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Reading the Bible Day 244

Hi friends! Today's reading features the transfiguration of Jesus, a really monumental step in faith as both law and prophet are joined together. In other words its the joining of the progressive and conservative voices. The prophets who pushed convention and held people accountable and the law which keeps us grounded. I think if there is any reason for the United Methodist Church to not split - the transfiguration is what should be preached. But that's neither here nor there. We'll also read about temple taxes, Jesus prophecy of doom for himself, and more healing stories. Take a deep breath as you open yourself to the movement of God and let's get started :)


Scripture to Read


Matthew 17 - 18

Psalm 89


Audio Bible



Questions to Consider

  1. What does this teach you about Jesus that you previously had not considered?

  2. Have you ever felt like the one sheep that wandered away? What was your experience like as Jesus found you again?

  3. In this reading Jesus seems to imply that there are numerous purposes for his time on earth. In the parable of the lost sheep his purpose could be argued to be reaffirmation of the faithful, the story about who the greatest in the kingdom is argues that repenting and overcoming sin is Jesus purpose for humanity, and finally in the parable of the unforgiving debtor Jesus argues that forgiveness is the point of his mission. If someone were to ask you what was the singular purpose of Jesus' place on earth..what would you say?

- My Thoughts -

The question of "who is Jesus to you" is one of the best questions as a pastor I ever get to ask people. I say that because the answers are humbling every time I do. Despite Jesus being the very anchor of our faith the wide range of answers that people give to that remind that Jesus is unique to each person that has gotten to know him and follow him. For me Jesus is a prophet first and foremost, for others Jesus is forgiveness, Jesus is love, Jesus is healer, Jesus is teacher, Jesus is hope, etc. I've heard so many different things. That's also what makes our time of studying the New Testament a potential pitfall is our confidence in its main cast. While the OT was pretty much new territory for all of us, the NT is pretty well known, especially the gospels. Perhaps you've read it before or you've just heard more sermons preached from the gospels and epistles than the OT. For these reasons we can be a little guarded with our Jesus and who Jesus is to us. To hear opposing or different perspectives of Jesus can at first feel like they have it wrong or they are attacking our understanding of who Jesus is. The truth is the gospel writers themselves don't even fully known what Jesus purpose was on earth and that's evidenced by these stories. In one case Jesus is here to turn sinners from their ways and save them from hell, in another it's about love, and another it's forgiveness. Jesus mystified even those that followed him the closest. My hope for you as we continue to study Jesus is that you find how Jesus reveals himself to you and cherish that but also be open minded to how Jesus reveals himself to others as well. There is truly a humbling beauty to here how other people describe him and it can be exciting to think that he might still reveal something new to us each day.


Praying the Hymns


Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 244 in our United Methodist Hymnal - Twas in the Moon of Wintertime. I invite you to open your heart, mind, and soul to its words as you hum, sing, or recite the words in prayer.


Holy cow this is pretty....our choir should totally sing this.

'Twas in the moon of wintertime When all the birds had fled That mighty Gitchi Manitou Sent angel choirs instead Before their light the stars grew dim And wond'ring hunters heard the hymn:


Jesus, your King, is born; Jesus is born! In excelsis gloria!


Within a lodge of broken bark, The tender Babe was found A ragged robe of rabbit skin Enwrapped His beauty round And as the hunter braves drew nigh, The angel song rang loud and high:


Jesus, your King, is born; Jesus is born! In excelsis gloria!

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