Today is Sunday, April 23, 2017.
“Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” ~ Napoleon Bonaparte
Lacuna ~ a gap or missing part, as in a manuscript, series, or logical argument; hiatus.
Today (or tonight, I guess) is World Book Night. We aren’t talking about the encyclopedia that I loved as a young boy, here. Just books. Good old books. Reading is becoming a lost art in our society, so we celebrate this night to bring awareness to literacy and reading. Enjoy a book tonight. Or, why wait until tonight? Start now.
I’m not at church, this morning, as I’m still recovering from what is, not surprisingly, sinusitis. At least that’s what the nurse/doctor/lady at Minute Clinic said. I’ve got an antibiotic and some Flonase. She also recommended a “nasal rinse.” I’ve never done that before. I looked for a “Neti Pot,” as I’ve had people tell me about those, before. I couldn’t find one of those, but I found a kit with a plastic squeeze bottle and some packets of some kind of saline solution. Let me tell you . . . that is one of the strangest things I have ever experienced. If you don’t know what it is, you mix up the solution with some purified water (bottled water is fine), bend over the sink, breath through your mouth, and squirt the solution up your nose. If you keep breathing through your mouth (that’s pretty important), it simply runs out the other side of your nose. Icky, right? Yes, pretty much. But, it seems effective. I have friends who say that they start doing that at the first signs of any mucus or sinus trouble. At any rate, I’m feeling a bit better, this morning, but still pretty “draggy.”
The Red Sox have lost two straight to Baltimore, and are now 10-8 on the season, still in third place in the AL East, three games behind the O’s. The Rangers have taken two in a row from the Royals, so they are 8-10, inching back up toward .500. They are also in third place in the AL West, four games behind the Astros. The Red Sox play the O’s again today, at 12:35 CDT, with E. Rodriguez on the mound. The Rangers will be playing the Royals again, at 2:05 CDT, with Yu Darvish on the mound.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music.
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.
We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. We recount your wondrous deeds.
Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.
Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.
This is the gate of the LORD; the righteous shall enter through it.
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name. May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
I thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered me from the dominion of sin and death and brought me into the kingdom of your Son; and I pray that, as by his death he has recalled me to life, so by his love he may raise me to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. (The Divine Hours)
(From Living the Message)
Today’s reading is called “The Reality of Our Lives.”
God tells Jeremiah, in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Is this only true of Jeremiah? Psalm 139 would tell us differently. This idea “turns everything we ever thought about God around.” For all of our lives, we consider God as something to wonder about, “an object about which we have questions.” Sometimes, we are simply curious about God, asking questions about him. We read a plethora of books about him, and get into late night discussions about him. Sometimes, we even go to church to see what he’s up to. We look at the sunsets or listen to the symphony “to cultivate a feeling of reverence for God.”
But this is not the reality. Sometimes, I think we are afraid of the reality. The reality is, “long before we ever got around to asking questions about God, God has been questioning us. Long before we got interested in the subject of God, God subjected us to the most intensive and searching knowledge. Before it ever crossed our minds that God might be important, God singled us out as important. Before we were formed in the womb, God knew us. We are known before we know.” (Eugene H. Peterson)
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.
Psalm 139:16 (The Message)
Father, keep this in my mind today, in the front of my thoughts. You have known me, long before I knew you. You knew me before I was even formed. No wonder the psalmist says, “This is too much, too wonderful— I can’t take it all in!” It has to be why some people try to run from you. They don’t want to be known. Me, I take comfort in this, knowing that nothing I ever do will ever surprise you. Help me to take this knowledge and build up my soul with it. Teach me your ways. Help me to walk in the easy yoke of Jesus.
Even so, 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.