Good morning. Today is Sunday, January 6, 2013. I’m up early to go to setup at The Exchange, followed by rehearsal for the worship band. Christi is sleeping in today, as she is banned from working out, or any kind of other physical work until she has worn her “boot” for four weeks. She waited until we got back from Cancun to start wearing it (the doctor approved that). But carrying stuff around, unloading the trailer, and so forth, is forbidden, so she won’t be doing setup for a while. Stephanie, however, wants to go up there early with me.
Today is “Apple Tree Day.”
On this date in 1017, Canute, the man who would command the tides, became king of England, being crowned at St Paul’s Cathedral. He came to England from Denmark in 1013, and, “over the next three years…tricked, conquered or destroyed all local opposition and finally obtained the crown of all England.” His rule was said to be “fair and effective,” and he was reputed to even be a supporter of the Church. However, his laws were sometimes a bit stern, having one, for example, that awarded the husband of an adulterous woman all of her property, while she “is to lose her nose and ears.” At one point, Canute was king of three nations at once, being king of Denmark, Norway, and England. The story behind his attempt to command the tides goes like this: He had such a dislike of “fawning courtiers ever praising his supposedly infinite powers,” that he, one day, ordered his throne to be carried out to the beach, where he said to the sea, “Ocean! The land where I sit is mine, and you are part of my dominion. Therefore rise not–obey my commands and do not presume to wet the edge of my robe.” When the waves ignored his command and got his shoes wet, he turned and addressed his courtiers, “Confess ye now how frivolous and vain is the might of an earthly king compared to that great Power who rules the elements.”
Today’s birthday is Earl Scruggs, born on this date in 1924. Scruggs was the banjo player in the famous duo, Flatt & Scruggs. He passed away in March of 2012.
Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! Psalm 32:11
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us. Psalm 67:1
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14
Father, I pray that you show me a glimpse of yourself this morning, as I prepare my heart to worship you with my brothers and sisters.
Today, I’m reading Isaiah 16:12-14.
12 And when Moab presents himself, when he wearies himself on the high place, when he comes to his sanctuary to pray, he will not prevail.
13 This is the word that the LORD spoke concerning Moab in the past.
14 But now the LORD has spoken, saying, “In three years, like the years of a hired worker, the glory of Moab will be brought into contempt, in spite of all his great multitude, and those who remain will be very few and feeble.”
This is the end of the oracle concerning Moab. He wastes his energy “on the high place,” and will not prevail. Moab exalted himself and troubled the people of God.
Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “God Among Us.” The scripture reference is Exodus 29:44-46.
44 I will consecrate the tent of meeting and the altar. Aaron also and his sons I will consecrate to serve me as priests. I will dwell among the people of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of the land of Egypt that I might dwell among them. I am the LORD their God.
The book of Exodus is full, from one end to the other, of the grace, mercy, and steadfast love of God. The Lord fought for the slaves and set them free; he “stood by them at the Red Sea;” he gave them food an water in the desert; he gave them his name, his word, and his Law. He “chose to live among them, so close he could be touched, the immortal gracing mortality with its splendor.” God was “present and not distant.”
The book gives this anonymous quote: “There is no place where God is not, wherever I go, there God is. Now and always he upholds me with his power and keeps me safe in his love.”
Father, as I worship you this morning, I pray that you, by your Spirit, will cause me to reflect on the impact of the fact that you, the Creator of the universe, have chosen to dwell with mankind, your creation. I pray that I will sense your love and compassion while I play the worship music this morning, on the keyboard. Use the instrument, use me, use my fingers, to glorify yourself and to assist others in worshiping you; you who are not distant, but close to us. Praise your holy name, O Lord, my God!
I pray for this day, Lord. May our setup go smoothly this morning, and may our worship be pleasing to you. Open our ears to what you have to say to us through your servant, Joel, this morning.
I pray you keep Rachel and Justin safe as they travel to have lunch with us this afternoon, and bless our time together today.
God is with us. Immanuel. He is near, not distant. Look for him today.
Grace and peace, friends.