Morning Prayer: June 10th

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Old Testament: Ezekiel 34:17-31
New Testament: Hebrews 8:1-17

As for you, my flock, thus says the Lord God: I shall judge between sheep and sheep, between rams and goats: Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, but you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture? When you drink of clear water, must you foul the rest with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have fouled with your feet? (Ezekiel 34:17-20)

Sheep are dumb. No, really…. They’re dumb. If left to their own devices, sheep will continue eating grass until they pull the roots right out. Without someone to shepherd and guide them, the flock would inadvertently starve itself and die off.

It is in light of this metaphor that God assures his people that he will set someone over them to be their protector. Time and time again this week, the words have repeated that They shall be my people, and I YHWH will be their God.

Over and over, God invites us into relationship with Him. The call to holiness is constant….not because of moral duty, but because of a sincere desire on behalf of the LORD to be in relationship with us….and so that we can share in his joy and divine nature.

For us…..the Good Shepherd is none other than Christ himself. He is the one who lays down his life on our behalf, and brings us back when we are lost. For all our sheepish stupidity, we have the ability to hear the voice of God in our midst. May we always heed that call and follow Jesus wherever He might lead.

Morning Prayer: Sat. of Advent 3 (December 18th)

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Psalm(s):24, 29
Old Testament: Isaiah 42:1-12
New Testament: Ephesians 6:10-20

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,*
and strips the forest bare;
and in his temple all say, ‘Glory!’ (Psalm 29: 5-9)

I don’t know about you….. but this is what God’s voice sounds like to me 😉

OK….so maybe YHWH doesn’t sound exactly like that :)…..but Psalm 29 does put a lot of emphasis on God’s voice…more specifically the power behind it.

The voice of the LORD can break cedar trees, turn water into dry land and causes the very foundations of the world to quake. If any of us were to witness these things in our lifetime, I’m sure we would be scared out of our wits!

I think that this aspect of fear and surprise is often missed in modern interpretations of the Bible.

For the writers of Scripture God’s appearance is always sudden and overpowering. His voice and presence are so overwhelming that Moses must hide his face as the LORD passes by……

His manifestation in the heavenly host causes shepherds to tremble, and all mortal flesh keeps silence as the Word descends from heaven.

Hearing the voice of God is not always meant to bring comfort and solace. At times, it is meant to make us a little afraid, a little apprehensive about our own future….to blur the line of what is vs. what God will do in the future.

It is in that creative and spiritual tension that we as disciples are forced to grow beyond our own borders. It is in that discomfort that we uncover what makes us tick, and it is in that fear and apprehensiveness that we realize there is more to this world then simply our own needs and desires. +

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