Letter from Pastor John 7/23/20

The Dwelling Place of the Lord
“The Most High does not dwell in houses made with human hands; as the prophet says, ‘Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.’” – Acts 7:48,49a (NRSV)

Dear friends,

Our readings for the next few weeks include an extensive selection from the beginning chapters of 1 Kings, where King Solomon ascends to the throne of Israel and Judah in place of his father David. Solomon was known for two things: For possessing great wisdom, and for the building of the temple; the “house of the Lord.” Prior to this, the place in which Israel came to meet God in worship was the Tabernacle, an ornate but portable tent built during Israel’s wilderness journey many centuries earlier. In a reading for this Friday from Acts chapter seven, Saint Stephen picks up this theme in his sermon to the religious leaders in Jerusalem, for which he would soon be martyred. He reminds them that their identity and their heritage cannot rest upon a dwelling made from human hands. God cannot be constrained as such, and dwells throughout the universe, in heaven and on earth.

During this time of pandemic, we may take great comfort in knowing that our communion with God is not constrained to entrance into a building, a sanctuary, or a chancel made by human hands. Of course, we long for the day when we can all gather together without worry or inhibition. After all, our earthly worship gatherings even at their zenith are also an expression of longing. For they foreshadow the eternal gathering of all the Saints around the throne of God in heaven. There, all sickness, sorrow, and pain will be no more. In the meantime, God, who fills the universe, also fills our heart and promises to be with us always. And like Solomon, we ask for wisdom – that we might know how to conduct ourselves safely and faithfully in service to God and one another in the midst of this time. May our Lord and Savior comfort you with his presence and fill you with his wisdom.

God’s richest blessings,

Pastor John

 

Daily Scripture Readings, July 23 – August 6

Thursday, July 23
1 Kings 1:28-37
1 Corinthians 4:14-20
Psalm 119:129-136

Friday, July 24
1 Kings 1:38-48
Acts 7:44-53
Psalm 119:129-136

Saturday, July 25
1 Kings 2:1-4
Matthew 12:38-42
Psalm 119:129-136

Sunday, July 26
1 Kings 3:5-12 (Used in worship)
Psalm 119:129-136
Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52 (Used in worship)

Monday, July 27
1 Kings 3:16-28
James 3:13-18
Psalm 119:121-128

Tuesday, July 28
1 Kings 4:29-34
Ephesians 6:10-18
Psalm 119:121-128

Wednesday, July 29
Proverbs 1:1-7, 20-33
Mark 4:30-34
Psalm 119:121-128

Thursday, July 30
Proverbs 10:1-5
Philippians 4:10-15
Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21

Friday, July 31
Isaiah 51:17-23
Romans 9:6-13
Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21

Saturday, August 1
Isaiah 44:1-5
Matthew 7:7-11
Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21

Sunday, August 2
Isaiah 55:1-5 (Used in worship)
Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21
Romans 9:1-5
Matthew 14:13-21 (Used in worship)

Monday, August 3
Deuteronomy 8:1-10
Romans 1:8-15
Psalm 78:1-8, 17-29

Tuesday, August 4
Deuteronomy 26:1-15
Acts 2:37-47
Psalm 78:1-8, 17-29

Wednesday, August 5
Exodus 16:2-15, 31-35
Matthew 15:32-39
Psalm 78:1-8, 17-29

Thursday, August 6
1 Kings 18:1-16
Acts 17:10-15
Psalm 85:8-13

 

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