Monday Morning Meditation 10-5-20

The post was on our neighborhood Facebook page, but I really did not need to read the post.  I could tell by simply walking outside and breathing.  Skunk.

It happens a lot in our neighborhood, we have skunks living in the woods and they often come up towards the houses.  We also have lots of dogs.  Put them together and you have days and nights of the pungent aroma. 

As I breathed it in, I pondered a bit.  What is the reason and purpose for a skunk?

It reminded me of a hike we did on vacation.  We were hiking at Hawk Mountain, going over a very rocky and difficult part of a trail.  My wife was about to put her foot into a crevice when she saw the rattlesnake.  The 4-6-foot rattle snake.  And it was heading towards our daughter.  Without thinking, I leaped over the rocks and got to her.  What is the reason and purpose for a rattlesnake?

When I think of certain creatures (for me it is rats), I wonder why they exist?  But then something comes to mind. 

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:24-25

God saw that it was good.  God’s creation is good and beautiful and God’ has a reason and purpose for the creation of all, including skunks and rattlesnakes. 

Thanks be to God for a beautiful creation.

Peace,

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 9-28-20

May he grant your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans.  Psalm 20:4

What is your heart’s desire?  Do you know anymore?  It seems like this year has dashed many people’s desires, has created such turmoil within us that it is hard to say what our heart’s desire.

I am not just referring to Covid-19, although that is such a huge factor.  It has been a year of political turmoil, showing a nation much farther divided than many of us have realized.

This year brought out a lot of racial division – that we knew was there, but again, much more magnified.

The wildfires on the West Coast have been much more devastating this year.

And I could go on.  2020  is one for the record books. 

Yet even with the turmoil, troubles and crises, we have a rock to stand on.  We have a God who loves us.

No matter how this year ends up, we can turn to God for support, we can look upon God as our comfort.

May you know the love of God today and always.  And may God grant you your heart’s desires.

Peace,

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 9-21-20

Since many have undertaken to set down an orderly account of the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed on to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, I too decided, after investigating everything carefully from the very first, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the truth concerning the things about which you have been instructed. Luke 1:1-4


Today’s daily lectionary gospel reading is in Luke, the above passage and then it skips to chapter 3 setting up Jesus’ birth.  Luke is a Greek physician.  He is not a Jew, but a gentile.  He is educated and trained as a doctor.  Now I do not know the scholastic requirements of a physician in Jesus’ day, but knowing the Greco-Roman system of education, we can assume Luke is well educated in the sciences.

Science.  It is a word we hear often today.  And for some strange reason, there is a tension between science and faith.  This is a topic I would like to explore further (perhaps a video series), but for this Monday Morning Meditation, I’d want to say this:

Science is not opposed to faith.  And faith should not be opposed to science. 

Luke was a physician (a man of science) who made an investigation utilizing the scientific principles of observation, investigation and experience.  He spoke with witnesses, he observed Paul in action and accompanied Paul on mission trips.
Luke the Physician, a scientist, writes a gospel about Jesus.

And he is not the only person of science who are believers.  There are plenty (and that may be the series I want to do).

I understand how a scientific person might not be a person of faith, but I fail to comprehend how people of faith can deny science.  After all, God created science, didn’t He?  And careful observation of nature reveals much about both science and God. 

As you start out this new week, take some time to carefully observe things around you.  Experience God’s wonderful creation.  Be a person of faith and science.  Just like Luke.

May God bless you and keep you this week,

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 9-14-20

“…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning” Psalm 30:5

Some of you might be familiar with the lectionary readings.  Actually, there are two, a daily lectionary and the Sunday lectionary.  The Sunday lectionary readings are split up into a three-year cycle that alternates between Mathew, Mark and Luke (with John sprinkled in through the year), as well as the Old Testament, Psalms and Epistles. 

The daily lectionary is a two-year cycle that offers readings from the Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament and Gospels every day.  It is a great way to work through the bible.

What I have noticed is that the daily lectionary cycle for this week takes us through those last days of Jesus’ life in John’s gospel.  I find this interesting because when we last met in the sanctuary, we were in the middle of the Lenten season – heading towards Jerusalem and those last days of Jesus’ life.  And now we are planning to resume in person worship on Sunday.

In a way, we’ve come full circle.  But isn’t that what God does all the time anyway?  Return us to Him?  We might veer off course, but God calls us back.  We might have times of crisis, but God brings us back.  We might feel gloomy on this overcast Monday morning (especially after yesterday’s Eagles game), but God brings us joy.

As you go through your Monday, consider how God always bring you back.  And give thanks, even if the skies are gloomy.

Peace,

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 8-17-20

As a deer longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you, O God.  My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. Psalm 42:1-2

What do you long for?  Really, what do you long for?  Many of us long for the day when we can meet with family and friends without restrictions.  Many of us long for the day when we can return to the sanctuary without restrictions.  Many of us long for the day when we no longer need masks.  Many of us long for the day when we get “back to normal”.

But really, what do you long for?

Do you long for God?  Do you truly long for God?  What does it even mean to long for God?

The Psalmist describes this as a deer needing water.  And that is a pretty good analogy.  We’ve all been thirsty.  Over the past few weeks it’s been so hot and humid that I’ve taken plenty of water breaks while cutting the lawn.  I truly longed for the water.  But do I long for God in the same way?  Do you?

Sometimes it is hard to just stop and wait on God.  There are so many things to be done, there are so many voices shouting at us, so many differing opinions that we sometimes cannot truly stop long enough to even know what we need.

But, and this is important, we need to be in the quiet, we need to be in situations where we can truly contemplate what it is that we need.  And when we do, when we are in the quiet, in the silence, in the calm, we feel our need, our thirst.  And that is good – for when we thirst for God, God responds in incredible ways.

Peace,

Pastor Bill