Good morning. It is Sunday, February 15, 2015. Five days until pitchers and catchers report! 50 days until Opening Day!!
Today’s word of the day is marotte. A marotte is, “A baton carried by a fool or jester as a mock emblem of office.” It can also mean, “A pet notion, a craze.”
Today is Gumdrop Day. If all he raindrops were lemon drops and gumdrops, that would hurt!!! It might also be mentioned that today is “All the Valentine’s Day Chocolate Goes On Sale for 75% Off Day!”
For the most part, yesterday was a pretty good day. Christi got pretty tired during the morning, but had a little time to rest before we went up to our worship gathering. The evening went well. I think the prayer gathering was meaningful (even though we spent about half the time with some good-natured chatting), and the worship gathering was pretty phenomenal. Our pastor is continuing his series on church membership and why it matters. Last night’s message was from Hebrews 10:19-25, one of my favorite passages about the Church. He keyed in on one phrase that is repeated several times, and that is, “Let us . . . ” It doesn’t say, “I” or “you,” it says, “us,” indicating that this is a corporate necessity. His “tweetable” moment for the evening, in my opinion was when he said that we don’t gather to receive something; rather, we gather to respond to something we have already received. Too many people are looking to the church to get something. That’s not why we gather. He also made a point that the church cannot bring you to God. The only way to God is through Jesus Christ. The church cannot accomplish that.
After the worship gathering, we had a very nice time with our friends. We decided that we would all just drive through somewhere and pick up food, then meet at their house for dinner. It was a nice time with some good conversation, much of which focused on ministry.
Today, there is nothing much planned. We might take Tessie (dog) up to Petsmart to get her nails clipped. Other than that, nothing. The PBA Tournament of Champions is on ESPN this afternoon, so we might watch that later. It is set to record on the DVR.
It was on this date in 1933 that Giuseppe Zangara attempted to assassinate President Franklin D Roosevelt. FDR was making a speech from the back of an open car, in Miami Florida, where Zangara lived. He was too short to see over the crowd, so he had to stand on a wobbly chair. After his first shot, people grabbed his arms. He made four more wild shots before he was subdued. Roosevelt escaped injury, but Chicago mayor Anton J Cermak, who was standing on the running board next to Roosevelt, was hit, and subsequently died from his injuries. On March 20, 1933, after waiting only ten days on Death Row, Zangara was executed in “Old Sparky,” the electric chair in Florida State Prison, Raiford, FL.
Today’s birthdays include Galileo Galilei (astronomer), Michael Praetorius (composer), Charles Lewis Tiffany (American jeweler), Susan B. Anthony (suffragist), John Barrymore (actor), Cesar Romero (actor), Kevin McCarthy (actor), Mary Jane Croft (actress), Harvey Korman (actor/comedian), Brian Holland (songwriter), Mick Avory (drummer), Jane Seymour (actress), Melissa Manchester (singer), Matt Groening (cartoonist), Matthew Ward (singer), Chris Farley (actor/comedian), Jane Child (musician), Conor Oberst (singer/songwriter), and Matt Hoopes (musician).
Harvey Korman was an actor and comedian who spent a large part of his career on the Carol Burnett Show. He was born on this date in 1927. He passed away in 2008. Some of his best work was with Tim Conway. The two of them were magnificent together. I think I’ve shared this one before, but it’s a classic. The Lunch Break.
With regard to the works of man, by the word of your lips I have avoided the ways of the violent.
My steps have held fast to your paths; my feet have not slipped.
I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; incline your ear to me; hear my words.
Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who do me violence, my deadly enemies who surround me.
They close their hearts to pity; with their mouths they speak arrogantly.
They have now surrounded our steps; they set their eyes to cast us to the ground.
He is like a lion eager to tear, as a young lion lurking in ambush.
Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword,
from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. You fill their womb with treasure; they are satisfied with children, and they leave their abundance to their infants.
As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
Today’s reading is “Every Calvary Step Was Love.”
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.
1 John 3:16
“The love of Christ for us in his dying was as conscious as his suffering was intentional.”
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
Every step on the road to Calvary shouted, “I love you!” To feel this love for us, it helps to reflect on how deliberate it was. For example, see Jesus’s reaction after Peter cut off the ear of Malchus in the garden, as Jesus was being arrested.
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”
Yes, we know that Jesus’s death was predicted in the Old Testament. But it brings more meaning when we observe that the very choices Jesus made, as events were leading up to his death, were made intentionally “to see to it that the Scriptures would be fulfilled.” In essence, in Matthew 26:54, Jesus was saying, “I could escape this misery, but how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”
“I am not choosing to take the way out that I could take because I know the Scriptures. I know what must take place. It is my choice to fulfill all that is predicted of me in the Word of God.”
Every step screamed, “I love you!” And every step was intentional. Jesus willingly laid down his life for us.
Father, if Jesus laid down his life for us, how can we not lay down our own lives for each other? This is what John said to us in 1 John 3:16. We are to love one another as Jesus loved us. As our local body of believers continues in this series on church membership, I pray that we would all have a deeper understanding of what this church is, and how we are to love one another. I pray that you would begin it in me, Lord. Teach me how to love as Jesus loved. Teach me to have compassion on those who are more difficult to get along with (I am probably one of those people to someone else). Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Lead me in the path of righteousness, that I might display the love of Christ to my brothers and sisters, and that it might be as intentional as the steps that Jesus took in order for Scripture to be fulfilled.
Father, take us through this day, keeping us safe in whatever we need to do today. I pray for rest, as we prepare for another week of work ahead. Teach Stephanie about your great love for her. I pray that you would make your presence known in the lives of those close to us.
Grace and peace, friends.