A couple of months ago, one of the Synod Ministers went to Africa on a Tour of Missions and Churches. He came back enthused with wanting to donate Theological books to the Ministers of one of the African nations. Upon Graduation, most Ministers of this African nation do not have theology books nor commentaries. Most Canadian Ministers rely on good commentaries and theological books for their ministry. This is a great project and monies were donated. Yet, months later the hospitality and sharing has fizzled. And that is so sad. Monies were donated and all the Synod thought this to be the end of their responsibility. I think not. We should be keeping the new Ministers in our prayers.... we should be writing letters of encouragement to the new Ministers.... we should be making sure that the books purchased are excellent books that are truly needed and not just someone's old cast-offs.... we should be inviting the new Ministers to Canada to show them our Missions and Churches and learn more about their Missions and Churches. Mission and Ministry is more than just giving money. Mission and Ministry is about opening ourselves to hearing the call of God to do God's work in the world.
Retreating in God's love....
Prayer: Healing God, help us to be a shining example of who You are this day. Help us to lead by example in Your Word. Help us to lift other’s burdens so that they may see Your love. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Read St. Matthew 23: 1 – 12
This portion of Scripture begins with Jesus saying to the Disciples and the crowd that they must obey the Laws and the Pharisees and the Lawyers but do not do what the Pharisees do as they do not practice what they preach.
While the Pharisees have all the right laws, they have gone overboard with the Laws and the rules. Instead of helping people to understand the Word of God, the Pharisees have created too many rules and have placed these rules into bundles and place these bundles on people’s shoulders. The bundles of rules then weigh heavy upon people’s shoulders but the Pharisees do not help to unload the burden.
Jesus says that the Pharisees have all the right stuff to show that they are devote yet their finery does nothing to bring themselves nor the people closer to God. While they wear the scriptures around their arms and head, they have not brought the scriptures into their hearts. While they wear beautiful prayer shawls, they do not pray. While they like the head places at any dinner table and to be called Rabbi or Master, they have not earned their title through keeping the Word of God alive in their hearts nor in the people’s hearts.
Instead of wearing all the right clothes and accessories to be a teacher or Master, each should be a servant first.
What about our Churches today? Have we gone overboard with all the right clothes and accessories but have forgotten the basics of teaching the scriptures so that each of us have the living Word in our hearts?
Something you should check out this week at your Church. Are there Bibles in the Church pews? And if there are not Bibles in the pews and this is the Word of God, where is the Church’s priorities? Learning the Scriptures so the words become alive in our hearts is our priority. If there are no Bibles in the pews, you should be asking the Minister and Elders why there are no Bibles.
Prayer: Great God we come into Your presence asking for Your healing upon our weary souls. Great God we come into Your presence asking for Your healing upon our troubled minds. Great God we come into Your presence resting in Your glory. And we say thank You! This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.