Everything Under One Roof

I do not mean this to be a long post or an involved post. It is simply to let you know that I have successfully exported, then imported, all of the posts from 2015 onward. It means that all the posts I wrote as comments and reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary are now on “Pondering From the Pacific.” It is the next logical step in moving operations from one site to the next. And it was step I was not sure was going to work out! It took a couple of tries to get the mechanics involved to work correctly. Once I figured out the correct steps, it did not take much time. I thought I would be laboring for hours to get it done correctly.

I do not say this to tout my own horn, but to compliment and acknowledge that WordPress is a good place to set a blog. I have been grateful over the years that they have made maintaining a blog and easy one. And to you too, beloved and gentle readers for following the blogs as you have.

This next step in the transition means that it becomes more official that posting that was done on “A Simple Desire” [https://asimpledesire.wordpress.com/] will be moving over and posted only on this website, “Pondering From the Pacific” [https://ponderingfromthepacific.wordpress.com/]

The next step, beloved and gentle reader, is for you to switch where you read the posts. And that is actually the part and portion I am most worried about. If you are reading this on “Pondering From the Pacific” I am hopeful you have signed up to follow posts placed here. If you are reading this on “A Simple Desire”, I am hoping that you will switch over. My original plan called for only posting  on “PFtP” (to give it an acronym) at the beginning of 2018. With the ease of each step, that might happen at the beginning of Advent. To reassure all, the posts currently on “ASD” (another acronym) will still be there as long as WordPress allows the site to exist with no new content. It was my “simple desire” to have the overlap of posts only be those related to the Revised Common Lectionary, from 2015 onward.

I am reminded I promised this to be a short post. I have talked previously about my decision. I hope, beloved and gentle reader, you will join me at “Pondering From the Pacific” as we continue to make our way through the lectionary year. Shalom!

The First Week of Advent: Beginning Again

O that you would tear open the heavens and come down, so that the mountains would quake at your presence—as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil— to make your name known to your adversaries, so that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome deeds that we did not expect, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence. From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait for him. You meet those who gladly do right, those who remember you in your ways. But you were angry, and we sinned; because you hid yourself we transgressed. We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a filthy cloth. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away. There is no one who calls on your name, or attempts to take hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us, and have delivered us into the hand of our iniquity. Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand. Do not be exceedingly angry, O Lord, and do not remember iniquity for ever. Now consider, we are all your people.” (Isaiah 64:1-9 )

Advent is a season of waiting and anticipating. The underlying premise of Advent is that we are not sure what we are waiting for. While we know intellectually we are waiting for Christmas, spiritually we know we need but not sure what we are in need of. Intellectually we know we need Christ, and by extension, God. But spiritually as we look within our selves, we come to see what are needs are. And we hope that these needs can be filled and addressed.

Year B (which is the year of the Common Revised Lectionary which we move into for Advent) is the year when scripture passages call back the faithful for renewal of purpose and devotion. There is a Year A which marks the first year of the cycle, so we are actually starting mid-way through the cycle. But as the first year that “A Simple Desire” is commenting on the scripture passages of the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) I think it is a good symbolic beginning. Recommitting ourselves to considering and studying scripture is always a good spiritual practice.

All of you, my beloved readers, have seen and marked many Advent seasons (although they may have not called it such). But journeying through Advent, week by week with these scripture passages, you and I may discover spiritual ideas. Or perhaps re-discover then. It is my hope that you join me in the simple task each week of reading and pondering on each of the four scriptures passages found in the RCL. Consider it “a simple desire” to take up (or continue) a spiritual discipline. As we move through the weeks I will talk more about the types of scripture passages that make up the weekly lectionary. And once we come to the end of the Advent season, I will talk more about my plans for the new year.

Most of the time the first reading is from the Old Testament. It sets forth what has happened in the past to God’s people. By looking back at the past we might better understand the present and be more ready for the future.

We start with Isaiah 64, verses 1 to 9. It is an invitation to God to come down amongst the Lord’s people. It also acknowledges that the people of God have not always acted and lived according to God’s laws and precepts. So it is also an invitation for us, God’s people, to come before God with humbleness and contrition. The writer of Isaiah admits where God’s people have gone wrong, and why it seems like God has been absent. But God has always been there; it is God’s people who have closed their eyes and looked away. But now God’s people look to God and look for God in their daily lives.

May you beloved look for God as you start to look towards Advent. Selah!

A Letter to You, Beloved

Beloved,

I started this year of commenting on Reading the Anabaptist Bible knowing that it was taking more and more out of me commenting each day. While I was looking forward to commenting again on what the historic Anabaptist came to believe in as their faith, I also knew it would be hard work to think deeply and thoroughly about the tenets of faith that they had. But I did not know how hard that work would be, or how much it would take out of me. At times I have faltered in being able to think clearly through some of the scripture passages and the excerpts from historic Anabaptist writing. If I have been less than what you had come to expect, I apologize.

At the beginning of 2014 I had already thought seriously about making this my last year of commenting on “Sip of Scripture” as posted and sent out daily from Third Way Cafe. And as the months rolled by it become clearer that doing this daily for still another year beyond 2014 was too much. I needed to make a change.

My plan, as the title of this blog alludes to, is a simple one. I wanted to return to some basics, but still keep in my focus scripture. I wanted a preset plan that would determine what each scripture passage would be, but not something that was daily. After considering and then setting aside several ideas, I decided to use the Revised Common Lectionary as my source of scripture. Several times over the years I have talked about the Revised Common Lectionary.

Basically it is a set of scripture passages that are in a three year cycle – every three years the cycle starts again. I am not sure of its complete history or beginnings. I could do a Google search and give you the results, but it might be more efficient for you to do that search yourself. What you will find is that the three years are designated as Year A, Year B and Year C. For each week there are four scripture passages; my intention is to write on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

I have already started writing these and they will start to appear at the beginning of Advent season which is the beginning of each lectionary year. The daily posting based on “Sip of Scripture” using scripture passages from Reading the Anabaptist Bible will continue until the end of the year along with the Advent postings. At that point “A Simple Desire” will continue, being posted four times a week using scripture passages as found in the Revised Common Lectionary. I have tried to give you, beloved reader, some orienting information about the Revised Common Lectionary as it pertains to the Advent season during the first week of this new blog format. Watch for it close to the end of November.

It may seem confusing at first, “A Simple Desire” being the same but different. I am hoping that you will continue to follow my postings. It is not the first time that I have posted on passages that were different from “Sip of Scripture.” During 2013 I picked passages from the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) during Advent and commented on them. That might have been the beginning of my thinking about using the RCL as the source of scripture, and moving to a four day a week schedule instead of seven days. As I said before, I was getting pretty worn out.

I am hoping as time goes on my overall plan with become plainer. In the meantime, please beloved reader, if you have any comments or questions let me know.

May the Lord who is with us with each new venture be with you. Selah!