Reconciliation Before Worship

Today is Monday, April 29, 2019

Day 22,327

Ten days until Vegas!!!

Quote of the Day

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”
H. L. Mencken, American writer, 1880-1956

Word of the Day

Clown car ~ a group whose size seems absurdly excessive for the purported function of the group, and whose effectiveness is therefore questionable. For example, “The planning committee has added yet another member to its clown car, almost guaranteeing further delays.”

It was a pretty good weekend. The wedding was very nice, Saturday evening, and we had a lovely time. At the reception, most of the Exchange people sat at two tables next to each other. We had a great time talking as we ate the reception meal.

Yesterday’s worship gathering went well. The main leader was out, so there were only two of us leading. The sermon series that started yesterday is in preparation for what is coming in the future of our church. We will be hearing, over the next four weeks, about the four essential things that the New Testament church did. They were devoted to the Apostles’ teachings (Scripture, for us), fellowship, breaking of bread (the Supper, as well as other meals together), and prayer. That’s what we will be focusing on over the next four weeks, and it will be our focus during the bi-weekly house church gatherings.

The Texas Rangers walloped the Mariners again, yesterday, almost as bad as Saturday night. They won 14-1, getting 17 hits in the game. Lance Lynn got his third win. This puts the Rangers back over .500, at 14-13. It also knocked Seattle out of first place. The Rangers remain in third place, 2.5 games behind the Astros. They are off tonight, and will face the Pittsburgh Pirates Tuesday night, with Adrian Sampson taking the mound.

The Boston Red Sox didn’t fare so well, losing the series to the Tampa Bay Rays. The games were close, but the lost 5-2 yesterday, as Chris Sale failed, yet again, to notch his first win of the season. They lost 2-1 on Saturday. The Sox are now 11-17, in fourth place in the AL East, dangerously close to being the worst team in MLB. They will face Oakland tonight at Fenway, with E Rodriguez taking the mound.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose. 
His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land. 
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant. 

Psalm 25:12-14

Today I am grateful:
1. For another day with opportunities to walk in his kingdom
2. For a better night’s sleep than I have been getting, lately
3. For coffee
4. That Christ makes peace possible
5. For the relationships I have in the body of Christ

Our Father, who are in heaven,
hallowed by thy Name,
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

O Lord, let thy mercy be showed upon us;
As we do put our trust in thee.
(The Book of Common Prayer)

(From Faith That Matters)

Today’s reading is “Offer Forgiveness Before Worship,” by Dallas Willard.

So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Matthew 5:23=24

Imagine a minister in the middle of some kind of service. Then imagine him (or her) suddenly walking out of the proceedings to seek reconciliation, perhaps with someone who is not ever there. This is the picture of kingdom love and righteousness that is being drawn by Jesus, here. The moral is more important than the ritual.

Consider the quality of life that must be in this kind of person, one who would “routinely interrupt sacred rituals to pursue reconciliation with a fellow human being.” Imagine what kind of thoughts, moods, and habits you would find in such a person. This is the vision of “the true ‘righteousness beyond’ that is at home in God’s kingdom of power and love.”

As we examine our lives, do we find that we have strained relationships? Perhaps there are times when it is not possible to reconcile them. We certainly hope that this does not happen within the Church. But it is up to us, as Paul says, to be at peace with everyone, as much as we possibly can.

Father, help me, today, to be at peace in all of my relationships, as far as it is up to me. May your kingdom shine in me today.
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.