Thur. March 28

Thursday March 28, 2019

Today’s Focus                                                                                  Blessings abound    

Today’s Scripture Reading                                                                         Luke 2:25-35

25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required, 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace,
as you have promised.
30 I have seen your salvation,
31     which you have prepared for all people.
32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations,
and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

33 Jesus’ parents were amazed at what was being said about him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. 35 As a result, the deepest thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your very soul.”

36 Anna, a prophet, was also there in the Temple. She was the daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher, and she was very old. Her husband died when they had been married only seven years. 37 Then she lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four.  She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer. 38 She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

39 When Jesus’ parents had fulfilled all the requirements of the law of the Lord, they returned home to Nazareth in Galilee. 40 There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him

Daily Reflection                                                                                 Pastor’s reflection

Joseph and Mary, being “righteous” Jewish couple, went about the process of fulfilling the requirement of the Jewish law regarding infant circumcision and purification of the mother following birth.  Along the way this beautiful couple is “blessed” by God through Simeon and Anna.  Through the words spoken by these two prophets, Mary and Joseph receive anew the blessings of God through these two very “human” prophets.

Often we have been taught in our world to think “critically” of different situations.  Our eyes quickly move to things that are “out of place” and often our immediate reaction is to “fix” the problem or at least point out the problem. When we are tested in school situations, we often focus on the questions that we got “wrong” instead of seeing the information that we have mastered.  The same is true when we encounter other people.  We tend to be quick to share another person’s shortcomings instead of sharing the person’s gifts.

Words can be very powerful!

One of the worst teachings that I learned as a child was “sticks and stones may break your bones, but names will never harm me.”  Trust me when I tell you that in my vocation while bones usually heal, hurtful, spiteful, and critical words may never fully heal.  My guess is that each of you reading this know this to be true… and if you don’t then God bless you for you have truly led a blessed life.

May our thoughts and our words cast abundant blessings out into the world!

Some questions for reflection

  • Sharing “blessings” especially in the context of celebrations or big events are especially vital in the formation of person’s sense of belonging. Do you think that the person “being blessed” is the only one that benefits from the blessing itself?  Why or why not.
  • Recall a time in your life when you have “been blessed” recall how those blessings made you feel. Do you believe that Mary and Joseph would have felt the same way you did?  Why or why not.

Today’s discipleship challenge

Think about someone you would like to “bless” today with bearing witness to the light they share in the world.  Then…. Bless them.  Share with your group or a trusted friend how this event made you feel and how you perceived the other person felt in receiving the blessing.

 

Today’s prayer

Eternal God, we thank You for the people who surround us in our community and in our congregation.  As these people have been a blessing to us, so now allow us to bless them for the gifts they share and the witness they provide.  Send us all out into this world that we might be a blessing to others as we have been blessed ourselves.  Amen.

8 thoughts on “Thur. March 28

  1. Mel Olenwine

    It’s been a horrible week at work. Just horrible. I will set out to bless someone yet again….and hope and pray I don’t get caught up in the maelstrom that is my job right now, never seeming to find the time or person to bless! But I will. Today I will. I am counting the days until vacation…my respite from the stress and madness. And then it dawns on me…God is my daily (hourly? minutely?) respite from the stress and madness. When I need to calm down, I breathe…and I pray. Often I do yoga, but I have my own spirituality tied to that practice since I’ve been told that yoga is “anti-Christian”. Ok. Whatever. Today I will focus on acknowledging the blessings in/ from anyone…everyone…..else….as we all share our light with the world. And I will thank them. Namaste. Amen. All of it.

    Reply
    1. Keith Ricks

      I can Help! You can Bless me and It won’t take any time at all! Just say “You’re Wonderful and It’s okay Your blog post have to be read in Volume Sets!” You share honestly and I just love it. Yoga! One of My Goals! What a beautiful way to bring Your mind and body together and connect with The God within You, or as others call it, Your Spirit. I think it is incredible You are able to do that. You re-inspire me to set a Goal to give this form of meditation another attempt. Thank You! Well, BAMB! Bless You for That! PBaL Keith

      Reply
      1. Mel Olenwine

        You’re wonderful Keith!!! And I like your blog posts. They are very thought provoking….volume sets….hahahah…. bless you! There. done 🙂 I learn something from everyone’s posts!!

        Reply
    2. Pastor Jerry

      Wow! I never heard that yoga is “anti-Christian”…. I would think that balance in the world, balance in our relationships both with God and the world is a path to “happiness!” Thanks for sharing such wonderful observations…. truly Thursday night was a blessing to us all!
      P,B, &L
      PJ

      Reply
  2. Lisa Mantz

    When I share a blessing I am not the only person blessed. Being blessed only makes me want to bless others, so they can have what I have.(Which is a feeling of being loved) Being blessed only makes me want to “pay it forward.” What a great world we would live in if everyone did that. Blessing others blesses everyone. But that being said, I will confess that I don’t always “pay it forward.” Things happen…life happens…and when I don’t pay it forward it’s a missed opportunity…..

    There are SO MANY times I can recall being blessed. As a child I was in a very bad car accident. The doctors told my parents I wouldn’t live through the night. And here I am 3 children and 46 years later! Through all the hospitalization and rehab I made some lifelong friends. To this day I am in contact with them. God has put some awesome people in my life! Having people take care of me in such a loving way was a HUGE blessing. It made me feel SO LOVED.

    And the blessings just keep coming. Sometimes you have to look for them…..but the ARE there.
    May you all receive a multitude of blessings and feel God’s love……today and always!

    Reply
    1. Pastor Jerry

      Lisa,
      It’s honestly been a blessing to read and to hear your thoughts on your relationship with God and your understanding of your faith! I am so grateful that you feel the blessings God so freely shares with you and the world! May they keep flowing!
      P, B, &L
      PJ

      Reply
  3. Keith Ricks

    Some questions for reflection

    Sharing “blessings” especially in the context of celebrations or big events are especially vital in the formation of person’s sense of belonging. Do you think that the person “being blessed” is the only one that benefits from the blessing itself? Why or why not.

    No. Here again one thing ties into another. When I experience or I am in the presence of an incredible Human moment, I am overwhelmed with the need to recreate it, to share it with another person. Doesn’t matter what the Beautiful Experience is… an impossibly delicious meal or a sharing of Truth of the Good and Gifts I see within someone. I answered no because I believe that it passes forward like this…

    The Holy Spirit moves some one into action > Others Witness > The God within the Others is Energized by That Holy Spirit Promotion or Action > Those People then Know what to do with that God Energy, Figure it out, or it becomes one of the opportunities that leads them closer to Where God is waiting for them to be.

    And I’ve been there… God will poke, prod, nag and pester You with the Holy Spirit, family, squirrels, bunnies and falling Tree branches… but Patiently,… Gotta give it to God for the whole Patient thing, not saying God doesn’t enjoy bonking me on the head with tree branches though!

    >>>> However, Those “Other Witness” that “Know what to do” or “Figure it Out” are, as they say, ‘Moved’ to go out into the World and do the same, or are inspired to creatively do something as wonderful for someone else or others. In the point of that delicious meal, Many of us who have tried some incredible food knows the excitement of Sharing either the food, recipe, or where one can get it, to friends or just about anyone who will listen to us go on about it. Science says “sociality” is built into us. I believe that invisible connection or link is Our individual God Bits all interconnected like a network and when We Work together, Share, Care for, Get Close, Talk, etc.. We can Feel the Network Working and the Signal grow strong. And it is a Good Feeling.

    Today’s discipleship challenge

    Think about someone you would like to “bless” today with bearing witness to the light they share in the world. Then…. Bless them. Share with your group or a trusted friend how this event made you feel and how you perceived the other person felt in receiving the blessing.

    I do this often. Often is never Often enough. I say often because if You recall it kind of is a part of one of my Lenten disciplines, which I just noticed are actually ‘discipleships’… sigh… I will say, more so than I had expected, I am met with a smile and gratefulness than surprise and a battle to accept what is being said about them. To my own shock, I found myself at first completely shut down by this smile and gratefulness in people. After a few of these (note, these were somewhat strangers, cable guy, grocery store workers, Hospital people, road workers, etc..) I crawled up in my house for a week and did nothing. I mean not all of them were smiling, grateful, confident “I know this about myself, how wonderful of You to mention it” people. A couple turned eyes down and it made them feel good to have such things pointed out about them. Of course I did not make anything up, these were all people I had observed for some time and most knew me by sight, not saying that is a good thing. In conclusion, I now see that the people who were confident in their goodness and “gifts” were just as Uplifted by the mention as those who were not so confident. And that Surprised Me! First it made me uncomfortable though.

    I am Happy to be doing this Blog with All of You! Keith

    Reply
  4. Pastor Jerry

    As always,
    I really enjoy reading your thoughts my brother! Giving other people blessings comes very naturally to you! God created you to be a unique and beautiful voice in this world and from my perspective it is such a powerful blessing to witness your pilgrimage of discipleship, not only during this Lent, but honestly from the time we met.
    P, B, & L
    PJ

    Reply

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