SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

When my daughters were young, we decided to go to Florida for vacation.  Prior to that, we had gone camping on our vacations. This time we planned to visit a number of places, including Disney, so we would be staying at hotels.  Well, my daughters were used to packing for camping.  So my older daughter packed her flashlight.  I reassured her that she did not need to do that because we would not have to walk across the campground in the middle of the night (for those middle of the night trips to the bathrooms).

Well, wouldn’t you know it, on our first night in Florida, the lights in our room and all the other rooms went out.  Someone had driven a car into the street pole that held the transformer for the whole block. All the lights on the street were out. My daughter, however, told me not to worry.  She had brought her flashlight. She was prepared. So we had all the light we needed. 

As Christians, we are called to carry the light of Christ.  During this time of Lent, let us recall that we carry that light within us.  Let us ask if we are prepared to shine the Light of Christ whenever or wherever it is needed.

Let us sing…”This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine…  Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.”

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK:
“ Temples”
In our scripture reading, we hear of Jesus’ anger at the commerce happening in the temple. He
was then asked by what authority he overturns tables and casts out those conducting business.
Rather than answer directly he changes the subject. He tells the people that he will, “Destroy this
temple and in three days I will raise it up.” John tells us he was speaking of his body.

Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians tells them, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that
God’s Spirit dwells in you? * (1 Corinthians 3.16) Paul was also speaking to us. We are all temples.

In this season of Lent, when we think about sacrifice but also about transformation, let’s consider
how we honor and care for our own bodies, as temples of the Spirit and as the body of Christ on
earth. Do we try to love ourselves as we love our neighbors?

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
In her book, Altar on the World, Barbara Brown Taylor speaks of mindfulness and taking the time to be reverent. She asks what would have happened if Moses, when he saw the burning bush, had decided to continue on his way up the mountain and to check out the bush on his way back? I wonder, what do we miss by walking or running through the days of our lives? Do we pause for mystery? Are we open to experiences when God invites us into awe or wonder?

In Psalm 29, the psalmist declares: “The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.”

After hearing Mark’s gospel this morning we could add
”The voice of the Lord tears open heavens.”
“The voice of the Lord says, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

The voice of the Lord was speaking to Jesus. But the voice of the Lord speaks to us; perhaps in the silence, perhaps through another, perhaps in the storms of our lives. Let us reflect on how God might have spoken to us and might speak to us now. This Lent, let us make time to listen as God call us “beloved.”

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham… 18 Hoping against hope, he believed…”
 Romans 4: 13-16, 18)
Abraham’s faith enable him to trust in his God. The seeds of faith may have been planted by God, but Abraham lived his faith. Abraham and God had a relationship based on faith and God’s grace, not some legalistic regulations. As we consider our faith, let us recall that our faith and our relationship with God go hand in hand. May this time of Lent be a time of looking at our faith and our relationship with God. Trusting in God’s grace, may we grow in faith and deepen our relationship with our God.

PSALM 104
God the Creator and Provider
1
Bless the
Lord, O my soul.
O
Lord
my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
2
wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
3
you set the beams of your
chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your
chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
4
you make the winds your
messengers,
fire and flame your
ministers.
5
You set the earth on its foundations,
so that it shall never be shaken.
6
You cover it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
7
At your rebuke they flee;
at the sound of your thunder they take to flight.
8
They rose up to the mountains, ran down to the valleys
to the place that you appointed for them.
9
You set a boundary that they may not pass,
so that they might not again cover the earth.
10
You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills,
11
giving drink to every wild animal;
the wild asses quench their thirst.
12
By the streams
the birds of the air have their habitation;
they sing among the branches.
13
From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
14
You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,
15
and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.
16
The trees of the
Lord
are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
17
In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has its home in the fir trees.
18
The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
19
You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
20
You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the animals of the forest come creeping out.
21
The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
22
When the sun rises, they withdraw
and lie down in their dens.
23
People go out to their work
and to their labor until the evening.
24
O
Lord, how manifold are your works!
In wisdom you have made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.
25
Yonder is the sea, great and wide,
creeping things innumerable are there,
living things both small and great.
26
There go the ships,
and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.
27
These all look to you
to give them their food in due season;
28
when you give to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
29
When you hide your face, they are dismayed;
when you take away their breath, they die
and return to their dust.
30
When you send forth your spirit,
they are created;
and you renew the face of the ground.
31
May the glory of the
Lord
endure forever;
may the
Lord
rejoice in his works—
32
who looks on the earth and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.
33
I will sing to the
Lord
as long as I live;
I will sing praise to my God while I have being.
34
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
for I rejoice in the
Lord.
35
Let sinners be consumed from the earth,
and let the wicked be no more.
Bless the
Lord, O my soul.
Praise the
Lord!

Psalm 98 Praise the Judge of the World
A Psalm.
1 O sing to the L ORD a new song,
for he has done marvelous things.
His right hand and his holy arm
have gotten him victory.
2 The L ORD has made known his victory;
he has revealed his vindication in the sight of the nations.
3 He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the victory of our God.​
4 Make a joyful noise to the L ORD , all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises.
5 Sing praises to the L ORD with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody.
6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the L ORD .
7 Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who live in it.
8 Let the floods clap their hands;
let the hills sing together for joy
9 at the presence of the L ORD , for he is coming
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 139 The Inescapable God
To the leader. Of David. A Psalm.
1 O L ORD , you have searched me and known me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from far away.
3 You search out my path and my lying down,
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
O L ORD , you know it completely.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me. ​
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is so high that I cannot attain it.
7 Where can I go from your spirit?
Or where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
11 If I say, ‘Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light around me become night’,
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
13 For it was you who formed my inward parts;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
that I know very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.
In your book were written
all the days that were formed for me,
when none of them as yet existed.
17 How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 I try to count them—they are more than the sand;
I come to the end * —I am still with you.
19 O that you would kill the wicked, O God,
and that the bloodthirsty would depart from me—
20 those who speak of you maliciously,
and lift themselves up against you for evil! *
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O L ORD ?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? ​
22 I hate them with perfect hatred;
I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts.
24 See if there is any wicked * way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.