Pondering for Monday, March 13, 2023

Daily Office Reading for Monday of the 3rd Week of Lent: Year 1

 Morning, Psalm 80; Evening, Psalm 77:
Jeremiah 7:1 to15Romans 4:1 to 12John 7:14 to 36:

“Restore us, O God of hosts; show the light of your countenance, and we shall be saved.” (Psalm 80)

This verse shows up three times in Psalm 80. It asks for restoration and the light of God’s countenance.

It appears in different English verbiage depending on which Bible translation you read.  But the message is the same; we Christians need restoration, but this can only be accomplished if we receive the light of God’s countenance. Such a light is revealed to us only as God wishes to do so. We can’t figure it out, or achieve it. But we can show God that we believe, by the way we live out our lives.  I have observed that God has blessed those who discipline themselves with the light of God’s countenance as God did with Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3). God also walked with Abraham before that and revealed many signs to him.

“He [Abraham] received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the ancestor of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised.” (Romans 4: 11 and 12).  This is Paul reflecting on the importance of following in faith, and how important it is.  So for me, circumcision was never necessary, and therefore, God’s inclusiveness was always open to women. This is the long way around the elbow in order to reach my point, and that is, God finds us if we prepare a place to receive God and live our lives open to accept the hints and nudges from God, and to see the burning bush in our own lives. God even went to Saul/Paul, not because Paul figured everything out; in fact, Paul was wrong about what he thought God wanted.  He thought he was doing what God wanted until God, in the Risen Lord, stepped into his life and changed him, and Christianity everywhere, forever.

The message is clear. The light of God’s countenance will restore us if we walk in the light of God’s countenance in prayer and love. I would also recommend studying the lives of the saints of God. We have such wonderful examples in our Church history. Such study is not “figuring it out,” but rather, creating a space, a steppingstone for God to enter your life and change you forever.

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine and Russia.

As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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