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Posts Tagged ‘the Ark of the Continent’


Joshua 3: Crossing the Jordan

Friday, April 22, 2016stones-stack-940x3601

Each time we must embark on an essential task which appears to be impossible, we ought to read this book of how a determined band of faith-filled people were able to accomplish something which appeared to be impossible . . . but only impossible in human terms . . . for with God, all things are possible.

This chapter follows on the heels of the story of how Joshua and his fellow-spies were saved by Rahab, the woman who runs a brothel perched higher than the city wall.  Footnotes tell us some interesting details about this woman whom the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews praises.  Details like these allow us to remember that God uses many ways to gain the ends he seeks, and God does not allow discontinuity or aberrations to interfere with the end goal of bringing the kingdom to fruition.  And this is good news for all of us for when we read Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew 1, we read a litany of saints and sinners.  We are all members of Christ’s family.  We are his adopted sisters and brothers.  And as a community, we are his bride, invited to cross the Jordan in our journey home.

There are many river crossings for us to make. There are many currents that want to rip us away into an overwhelming tide.  There are many boulders hidden under the rippling water that have slippery surfaces and sharp edges.  The river is a beautiful life-giving place; yet it is full of danger.  The Hebrews carried their God in an Ark they had fashioned carefully of gold.  This Ark held the presence of Yahweh – desert manna, stone tablets of The Law, and Aaron’s rod.  This Ark was later replaced by the Blessed Mother who bore the incarnation of God to the world.  This Ark must now be the temple place we prepare in our hearts where Yahweh may dwell in each of us.  This is the Ark that we now take up as we wade into the swirling depths of life.

What does our Ark contain?  Have we made it with loving care?  When we lift the lid, what do we see?  Superficial lives or faithful service?  Hollow hearts of false oaths or full ones yearning to share what we experience?  Is the tablet still of stone or have we allowed God to write his promise on our hearts?  Do we see the Law of Self or the Law of Love?

If we are to reach the opposite shore of the river, we might want to unpack and re-pack the ark of our lives before we step into the eddying water.  Perhaps we will leave something behind.  Perhaps we will go in search of something we know we ought to have.  How do we know what to take with us?  It is simple.  We must ask and answer this question: When we open this ark before God, our creator, will we find an image of God?  Will God smile with the love of a parent who sees work well done by the child?

Before we step into the Jordan of our lives, let us think about the contents of the ark we carry on our shoulders and if we must . . . let us with honesty . . .  unpack and re-pack the contents of our lives.

Adapted from a favorite from May 26, 2008.

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joyWednesday, November 12, 2014

1 Chronicles

Joy and the LORD

We move forward in our journey as we visit with scripture looking for stories about joy that will amaze us in a number of ways. To explore other stories in which joy surprises us, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter the word Joy in the blog search bar. You may also want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com to see how joy surprises you there. Today our stories are from 1 Chronicles.

In the books of Chronicles we find an historical perspective of all that we read in the previous books of the Old Testament and when we search these chapters and verses for references to joy we are not surprised to find stories like these . . .

Chapter 12: Warriors join David in Hebron, many of them banished by Saul in his angry jealousy over David’s talent and popularity. When we think of escaping a wretched leader, or when we think of breaking long and enduring relationships we may be surprised to find joy as a possibility in such dark scenarios . . . yet here it is. As always, resting in the presence of the LORD who is always abiding with the broken-hearted.

Philistines_cow_pulling_arkChapter 16: David and his warriors arrive in Jerusalem bearing the Ark of the Covenant, the ancient chest containing the Mosaic commandment tablets, Aaron’s blossoming rod, and manna from the desert. This physical presence of the LORD among them, brings the faithful great joy. When we think of celebrating our good fortune and happiness we might be surprised to discover that God is just as joyful as we are . . . yet, here God is. As always, rejoicing in goodness and blessing.

Chapter 29: David and his followers amass gifts to build a new temple in which to house the presence of the LORD. When we think of preparing a temple for the indwelling of the Spirit we may reflect more on what is lacking rather than what is present, what is imperfect rather than what is perfect . . . yet here the Spirit is. As always, joyfully healing and sustaining us with God’s abundant grace.

arkVisit 1 Chronicles to read more and look for the stories above in 12:40, 16:27, 16:33, 29:17 and 29:22. Visit the scripture link above and compare the different versions of these verses found in the drop down menus. Explore these events and reflect on the surprise of God’s joy in our own lives.

For a fun audio version of what happened to the Ark when captured by the Philistines, and how the Ark finally came to Jerusalem, click on the image of the oxen pulling the cart above or visit: http://psalmbird.net/pages/DavidandArk.htm

For more about anxiety and joy, click on the image above or visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/ 

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

Luke 19:41-44

Ercole de" Roberti: Destruction of Jerusalem

Ercole de’ Roberti: Destruction of Jerusalem

Recognizing the Messiah

We lament the world’s injustice. We search for wisdom in the prophets. We struggle to live the Word of the Gospel. We await a Messiah.

As Jesus drew near Jerusalem, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If this day you only knew what makes for peace – but now it is hidden from your eyes”.

Jerusalem is the celebrated site of God’s presence among the Jewish people – yet Jesus laments her blindness.

“For the days are coming upon you when your enemies will raise a palisade against you; they will encircle you and hem you in on all sides”. 

The holy Temple contains the Ark of the Covenant – yet Jesus predicts the day when all will be lost.

“They will smash you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave one stone upon another within you because you did not recognize the time of your visitation”.

The people of God cried out for a king. God answered their prayer.  Yet they did not recognize that God already lived among them.

Let us decide address the world’s injustice. Let us listen to the wisdom in the prophets. Let us determine to live out the truths of the Gospel. And let us choose to recognize the Messiah who dwells within.

For a homily on this reading, click on the image above or go to: http://sothl.com/2011/08/28/sermon-luke-1941-44/

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