Good afternoon. Yes, I’m getting a late start today. It is Sunday, October 26, 2014.
Today is Howl At the Moon Day. Is this close enough?
We had a pretty good day yesterday. Our church time went really well. Several of us had a great bonding time during the prayer gathering, and the worship service was fantastic. Afterward, we came home and had Mexican soup from the crock pot, which Christi had started up around 11:00. It was delicious!
This afternoon, we will be taking Tessie to get her nails clipped and get some s-h-o-t-s (just in case she sees this). Not sure what else we have planned. Well . . . there nothing else actually planned. We keep talking about going bowling. Maybe we will do that.
(Source: This Day In History)
Okay, we’ll stick with the Ozzy theme a bit longer. It was on this date in 1984 that 19 year old John McCollum was found dead in his bed from a gunshot wound. It was determined to be suicide. His parents blamed Ozzy Osbourne because their son was listening to Ozzy’s song “Suicide Solution,” from the album Blizzard of Oz, at the time that he committed suicide. They claimed that there were “hidden lyrics” in the song that prompted John to kill himself. Osbourne responded by stating that there were no hidden lyrics, and, in fact, the song was an anti-suicide song, prompted by a fellow musician who “drank himself to death.” A California court dismissed the lawsuit in 1988.
Today’s birthdays include Seth MacFarlane, Keith Urban, Hillary Clinton, Pat Sajak, Jon Heder, Sasha Cohen, Jaclyn Smith, Dylan McDermott, Mahalia Jackson, Cary Elwes, Jackie Coogan, Bob Hoskins, Bootsy Collins, Natalie Merchant, Lauren Tewes, Domenico Scarlatti, Charles Post, Benjamin Guggenheim, Felix the Cat, Ralph Bakshi, and Ivan Reitman. Cary Elwes turns 52 today. He played Wesley/Dread Pirate Roberts in The Princess Bride. Here is a clip of when Buttercup realizes that the Dread Pirate Roberts is “my sweet Wesley.”
(From The Divine Hours)
The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Yours is the day, yours also the night; you have established the heavenly lights and the sun.
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you have made summer and winter.
The earth, O LORD, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes!
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Almighty and everlasting God, increase in me the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that I may obtain what you promise, make me love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Today’s Gospel Reading
Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not quarrel or cry aloud, nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory;
and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
The “this” that Jesus was aware of can be found in verse 14, But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him. At first glance, the Isaiah passage cited to explain Jesus’s reasoning for ordering people not to make him known, seems strange. (Isaiah 42:1-4) Verse 2 seems to be specifically related to this. In the ESV, Isaiah 42:2 says, He will not cry aloud or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street. Jesus has come to establish justice, but not by “a showy display of power, and not by leading a political or military movement” (Reformation Study Bible notes). I firmly believe that we modern day Christians should take note of Jesus’s avoidance of political issues.
Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Abba!”
We know from child psychology that, on average, the first words formulated from a child’s mouth are typically, “Da, da, dad, daddy.” Converting this to first century Jewish children, we would get, “Ab, Ab, Abba, Abba.”
“The revolutionary revelation of Jesus lies precisely in this: the infinitely holy God in whose presence Moses had to remove his shoes, the God from whose fingertips universes fall, the God beside whose beauty the Grand Canyon is only a shadow, the God beside whose power the nuclear bomb is nothing, may be addressed with the same intimacy, familiarity, tenderness, and reverence as an eighteen-month-old child resting on his father’s lap.”
For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Father, there have been many times in my life in which I have envisioned crawling up into your “lap” and just resting there. But not enough times. I so often forget that, even though you are the most powerful and beautiful entity in the entire universe, I can still address you in such child-like and intimate ways. The thought of resting in your arms the way a child does in his earthly father’s is so comforting and peaceful! In fact, it is almost indescribable.
“If I could just sit with you a while;
If you could just hold me,
Nothing could touch me, though I’m wounded, though I die.
If I could just sit with you a while;
I need you to hold me,
Moment by moment, till forever passes by.”
My God, I need you more than I even know, every day of my life. Forgive me for forgetting this. Forgive me for failing to make “the main thing the main thing.” I keep chasing after the wrong things like a puppy with ADHD. Keep me focused on what is important. Teach me to pray without ceasing. Teach me your way, that I might walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Therein lies a major problem. My heart is too divided. Cleanse me and heal me, Father!
I pray for this day. I pray for the errands we need to run in a little while, that everything will go smoothly. Give us a good time together, and I pray that we will get good rest this evening, as we prepare for another work week. During this week, may we be glorifying to you in all things, bringing your kingdom to the people around us. May we be successful at loving you, following Christ, and sharing your kingdom.
Your grace is sufficient.
I just ran across this duet with Jami Smith and Dennis Jernigan, singing his song, “If I Could Just Sit With You A While,” perhaps one of my favorite songs of his. Listen. Enjoy. Worship. Climb in your Abba’s lap!
Grace and peace, friends.