Season after Pentecost (Proper 19 [24]) Holy Cross Day: Thoughts for the day as prompted by scripture

. . . but the people became impatient on the way.” (Numbers 21:4b)

If you know the story of the Hebrews as they were lead to the promised land by Moses, you will also know it was a journey that was long and fraught with problems and discontent. After so many generations in Egypt, they had gotten uses to a certain way of living. It was not their fault, actually. They had never lived as children of the Lord God. It was all new to them. You see, if you assumed they had forgotten what it was like to follow the Lord God, you would be mistaken. While they carried on the tradition of worshiping the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob – the generation that came out of Egypt had always lived in a settled area where there was an infrastructure that supported their daily life. They never had to depend on God for their sustenance and livelihood. This period of time when my life has been totally changed has tested me, so I can only image (and really I do not want to) what their nomadic life was like.

 

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Season after Pentecost (Proper 19 [24]): The Old Testament Passage – Fearing and Following

The angel of God who was going before the Israelite army moved and went behind them; and the pillar of cloud moved from in front of them and took its place behind them.” (Exodus 14:19)

We find the Israelites (having been transformed from the Hebrews during the leaving of Egypt) at the banks of the Red Sea with the Egyptian army chasing them down. I am not sure it is entirely accurate to say they were an “army”, unless that means it was a very large group of people with a great deal of possessions packed in wagons etc. In fact other translations use “camp” as opposed to “army”. Now the Egyptians, that was an army!

 

[ It is time for the beloved readers here to start the move to the site where these posts will have their new home. To read this post in its entirety please go to the blog site Pondering From the Pacific ]

Season after Pentecost (Proper 19 [24]): The Epistle Passage – Accepting weakness and differences

Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarreling over opinions.” (Romans 14:1)

The meaning of “weak” here is not weakness in the depth of their belief but the extent to which their faith is tied to outward signs and practices. Paul being Paul would not tolerate someone who was wishy-washy as to whether he/she believed in Jesus as God’s son and sent to atone for our sins.  .  .

 

[ It is time for the beloved readers here to start the move to the site where these posts will have their new home. To read this post in its entirety please go to the blog site Pondering From the Pacific ]

Season after Pentecost (Proper 18 [23]): The Psalm Passage – Waiting for the Lord God to act

Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.” (Psalm 149: 1)

Last week I was impressed with the match of the Old Testament passage to the Psalm passage. This week I do not have the same feeling of the two being well matched. It is true that in the Old Testament passage, the people of God were being told to get ready to leave Egypt, and that was probably good reason to rejoice. But there was a lot unknown about this – not the least of which was whether the Pharaoh WOULD allow them to leave; if killing the first born in all the families in Egypt would so sour the Pharaoh that he would let them go. Many unknowns.  .  .

 

[ It is time for the beloved readers here to start the move to the site where these posts will have their new home. To read this post in its entirety please go to the blog site Pondering From the Pacific ]

Season after Pentecost (Proper 18 [23]): The Gospel Passage – When a member is lost and does not wish to return

If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.” (Matthew 18:15)

A quiet word, a believer to believer embrace, maybe even a tear of joy; it is part of being in community that things will happen. It does not need to be advertised and announced from the pulpit. If private and quiet reconciliations can happen in the secular world, how much so should they happen in circle of faiths .  .  .

[ It is time for the beloved readers here to start the move to the site where these posts will have their new home. To read this post in its entirety please go to the blog site Pondering From the Pacific ]

Season after Pentecost (Proper 18 [23]): The Epistle Passage – There goes Paul preaching again

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8)

I had to check to see what the context was for verse 8; no, beloved reader, I do not have scripture memorized. Paul, in verse 7, had exhorted his readers to pay to all what is due to them. Verse 8 then exhorts us to let ourselves in debt to any one except for the debt of love. Now, this does not mean financially – at least I hope not, but it very well may. Our modern society does not seem to be set up for “pay as you go”. It is, however, a different type of society than the one Paul lived in. There and then, being in financial debt to another may impinge on their livelihood, or endanger one’s own welfare. So you can see why Paul might be anxious that his readers not incur debt. .  .  .

 

[ It is time for the beloved readers here to start the move to the site where these posts will have their new home. To read this post in its entirety please go to the blog site Pondering From the Pacific ]

Season after Pentecost (Proper 18 [23]): The Old Testament Passage – Getting ready for the exit

Exodus 12:1-14
“The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you.” (Exodus 12:1 – 2)

I am not enough of world historian or anthropologist to know what type of calendar ancient Egypt had. These verses seem to indicate though that it was not the beginning of the ancient Egyptian year. Because the Lord was going to do a new thing, however, this would be marked as the beginning of a new Hebrew year. Later in the history, Passover would take on a new significance. In our modern calendar, Passover comes in the spring or at least late in winter. It often seems that religious calendars and secular calendars clash over the high points and low points of the year.

In any case, change was coming, both to ancient Egypt and to the Hebrews.

 

[ It is time for the beloved readers here to start the move to the site where these posts will have their new home. To read this post in its entirety please go to the blog site  Pondering From the Pacific]