“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him, for dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations. All the rich of the earth will feast and worship; all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—those who cannot keep themselves alive. Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord. They will proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn—for he has done it.” (Psalm 22:27-31)
Psalm 22 begins as a startlingly specific depiction of Christ’s sufferings, written a thousand years before Jesus was born, yet it ends with a description of…us! You and I are among those from every nation on earth who remember the LORD our Creator because of Christ our Redeemer. God’s righteousness has been proclaimed to us, and we are the latest link in the chain of saints serving Him and proclaiming Him to the next generation. As we reach out to new nations and generations amidst an ever-changing cultural climate, it is reassuring to remind ourselves that we are simply turning people back to what all our human ancestors once knew: that “dominion belongs to the LORD and he rules over the nations.”
“Heavenly Father, thank You for bringing us to believe in Your rule and salvation. Give us confident faith to introduce new nations and generations to You, that they may know and turn to You, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
ABSENT MINDED—actual excuse notes written to a school principal:
“My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take PE today. Please execute him.”
“Please excuse Madison for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.”
“Dear school—please excuse John for being absent on Jan. 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 & 33.”
“Please excuse Tom for being absent yesterday. He had diarrhea, and his boots leaked.”
“Please excuse Jason for being. It was his father’s fault.”
“Please excuse Katy for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.”
“Please excuse my son’s tardiness. I forgot to wake him up and did not find him until I started to make the beds.”
“Maryann was absent Dec. 11 to 16 because she had a fever, sore throat, headache, and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick with fever and sore throat. Her brother had a low-grade fever and ached all over. I wasn’t the best either—sore throat and fever. There must be a flu going around. Her father even got hot last night.”
The LORD protect you from all ills this week,
"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33)
We should not be surprised by trouble; Jesus predicted it, particularly for His followers. Yet He also gave us the resources to endure trouble, and to help others endure it. We have His promises in writing, in water, in bread and in wine. We have His Spirit poured out to be our Comforter, Counselor, and Commander. We have His invitation to cast all our anxieties on Him, because we know He cares for us. And we have a mission: to bring His peace to the hearts of others, when they too are troubled.
“Heavenly Father, send Your Spirit to be our Comforter amid the world’s pain, our Counselor when we are perplexed, and our Commander when we can have the opportunity to bring peace to others, in Jesus, amen.”
A GIFT FOR WORDS…
The pastor of a church enjoyed a drink now and then, but his passion was for peach brandy.
One of his congregants blended spirits as a hobby and would make him a bottle each Christmas.
One year just before Christmas the minister went to visit his friend hoping for his usual present.
He was not disappointed, but his friend told him that he had to thank him for the peach brandy from the pulpit.
In his haste to complete Christmas preparations, the minister hurriedly agreed and left.
The next Sunday the minister suddenly remembered that he had to make the public announcement.
He then realized it would sound bad to announce that he was being supplied alcohol from a member of the church.
Meanwhile, his friend sat in the church with a grin on his face, waiting to see the minister's embarrassment.
The minister climbed into the pulpit and said, "Before we begin, I have an announcement.”
“I would very much like to thank my friend, Joe, for his kind gift of peaches ...
…and for the spirit in which they were given!"
The Holy Spirit be with you all,
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.