Fear and Stand Fast

Matthew 26:34–35 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same. 

Peter was a rock. He was solid and bold. He was, at times, fierce and forward. But how much of his self-confidence was mere bravado? Peter thought highly of his loyalty, his strength, his faithfulness to his friend but ultimately he was intimidated into sin and failure but the taunts of a little girl.

Matthew 26:71–72 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 

He denied Jesus because he failed to deny himself. Peter thought to highly of himself; his courage and faithfulness. He had not denied himself and so he denied Jesus.

Romans 11:20 ….but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 

The trembling reed often stands when the mighty oak falls; Isaiah 42:3…a bruised reed he will not break…because the Lord upholds it. The one who knows the crushing weight of difficult circumstances and the corruption of his own heart, should he not walk in fear?

Repent of your self-confidence. 1 Corinthians 10:12 Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall. The justice of God requires that those who trust in themselves are left to themselves. The weak vine wraps itself around the cedar for support. The good christian, knowing his own folly and weakness then, twists by faith, by spiritual exercises, by discipline – around Christ.

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me. 

Sampson’s strength was his hair, ours is our head; the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel is….

The Gospel is the word of Life and of Truth. It is the Power of GOD for the salvation of all Believers: The Key of the knowledge of GOD, which opens to the Faithful the door of the Kingdom of Heaven, unbinding them from their sins; and shuts it against the Unbelieving, binding them in their sins. Blessed are those who hear it and keep it, for thereby they show that they are the Children of GOD. Miserable are those who will not hear nor follow it, for they are the Children of the Devil. O Christians! hear this and learn; for assuredly the Ignorant will perish with his ignorance; and the Blind, following another Blind, will fall with him into the ditch. There is only One Way to life and salvation; it is the Faith and Assurance of the Promises of GOD, which can be had by the Gospel alone; by the hearing and understanding which, lively Faith is freely given, with certain Hope and perfect Peace with GOD, and ardent Love toward one’s neighbour. Where then is your Hope, if you despise and disdain to Hear, to See, to Read, and to Hold fast this Holy Gospel?

John Calvin, Christ the End of the Law

Church Newsletter 2019-3-6

Saints,

Please be praying for Nate who is preaching this Sunday, the 10th. We canceled church due to weather the week he was going to be preaching.

Also pray for the Bakken boys Neils and Emmet, who will be baptized Sunday afternoon.

As we reach midweek, it’s important to recall how to build; a household, a marriage, a week, a business, etc.

The corner stone is Christ. Upon that is the foundation of the Prophets and Apostles. Upon that living foundation are placed the living stones of each believer.Pray. Hold Fast. Pursue Christ. Bear your cross. He is our shield bearer, the lifter of our heads and all our hope.

Filling up the edges

Mark 6:1-6

Now, the Nazarenes were right in rejecting the earthly background and relationships of Jesus as being the source of his power. It was not as Mary’s son, nor as eldest brother of Joseph’s family, that he did such things: nor was it as the village carpenter, as they would have considered him to be. But, having rightly rejected any human source, they refused to attribute either the wisdom or the miracles to a divine source.

They don’t understand what kind of builder Jesus is. They were deeply scandalized by Jesus’ remarks. The people of Nazareth ‘knew all the answers’ about Jesus: they were not prepared for any fresh revelation.[1]“And they took offense at him,” says Mark. The word for “offense” comes from Gk. skandalon, meaning a “stumbling block.” The verb form of the word means to “cause to stumble,” and in the present context to be “put off” or even “repelled” by Jesus.

Skandalizeinoccurs eight times in the Gospel of Mark; in each instance it designates obstructions that prevent one from coming to faith and following Jesus.

A stumbling block to faith, a signature motif in Mark, is a grave problem. The “offense” of v. 3 verifies that the amazement of the people in Nazareth is not one of faith but of incredulity and opposition.[2]

Jesus is fulfilling scripture. He is revealing more about His ultimate ends. Where is this story heading? He is causing Israel to stumble. He is a rock of offense. He is the cornerstone rejected by Israel, upon which a new Israel; a new temple – will be built.

Jesus is just a builder. But a builder of the kingdom of God. Before the new kingdom goes up, however, the old one needs to come down. Jesus is the one man wrecking crew.

Psalm 118:22–24The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Matthew 21:42–43Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? Therefore, I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

Peter preaches inActs 4:11–13This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

What is the blueprint for ripping down the old and building the new? Jesus’ response to the people of his hometown marks the first time in the gospel that the term “prophet” is applied to him. He has come like a prophet and is rejected like a prophet. This rejection is therefore portentous because Israel’s history is to mistreat prophets.[3]

1 Kings 19:10He said, “I have been very jealous for the LORD, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.”

2 Chronicles 36:16But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD rose against his people, until there was no remedy.

They rejected the prophets by killing them.

Matthew 23:37–39“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! See, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”  

By referring to Himself as a prophet Jesus is fulfilling a great promise of Yahweh to Israel in Deuteronomy 18:15–19.

He is identifying Himself as a prophet and what does Israel do to the prophets?

Where is this story going? I thought Jesus’ revealed the enemy to be defeated is death itself, Satan’s greatest treasure? He has come to His own people and His own people did not receive Him.

It is revealed with the healing of the Garasene Demoniac, the woman with a hemorrhage and Jairus’ daughter – that Satan’s greatest treasure – death itself – is going to be defeated.

This is a set up; a transition. He needs to send out the 12. He needs to finish their training so that they are ready to carry on the ministry after the end of His ministry.

The rock that is rejected will be the foundation of a new house. A new temple. A new people. This section and the one that follows – His sending out the 12 – are the gospel story in miniature. Jesus comes preaching the kingdom and will meet the same end of all the prophets.

But He won’t stay dead. He will defeat death with His own death. And then He will equip the 12 with the Holy Spirit and send them out. He is just a builder after all.

Ephesians 2:18–22 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

This is great plan to build the kingdom of God.

Ephesians 4:11–16And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

Like a mustard seed He starts small. Accepting Him is the foundation. Turning to the prophets and apostles, gathering to worship under the instruction of evangelists, preachers, teachers and pastors, we learn to minister grace, mercy and reconciliation to one another – building up the body of Christ.

Jesus’ plan is multi-stage, multi-generational and methodical. It’s not flashy. Its humble, its repetitive and it’s HIS – not yours.

But accepting Him, you are accepted into the work of scattering seeds and seeing the fruit 30, 60, 100 times greater than what was laid in the ground.

Around the Web

Read this article. Think of the how Survival bias applies to our culture within the church. To learning from one another’s sins, marital problems, childrearing failures and the whole culture in the Evangelicalism that focuses so much on celebrity pastors, etc.

https://www.boredpanda.com/world-war-2-aircraft-survivorship-bias-abraham-wald/?utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=organic

Devotional

For humility and simplicity  – 2 Cor. 3:18

Grant, Almighty God,

since you have not only created me out of nothing, but intend to create me again in your only begotten Son; and since you have taken me from the lowest depths, so that you may raise me to the hope of your heavenly kingdom: Grant, I pray, that I may not be proud or puffed up with conceit; but may embrace your favor with humility, and submit myself to you in simplicity, until at last I become a partaker of that glory your only begotten Son has acquired for me.

Amen.

Church Calendar

DAYLIGHT SAVINGS

Sunday, March 10. Spring forward one hour.

BAPTISM

Baptism on the 10th, this Sunday, at 3pm at the Cejkas to baptize Neils and Emmett Bakken. The Bakkens will provide light dessert and coffee and drinks for kids. Street parking is available, especially near the park.

MEN’S MEETING

Wednesday, March 20, 8PM at the church

LADIES’ GATHERING

Wednesday, March 27, 7-9PM at Tami Gamble’s home.

MONTHLY PRAYER MEETING

First Sunday of every month; 9:30-9:50AM; church office. Join us for communal prayer, men & women

 

[1]Cole, R. A. (1989). Mark: An Introduction and Commentary(Vol. 2, pp. 170–171). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

[2]Edwards, J. R. (2002). The Gospel according to Mark(p. 173). Grand Rapids, MI; Leicester, England: Eerdmans; Apollos.

[3]Garland , David E.. A Theology of Mark’s Gospel (Biblical Theology of the New Testament Series) (pp. 126-127). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Church Newsletter 2019-2-6

Saints,

I hope you find the rowing this week to be a blessing and not a curse. We have Christ, here in the boat with us and so we are the blessed, the strong, the loved of the Father of Heaven.

As you struggle with your circumstances and responses and obedience this week, remember that Christ died so that you could die. And He lives so that you can live. May His fullness fill you on the way of the Cross!

Filling up the edges

Mark 4:35-41

There is a new kind of tension. The earlier miracles contained seeds of conflict that matured into intractable opposition. Here, however, there is a lot of tension, but neither the teachers of the law, the leaders of the synagogues nor the traditions of the people are anywhere in evidence. The tension is between Jesus and his own followers. Their fear of death and his undisturbed sleep generate the conflict.

Jesus slept unconcerned, while they bailed furiously in fear of their lives. Unlike the earlier miracles, this has two focal points. The first one is consistent with all the earlier accounts in that it demonstrates the power of the kingdom of God. He spoke to the storm as though it were a demonic power. As he had already demonstrated his authority over the demonic powers in people, here Jesus revealed his authority over the demonic or chaotic in nature.[1]

The disciples rebuke Jesus. Jesus rebukes the demonic forces at work in the sea and His disciples, “Don’t you have faith?!!??”

Certainly, Mark understood the meaning to be faith in the saving power of God as revealed in the action of Jesus. Mark likely intended to indicate that faith is more than intellectual assent, that it is trust in a Person. Jesus rebuked the disciples for the lack of faith expressed in their terror and fear. This is the first in a series of rebukes (cf. Chs. 7:18; 8:17 f., 21, 32 f.; 9:19) and its placement at this point is important.

Between the disciples who have received insight through Christ’s words and the multitude who see only a riddle, the difference is one of degree, not of kind. The disciples themselves are still quite blind and filled with misunderstanding. When Jesus asks, “Do you not yet have faith?” he means specifically faith in God’s saving power as this is present and released through his own person.

The Parables continue in Jesus’ actions. Is following Jesus just about sitting around discussing theological mysteries? No. Following Jesus is riding with Him into a maelstrom in an open boat. Check your faith, there’s no life jackets on this trip.

Jesus’ words are hard to receive. Who is he? What do His words to the storm mean? And the parable of the soils is still the key.

The subduing of the sea and the wind was not merely a demonstration of power; it was an epiphany, through which Jesus was unveiled to his disciples as the Savior in the midst of intense peril, peril into which He commanded them to go.

Very early this incident was understood as a sign of Jesus’ saving presence in the persecution which threatened to overwhelm the Church. It is not surprising that in early Christian art the Church was depicted as a boat driven upon a perilous sea; with Jesus in the midst, there was nothing to fear.[2]

No command is more often reiterated in the Bible than the simple ‘Do not fear’ (see Exod. 14:13; 20:20, etc.). In spite of their lack of faith, Jesus calmed the storm with a word.

They wanted to be delivered from a storm and found out they were riding with an even greater storm resting in the stern sheets. The creative word of Genesis 1. The storm on the Mountain in Exodus 24 when Israel received the word of God and trembled. The whisper confronting Elijah’s lack of Faith. That Word is sitting on a pillow in the boat.

Their reaction at the mount of transfiguration (9:6), and even at the resurrection (16:8), was to be the same.[3]

In short, unlike the previous accounts of miracles this one ends with a question, has a hidden meaning and invites the followers of Jesus to come to terms with their decision to follow Him. The spoken parables confront their ability to receive His words. The enacted parable on the sea confronts their sincerity and trust in Jesus the Word of the God – which is not SAFE. But He is good.

The parables are open-ended, contain a hidden meaning and provoke people into coming to terms with who they thin Jesus is. The basic features of Jesus’ parables have taken root in this story, and this is the Evangelist’s signal that the miracles are no longer direct expositions of the kingdom of God.

Like Jesus’ teaching, the miracles have also become indirect. It was on the basis of his word, let us go over to the other side,that they found themselves in this predicament. Why would Jesus lead them to the brink of death and danger?

The question don’t you care if we drown?is not the stuff of faith—it is an accusation.[4]Instead of ending on a note of praise, as the healing of the paralytic did (2:12), this one ends in fear. The disciples were terrified, even more afraid after Jesus spoke than they had been during the storm.[5]

We always want our interactions with Jesus to be soft soap. Band-Aid like. But sometimes our questioning of God is impertinent and foolish. Sometimes God’s response to our pleas is more terrifying than the circumstances.

Remember Jonah prayed to for salvation from drowning, so God sent a whale to swallow him.

We get cancer and we want to be healed by miracle. We want to wake up one morning and the tumor is just magically gone! But sometimes the answer is to wake up in the NICU with 17 stitches closing the gaping wound in our chest, where the surgeon sawed us open to remove the tumor.

When Jesus speaks to us it isn’t always soft words of reassurance and gentle coos. We hear his voice: Why are you afraid? Don’t you believe?

And we can hardly answer in our trembling. The reality is that sometimes the grace hurts harder than hell.  Actually, if you sign on with Jesus for the kingdom of God, this will become your story whether you realize it, whether you like it, or not.

Wind and storms will come your way. You will find yourself in terrifying circumstances but don’t be afraid because the one sleeping in your pilot seat is more terrifying. The forces of darkness are afraid of direct confrontation. And the naked power of the Living God should fill us all with Holy fear. It should silence our foolish questions. It should clear our vision.

But remember, the fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom and it requires wisdom to understand the parables. To understand the frightening word of God – lay down your life and live……it’s not a hallmark card.

That’s why Mark places this story at the end of this section. Do you want to understand what the parables mean? Understand who is speaking them. The one speaking and silencing His enemies without and within!!

The power of evil was broken on the cross and in the empty tomb. Christians – the church as a whole, local churches here and there, individual Christians – can get hurt or even killed as a result. They suffer and struggle. Mark’s first readers probably knew that better than most of us. They would have identified easily with the frightened men in the boat.

That’s Mark’s invitation to all of us: OK, go on, wake Jesus up, pray to him in your fear and anger. And don’t be surprised when he turns to you, as the storm subsides in the background, and asks when you’re going to get some real faith.[6]

Around the worldwide web

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x07PtAZ4PbU

Devotional

Mighty God, The forces that are arrayed against us in this life far outmatch our little strength. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against powerful spiritual forces in the heavenly realms. Our enemy is strong and crafty, and if we try to stand against him in our own strength we will inevitably fail. Yet, Father, we confess that we often trust in our own wisdom and strength, as if we were mighty and self-sufficient. We go through life oblivious to the dangers around us and not heeding the warnings of your Word. When we find ourselves defeated yet again, we complain and moan as if you had let us down, when the fault is entirely ours. Instead of praying and asking for your help, we grumble and resent our weakness. Father, forgive us.

Jesus, thank you that you have entered the battle on our behalf, leaving the safety of heaven to engage the challenges of living as a human being. You felt all of our human weaknesses, yet you endured without sin, because you constantly entrusted yourself to your Father’s mighty power. Thank you that you were triumphant for us, redeeming us and giving our souls complete safety in you. The strong forces that are arrayed against us can never separate us from you, and so our ultimate victory is secure.

Holy Spirit, thank you that you are at work strengthening us daily. When you give us the grace to stand, depending upon you, help us to remember that the strength is yours and not ours. When you leave us to ourselves and we fall, show us your good purposes in that, too—help us to learn our own weakness, to become more watchful and distrustful of ourselves, to pray more frequently and fervently, and to become more eager for the final day of our victory in Christ. Thank you that he is even now interceding for us and that he will continue to do so throughout our earthly warfare, until he welcomes us into his closer presence. In Jesus’ name we pray,

amen.[7]

Church Calendar

Service 2019-02-3

Call – Keith

Prayer – Mike

LADIES’ GATHERING 

Wednesday, February 27, 7-9PM at Kristin Bakken’s home.  

MEN’S GATHERING 

February 22nd at 7 pm. Men’s social at Moonshine BBQ @ 4911 196th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036

 

The Age of Angels and the Birth of Christ

Angels were created to fulfill a role in the Cosmos.

Hebrews 1:14Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Daniel 3:28Nebuchadnezzar answered and said, “Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set aside the king’s command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.

Angels even have specific jobs like destroying angels.

Psalm 78:49He let loose on them his burning anger, wrath, indignation, and distress, a company of destroying angels.

…or choir singers…

 Revelation 4:8And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!”  

The phrase of “enthroned on the cherubim,” is also found 2 Sam. 6:2and Isaiah 37:16.

The ark is the throne of God, a chariot of angels as described in 1 Chronicles 28:18also, his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the LORD.

Ezekiel 1:4-28describes a scene in which God’s actual chariot is made of multiple angels who first look like angelic beings and then like wheels with spokes, etc.

Angels have jobs. They are made in the image of God as servants who can travel between heaven and earth.

Even Satan had a job. And though fallen, His primary function is found in some of the key verses about him.

Genesis 3:1-6. Job 1:6-12. Matthew 4:1-11. Luke 22:31-34.

Satan shakes the tree to see what falls out…. Continue reading “The Age of Angels and the Birth of Christ”

The Ten Commandments of Marriage

Romans 13:8–10Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. [9] For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” [10] Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Love is always defined by God’s law. Not Hollywood or Nicholas Sparks or your own preferences. The commandments are a good place to begin when it comes to serious marriage counseling.

The law is how you love. The law puts handles on the big nebulous idea of love. The first four commandments all deal with our treatment of God. If we don’t obey these we will not love anyone at all. Loving God is the beginning of our ethics. Love God orients us.

You shall have no other gods before me (Exodus 20:3). Every man must love his wife less than he love God. Loving God as we ought enables us to love others as we should. Making idols of our wives is dangerous for both us and them. First, if your wife is an idol and you pray that God would destroy your idols? Dangerous. Next, oddly enough, when a wife is an idol she will often find herself mistreated because her man has separated himself from the true God who is love; the true source of real grace charity and all the other fruit of the spirit.

Luke 14:26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

A man will not become a disciple of Christ unless he hates his wife and he will never learn to love his wife unless he becomes a disciple of Christ. Continue reading “The Ten Commandments of Marriage”

Holy With Thanksgiving

1 Timothy 4:4–5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

Made holy translates Greek hagiazō which means to “sanctify, make holy, consecrate”. Everything is, of course, everything.

Ordinary things should be considered “made holy” by God, and Christians, the priesthood of all believers, have the privilege of using such “holy” objects every day.

The word of God is probably a reference to Gen. 1:12, 21, 25, 31 (“God saw that it was good”)

Since all things are good and must be received with thanks, all things are gifts from the creator.

By giving thanks for all that comes to hand, the Christian correctly indented the character of created things as created gifts.

For Paul, thanksgiving has a performative effect on the things received. Receiving God’s gifts with thanks does not merely identify them as gifts but also sanctifies them, consecrates them as holy things.

For saints; those set apart by God, we sanctify the world, we make it holy, through the giving of thanks.

As God’s Saints, indwelt and anointed by the sanctifying spirit of Jesus, the priesthood of believers, everything we touch, eat and use, ought to be holy. If we receive anything that is impure, our priesthood is defiled.

Purity and holiness taboos continue to operate in the New Testament. Holy people must have holy things, but for Paul no elaborate ceremonial rites of sanctification are required: only the giving of thanks.

Once consecrated by thanks, a thing can be used only for God’s purposes. Holy food could be eaten only by priests in the OT, holy implements could be used only in the sanctuary, holy incense could be used only on the altar.

If Christians consecrate whatever they receive by thanks, they are not only claiming it as God’s own, but also obligating themselves to use it in a particular way; to use it with thanks.

Thanksgiving is thus the liturgy of Christian living.

It is the continuous sacrifice that Christians offer. Gratitude to God is the continuous sanctification of the world.

Therefore, if our nation is going to have a day of thanksgiving; who ought to lead the celebrations and set the standard? Well, the people whose very lives are a liturgy of thanksgiving.

A.W. Tozer, in his book The Roots of Righteousness, states “We should never take any blessings for granted but accept everything as a gift from the father of lights. Whole days may be spent occasionally in the holy practice of being thankful. We should write on a tablet one by one the things for which we are grateful to God and to our fellowmen. And a constant return to this thought during the day will serve to fix the habit in our hearts….In trying to count our many blessings the difficulty is not to find things to count, but to find time to enumerate them all.”

Let us therefore, try to enumerate the Glorious graces of God.

Be extravagant in your gratitude.

2 Corinthians 9:6–8 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

Luke 6:38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Deuteronomy 14:26 and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household.

And so, beloved of God, go forth and buy the best and cook it well. Uncork the finest and lay out the best table dressings you possess. Welcome warmly and with a song in your heart, let love cover a multitude and lift your glasses, pass the pie round twice….

For Thursday, the 22nd of November 2018, is a day of thanksgiving. Let us enjoy it with overflowing hearts of gratitude.

Amen