Monday, February 28, 2005
This is a rather confusing passage, but what I think it says, basically, is that God rewards our faith with forgiveness, and that righteousness doesn't come from good works, but works come from faith.
posted by Susanna King 9:41 PM
Friday, February 25, 2005
In verses 6-12, the psalmist tells how his love for god has separated him from his family and friends. He relates how others make fun of his penitence. True penitence is not much in evidence nowadays. I wonder how much of that is from our own worldliness in general, and worries about what other people might think specifically.
posted by Susanna King 10:45 PM
Thursday, February 24, 2005
One thing I like about the book of Acts is that it answers the question, "What happened next?" After Jesus' ascension, there were only eleven disciples left. In this passage, Matthias is chosen to fill the vacancy left by Judas.
posted by Susanna King 11:32 PM
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
This psalm asks for blessings for a king and tells why the king is great. This king is an advocate for the poor, and cares greatly about the welfare of his subjects. I have never really been poor, but I can imagine it would be easier to endure with a ruler who cared and wanted to help, and more difficult with a ruler who ignored your plight.
posted by Susanna King 8:03 PM
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
Jesus comments that people won't believe unless they see "signs and wonders." Seems to me, we aren't all that different today. We want spectacle: light shows, loud music, dancing; instead of simple prayer, teaching, and repentance. It's not the spectacle with which we praise God that matters, it's that we praise Him with sincerity.
posted by Susanna King 6:53 PM
Monday, February 21, 2005
The early church grew so quickly, as Paul describes here, in large part because he and others were willing to travel far and wide and teach the Gospel. And, as this letter shows, he also went back to the churches he helped start, to make sure they were doing all right.
posted by Susanna King 6:05 PM
Friday, February 18, 2005
Verses 14-16 say that we don't have to worry about confessing sins to Jesus because he's been where we are and understands where we're coming from. So we shouldn't be reluctant to repent, shouldn't think God is too high & mighty to understand. Instead, we can "approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need."
posted by Susanna King 7:06 PM
Thursday, February 17, 2005
I recognized verses 6 & 7 immediately. They are the words to a song we sing often at church. I am terrible at retaining anything I've memorized: give me a passage today and I'll recite it back to you tomorrow, and have forgotten it entirely by the next day. But set words to music and I will remember them for years. After all, the psalms are songs, meant to be sung.
posted by Susanna King 11:07 PM
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
The FDBD writer focuses on verse 12, which asks us not to have "an evil, unbelieving heart." It's in verse 13, though, that I get some idea how to do this. We are asked to "exhort one another" and keep each other from becoming cynical, hardened sinners. It's much easier to avoid temptation with the help of others, and it's good to know God doesn't always expect us to go it alone.
posted by Susanna King 11:20 PM
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Another passage about a wedding. To me, this psalm illustrates the many blessings God bestows on those who love Him.
posted by Susanna King 6:32 PM
Monday, February 14, 2005
Jesus performed his first miracle at this wedding in Cana. This is mentioned in the official wedding service as evidence that God supports marriage. I think it also shows that He knows how important an event such as a wedding is to us.
posted by Susanna King 11:27 PM
Friday, February 11, 2005
In this psalm, God is frequently referred to as a "refuge" and a "shelter." But this isn't a shelter that separates us from the world; we remain in the thick of it, yet secure and protected.
posted by Susanna King 6:16 PM
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Jesus promises those listening to him that whoever eats the bread of life will live forever. Immortality and eternal life are human longings as old as the Garden of Eden. Now, Jesus has their attention: they want this "living bread." What will they be willing to sacrifice to get it?
posted by Susanna King 6:35 PM
Wednesday, February 09, 2005
An appropriate passage for Ash Wednesday. The FDBD writer points out that, sometimes, giving up things for Lent can create a feeling of pride and self-satisfaction without bringing you closer to God. If it doesn't please God, if it doesn't bring you closer to Him or make you examine your relationship with Him, then it's not a worthwhile Lenten discipline.
posted by Susanna King 7:34 PM
Tuesday, February 08, 2005
Verse 7 says, "The Lord is my strength and my shield." I hadn't thought about the connection until now, but it makes sense that the symbol of the Episcopal Church is a shield. In addition to the various other symbolic meanings it holds, it's a reminder that the church really is God's shield for us in some ways. It's a safe refuge from the world and can defend us against those who would hurt us.
posted by Susanna King 7:05 PM
Monday, February 07, 2005
This, to me, is one of the most beautiful passages in the whole Bible. I think now, just before the "dark time" of Lent, is a good time to be reminded that Jesus is the light of the world. I want to be one of the people mentioned in this passage who recognizes the Light, and turns to it, and becomes a child of God.
posted by Susanna King 7:00 PM