Pine and Snow
I ordered a casserole dish and carrier about a week ago. I assumed it was like the one I already had (I was hoping to have two of them) -- a rectangular dish measuring 9x13.
Considering Social Media (Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals):
Quote in my email today:
This life, therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed. Martin LutherAfter yesterday's post, I thought this quote was a good followup. Bob commented that if we had driven straight to where we needed to be last week, then we would have missed the experience -- we would have missed everything we saw.
We were traveling last week around the northern part of the state. The visit began a little bit off when the place we had planned to eat didn't serve lunch. No problem; we just went back down the interstate to another restaurant.
Friday Five from RevGalBlogPals:
I was listening to a knitting podcast today. The author of the podcast is doing a series based on the muses from Greek mythology and how each one relates to knitting. The discussion today was about Melpomene. She is the muse related to tragedy. One of the essays on the podcast talked about how the two concepts -- knitting and tragedy -- could be related. The muse was originally the muse of singing. The author believes that the muse is misunderstood. Thought of as the muse of tragedy, she is really the muse who helps people through tragedy.
This week in Disciple, as our readings assignments, we read several Psalms. As I read them through the week, I started writing down a verse or two from each one -- it might be a verse that spoke of the theme of the Psalm, or that had beautiful imagery, or that just appealed to me.
The sky, the air, the clouds, the very heavens,
I preached last Sunday at my church and led worship. I used the lectionary readings as the basis of the worship. The following Call to Worship is based on Psalm 36:5-10.
At our office devotional today, Joyce read to us a letter from a friend of hers. The letter was written by a gentleman in Texas whose wife has gone to Haiti to help with relief efforts.
Labels: New Testament
We were driving to church on Sunday morning. The route we usually takes includes a section of road around our city park. As we drove by, we noticed that lots of the trees -- even in January -- still had their leaves. Not live leaves, but dead, brown, ugly leaves.
Yesterday I attended the monthly gathering of our Emmaus Community. Each worship service ends with communion.
I read a quote the other day -- I wish I could remember where and who said it, but the message of it was that we keep praying to God for help, and he keeps sending us each other.
Yesterday, I read chapters 51-53 of Isaiah for my Disciple class. The end of chapter 52 and the beginning of chapter 53 is one of the Servant Songs. There are four (I think) Servant Songs in Isaiah. This is the last and longest one.
I love stained glass. I love to take pictures of it, to look at it, to learn about the symbolism in it. I am attracted by its intense colors and artwork. I love stained glass.
While I am always grateful for comments, I don't usually mention them in posts -- for no reason really; it's just not a habit I've developed. I read them all, and think about them, though.
I do, of course, realize that the poetry is not meant to be taken literally. I had just finished reading a week of Consequence scriptures for Disciple. The first few verses of this week's Comfort scriptures sent me over the edge with the double potion of punishment. I had been struggling with the idea of punishment last week, and here it was again. It wasn't the literally quantifying of the punishment; it was the whole of idea of it in the first place.
I don't have an image of a God who watches our behavior and then hands out rewards and punishments for it. My image of God is one who is holding out the graceful reward of salvation to all of us, crying out for us to accept it. We are hard-headed and stubborn, and we ignore him. The consequences and rewards are not really actions of God himself, but results of our own actions.
I do realize there is a difference between consequences and punishment. I think the consequences of our own sin are worse than any punishment God would offer. The bad things that happen to us are usually a result of what we have done to ourselves. God would not choose it for us.
John Meunier said...
Word studies may not help, but the etymology of the word "punishment" goes back to ideas of payment of fines or atonement for wrongs. Here is the etymoogy.
It may not have meant the same to us. Punishment was the price paid for wrongs done, not a form of suffering with only incidental connection to the error that leads to it.
I do like to look at etymology (and thanks for the link to the Online Etymology dictionary -- cool). Seeing punishment as price paid for wrongs done does help me to align it in my mind -- especially the word "atonement." I can then link it to the idea of Christ atoning for our sins.
I believe the Jewish people would equate punishment with love (Spare the rod spoil the child). Therefore double the punishment equals double the love.
Thinking about my own kids, I don't that in the midst of punishment, they would see it as love. I do understand the link, though.
I think about raising children. I know, from reading about it, that there were very good outcomes to the exile. Monotheism, for example. Synagogue practices. God is good out that -- bringing forth blessings from pain. The best explanation I've heard for the idea of punishment in the Old Testament is that God removed his protection from the people for a time and allowed negative consequences to happen. It's not really biblical in the case of the exile, however.
I'm not sure this is a case of "spare the rod and spoil the child." I think in this period of time God is working to establish a seed -- a chosen people who would bless the rest of the world, recovering it from the sin of Eden. It had to succeed. In order for the plan to continue, the exile was necessary. It isn't what God would have chosen -- not his ultimate will. He would have chosen for his people to be faithful and obedient, but they were far from that. There were many times in the story of Judah that God delayed what was becoming inevitable. I wonder if he was hoping for his people to repent, to change direction, to make what had to happen unnecessary. I don't hear punishment in that, but a last ditch effort for redemption.
Well, maybe not last ditch. God made the ultimate sacrifice a few hundred years later.
Image: Trees on the way to Burlington, WV last month.
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.I was reading for Disciple today. The two verse above were the first two verse of our reading for the day.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,
that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins. Isaiah 40:1-2
Tired tonight. Ready to go to bed, so a short post instead of a more complicated one.
One of the scriptures that has always kinds of bothered me is the one about the sheep and the goats. It has always conflicted in my mind with the idea of grace -- unearned. If grace is unearned then why does the separation of the sheep and goats have to do with what they have DONE? As if they have earned their way toward "sheepiness" and away from "goat-ness."
I saw a post today on a blog that I thought was intersting. It is a review of the year completed by listed the first line of the first post of each month along with a photograph from that month (probably unrelated). I thought I would give that a try:
Think about a baby. Completely dependent upon his parents, he is without defenses -- vulnerable in all ways. He depends on others for food, for cleanliness, for water, for a place to sleep, for transportation from one place to another, for protection and safety.
And yet, we are called to love, to risk and to tell the story. We are called to vulnerability by the one who made himself vulnerable at birth until death on a cross.
At Rotary on Monday, a gentleman from The Mountain Institute spoke about their project at Spruce Knob. Part of what they do is to bring students to the center for learning activities. His theory is that when kids experience learning through hands on experience, they remember it more. They take ownership of what they are doing.
Section 3 of Three Wise Women, as read yesterday morning for our church's Breakfast with the Wise Men:
Section 2 of Three Wise Women, as read this morning for our church's Breakfast with the Wise Men:
Our church has a "Breakfast with the Wise Men" tomorrow. As part of that event, I'm telling an epiphany story. Part of the story contains the Russian folk tale of Babushka; the rest is from my imagination. It's too long for a blog post, so I'll post it over the next few days.