Today is Wednesday, March 27, 2019. Twenty-first day of Lent.
Opening Day is tomorrow!!!
Quote of the Day
“We must seek the loving-kindness of God in all the breadth and open-air of common life.”
George A. Smith, American clergyman, 1817-1875
Word of the Day
Impedimenta ~ baggage or other things that retard one’s progress, as supplies carried by an army: the impedimenta of the weekend skier. (Dictionary.com)
Once again, I really have nothing much to write about, personally. C is doing pretty good. Her chest still hurts when she moves certain ways, but the bruising is getting gradually better. She’s going to have a busy weekend, coming up. Saturday brings a gathering of our church’s ladies for some kind of conference. The good thing is that they are meeting at a home and watching conference sessions via live stream. Then Sunday, she has to work. (Sad face) Her company is doing a major software rollout and she will have to actually go in to work.
Oh, and right! Baseball starts tomorrow!! Officially. I mean, there have been games. The Rangers played a couple of exhibition games this week, and there has been one series already played in Japan. But for everyone else, Opening Day is tomorrow. The Rangers play the Cubs in Arlington, and the Red Sox play the Mariners in Seattle.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
Today I am grateful:
1. That baseball is starting back up
2. That C continues to feel better
3. That God is doing some really cool things in our life and in the life of our church (more to come later on that)
4. That God promises wisdom to those who seek her
5. That God will do what he says he will do
Give praise, you servants of the LORD;
praise the Name of the LORD.
Let the Name of the LORD be blessed,
from this time forth for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to its going down
let the Name of the LORD be praised.
The LORD is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens.
(The Book of Common Prayer, from Psalm 113)
(From Every Step An Arrival, Eugene H. Peterson)
Today’s reading is “Leaders Should Beware the Justice of God.”
And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I’ll go after the lost, I’ll collect the strays, I’ll doctor the injured, I’ll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they’re not exploited.
Peterson points out that he can’t find anyplace where Jesus quoted from Ezekiel 34. But there are things that Jesus stated that makes it clear that he had read and meditated on the words of Ezekiel. “A piece of writing that was so important to Jesus simply has to have something important for us.”
There is a strong sense of compassion running through this passage. Ezekiel, as he writes, looks at his countrymen and “sees them as people who have been treated badly, exploited, and used by others.” God uses Ezekiel as his spokesman, and is angry “over what is happening among the human beings he has created to live in a very different way.”
So, “God sets out to do himself what needs to be done for the people he creates and loves. There has been a disastrous failure in leadership. Though it was his original plan that men should exercise leadership that would express love and justice, it simply isn’t happening. So God takes the initiative. He will shepherd himself, taking care of the unfortunate and the weak and exercising a careful rule over ‘the fat and the strong’ (verse 16, RSV).”
These words were written long before Jesus spoke his harsh words against the Pharisees of the New Testament. God proclaims his judgment on “the fat and the strong.” The ambition of human beings seeks “status and prosperity. But every leader who rejects God’s way of mercy and healing should anticipate his judgment.”
These are dark times in our own nation. Our politicians and corporate businessmen are “fat and strong” and preying on the weak of our nation. I struggle with the question . . . should I be praying for God’s judgment on them, or should I be praying that he has mercy and works change in their hearts?
Father, this requires wisdom that can only come from you. I don’t think it’s wrong to pray for justice in our world. But I think it might be wrong for me to desire to see your judgment fall on anyone, no matter how wicked. Give me wisdom as I pray.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
Soli Deo Gloria!