Friday, February 20, 2015

Light Shall Rise for You in the Darkness

“If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; If you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; Then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday; Then the LORD will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land.”  Isaiah 58:9b-11

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.  He said to him, “Follow me.”  And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.  Luke 5:27-28

The Firefighter’s Prayer
When I'm called to duty God
wherever flames may rage,
give me strength to save a life
whatever be its age.
Help me to embrace a little child
before it is too late
or save an older person from
the horror of that fate.
Enable me to be alert
to hear the weakest shout
and quickly and efficiently
to put the fire out.
I want to fill my calling and
to give the best in me
to guard my neighbor and
protect his property.
And if according to your will
I have to lose my life
bless with your protecting hand
my children and my wife.  Amen.

Returning to Eden in the early days of Lent?  The ticket is how we treat others as we learn in the first reading from Isaiah.  If we do this, then the wilderness of Lent will turn back into the lush Garden of Eden.  
Yes, the LORD shall comfort Zion, shall comfort all her ruins; Her wilderness he shall make like Eden, her wasteland like the garden of the LORD; Joy and gladness shall be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of song.  Isaiah 51:3

Who gets back into Eden?  Who may go up the mountain of the LORD? Who can stand in his holy place?  “The clean of hand and pure of heart, who has not given his soul to useless things, what is vain.”  (Psalm 24:3-4)  Or stated in even more simple and direct terms, if we but follow Jesus, he will lead us – like Levi – back to Eden. 

Tonight is not the coldest night of the year…it is the coldest night in more than a hundred years.  Let’s pray that no firefighters have to respond tonight to save life and property. 

If ever there was a night “to bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted,” this is it.  The waiting is OVER!

The night also coincides with a great fund-raising and life-giving opportunity to support a special charity in the lives of so many – A Wider Circle.  In honor of the 52nd birthday of its founder, Dr. Mark Bergel, they are seeking 52 new donors.  Will you step up and include A Wider Circle in your circle of giving?  

Check out what they do on  Do you have what it takes to join their giving circle? 

PS: How many birthday parties can you attend where there are no-calorie cakes?

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