Morning Musing: Mark 14:37-38

“Then he came and found them sleeping. He said to Peter, ‘Simon, are you sleeping? Couldn’t you stay awake one hour? Stay awake and pray so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Did you ever get caught sleeping in class? I’ll confess that I dozed in class a lot through college and grad school. I never got caught that I know of, and I never fell totally asleep like this girl in my eighth grade algebra class who actually fell out of her desk she was asleep so hard, but I definitely dozed. I would later laugh at my notes that got more meager and difficult to decipher the longer class went. The trouble with falling asleep is that we miss things. Now, if what we miss is just part of a lecture, that’s probably not going to be the end of the world, although it may make the midterm more challenging. Sometimes, though, sleeping through life can be entirely more problematic. Peter learned that the hard way here.

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Morning Musing: Mark 9:5-7

“Peter said to Jesus, ‘Rabbi, it’s good for us to be here. Let’s set up three shelters: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah’ – because he did not know what to say, since they were terrified. A cloud appear, overshadowing them, and a voice came from the cloud: ‘This is my beloved Son; listen to him!'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been around someone who is a nervous talker? That’s always an interesting experience. Nervous talkers express their anxiety with words. The words may not be about the anxiety itself, but the higher their anxiety level goes, the more words come out of their mouths. They’ll talk about anything. Really what you’re getting is a kind of stream-of-consciousness as they do everything they can think of to reduce their nervousness. The trouble is, when words are coming out in a flood, sometimes those words aren’t well thought out or particularly suited to the situation. In most situations when we feel overwhelmed, the best thing to do is not to talk, but to listen. Peter had to be reminded of that here. Let’s learn the lesson with him this morning.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 12:2-3

“Look, I will make Jerusalem a cup that causes staggering for the peoples who surround the city. The siege against Jerusalem will also involve Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who try to lift it will injure themselves severely when all the nations of the earth gather against her.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

I want you to imagine something for me for a minute. Imagine that you are part of a people who have known persecution. No, that doesn’t mean you haven’t been able to get a good parking spot at the mall in ages. It means that you have been regularly and intentionally made the victim of injustice and prejudice for a long period of time. Victimhood is part of your psyche in a way people who don’t think through a lens of persecution can’t understand. It was taught to you by your parents—even if unintentionally—and you have taught it to your own children because your people are victims so often that you simply assume you’ll be a victim at some point even if it hasn’t happened yet. Got it in your mind? Depending on the color of your skin or the country in which you were born that may not take much work to imagine. Now, here’s my question: What is it that you want? Zechariah here gives us one answer.

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Digging in Deeper: James 1:19-20

“My dear brothers and sisters, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

We could all use just a little bit more listening lately, couldn’t we? And yet, here I am speaking…well, writing anyway. But I tend to write like I talk (as perhaps the audio gives away), so I guess I’m speaking. I’ve actually had the opportunity lately to be a part of a few different conversations on recent events. I’m grateful for that. I’ve learned much and also had reaffirmed some things I thought to be true beforehand. May I share some of that with you?

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Digging in Deeper: Hosea 7:13

“Woe to them, for they fled from me; destruction to them, for they rebelled against me! Though I want to redeem them, they speak lies against me.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

This verse starts out the way most folks expect the prophets to go. There goes God judging the people again, promising doom and destruction on them. It ends the way we would expect something from the prophets to end. There goes God again, accusing the people of wrongdoing. It’s that thing in the middle that catches us off guard. God wants to redeem them? Wait, what? Let’s look into that one a bit more.

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