Archive for January 17th, 2008

A Party of Two, Three, or More…

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

Today’s scripture: Matthew 18:1-20 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts (Ben Lamb):

I used to think Jesus was addressing people only under the age of 12 or so in this passage. While reading it recently, though, something dawned on me (thank you, Holy Spirit): all of Jesus’ followers are children of God!

The reading warns against putting “a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in [Jesus].” The passage is realistic enough to point out that “occasions for stumbling are bound to come,” but quickly gives warning of “woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!” Children and blocks; what a great choice of words the writer of Matthew uses. . . .

I believe we “children” are presented with potential stumbling blocks when we may least expect them. Here at Jesus Metropolitan Community Church our Minister of Worship, Julie Benson, recently felt God’s calling to follow another direction in her life. I certainly miss her exquisite leadership and talent, but admire her decision to follow God’s will.

On the first Sunday without Julie at the front of the sanctuary, the Worship Team did a fine job of leading the song and praise portion of our worship service. Every note was on pitch and they had chosen familiar songs. As we were singing and the instrumentalists were playing, a familiar warm sensation began to radiate within me. This often happens during worship, as I meditated on what our Savior, Jesus Christ, did for us in following the plan of salvation.

As my eyes began to fill with tears of gratitude, the thought came to me, “Julie’s not up front, but it’s still OK. I’m here because of Jesus.” I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Julie over the course of two years, and I’m positive she’d echo the same thought. As Jesus said in verse 20, “for where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among you.”

Thought and prayer for the day: Jesus, help us to remember that we are your followers, and yours alone, and not stumble over others out of whom we’ve made idols. Amen.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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