Bear One Another’s Burdens

“Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, Or what’s a heaven for?” – Robert Browning
(BrainyQuote)

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is improvident, which means, “Lacking or not exercising foresight; having little regard for the future; heedless of potential consequences or outcomes; reckless. Also: characterized by recklessness or a lack of foresight.” Kind of sounds like the “reckless abandonment” that Oswald Chambers keeps talking about.

Today is Paper Clip Day. You know what the French call paper clips? Trombones! So I’m calling this Trombone Day!

Today is Sunday, and we’re getting ready for church. It’s going slow, so far. S has already gotten up and said she doesn’t feel good. C is still coughing quite a bit. I’m okay, just sleepy.

We went to Scarborough Renaissance Festival, yesterday, and it was quite warm. We stayed about 4 hours, but managed to do everything that we went for. One of those things was to see Cale the Juggler, our favorite performer at the Festival. I got my obligatory Scottish Egg (or Scotch Egg, I’m not sure which is correct, and there are signs with both at the Festival), along with some mediocre pizza and some awesome onion rings. S got her hair braided, and we all got henna “tattoos.” Only mine didn’t turn out so good. Oh, well.

Our worship gathering is at 10:15, this morning. The Exchange meets at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach St., Fort Worth, TX.

The Rangers beat the Pirates in Yu Darvish’s return, yesterday. The final score was 5-2. Seattle lost, so the Rangers narrowed their gap to only .5 game. The Red Sox closer blew another game, yesterday, and they lost to the Boo Jays 10-9, in the bottom of the ninth inning. Baltimore also lost, so the Sox remain a game up. They are, however, on a three-game losing streak.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to the royal son!
May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice!
Let the mountains bear prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness!
May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor!
May they fear you while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations!
May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth!
In his days may the righteous flourish, and peace abound, till the moon be no more!

Psalm 72:1-7

This is a prayer of intercession for the king, for the ruler. It “is clearsighted in its perception of what is essential in government; justice for the poor, defense for the weak, deliverance for the needy.” It would serve us well as a basis as our prayers for our own government. Instead of making derogatory comments about government members that we don’t like, we ought to be praying prayers like this for them.

“O God, rule the nations of the earth: ‘May righteousness flourish, and peace abound’ among the peoples. Use those in positions of power to nurture justice and accomplish peace, in the name of Jesus (Psalm 72:7). Amen.”

(From Daily Guideposts 2016)

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2

Ginger Rue tells the story of when she revealed to her church that her marriage was ending. Her minister advised her, “Let the church pray for you.” Her response was not surprising, nor unexpected. “I’m too ashamed.”

She was afraid, as anyone would be, of what the congregation would think, “especially the older couples like the Boyds.” She had spent years admiring “their solid, abiding love for each other.” She wondered how she would be able to look them in the eye, worried that they would be thinking, “This generation just doesn’t honor the covenant of marriage. She should have tried harder.”

However, she followed through and asked the church for prayer the following Sunday. “After the service was over, I saw Mr. Boyd standing a few feet away. He looked me right in the eyes and made his way toward me. Before I knew it, he had enveloped me in a bear hug. He began sobbing as though my pain were his own.” At that moment, Ginger felt the weight of the world lifted from her shoulders. Mr. Boyd told her, “We will pray for you every single day.”

This is what we need, Church. This is how important prayer is. I have been reminded, once again, that prayer is serious business. That thought struck me hard, last Thursday morning. Prayer is serious business.

We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Romans 15:1
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Galatians 5:14

Father, this reading reminds me of a time when my local church held me up, over 30 years ago. What a blessing it is to be able to throw caution to the wind, and ask our brothers and sisters for prayer. This is what the Church should be about, and this is one of the main reasons we need to pray so diligently for one another. Help us to realize how important it is to share one another’s burdens. Dallas Willard talks about the “easy yoke.” It can’t be easy if we try to bear it all by ourselves. We must share it, first with Jesus, then with the rest of the body.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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