ask of you may at first seem foolish, but in the eternity of my wisdom it is prudent and wise.

 And I will not leave them undone . . .

God says: Of this you can be certain. This is the mystery of wisdom. Trust it, and you will flourish.

Use the scripture link to explore this verse in other versions of the Bible. Or enter the words God’s promises or trust into the blog search bar and reflect on the mystery of wisdom and promises.

Click on the image above for another reflection on Isaiah 42:16

Tomorrow, wisdom from Jesus.

 

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