March – 2017
March 1 – Ash Wednesday
“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly…”
The Wisdom of Kenneth Wapnick
“The whole ego thought system is based on a lie. Just as in the Adam and Eve story—which is really a wonderful way of symbolizing the birth of the ego—the …serpent lies. The entire ego thought system is based upon a dishonest thought, namely, that we have indeed separated from God…”
Genesis 2.15-17, 3.1-7
“The LORD God put the earth-being in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it.
And the LORD God commanded the earth-being, ‘You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die.’
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. The serpent said to the woman, ‘Did God tell you that you would die if you ate the fruit from any tree?’
The woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said that we may not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden – we can’t even touch it, or we will die.’
But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate.
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.”
Psalm 121 (New Testament & Psalms: An Inclusive Version, Oxford Press)
“I lift up my eyes to the hills – from where will my help come? My help comes from GOD, who made heaven and earth.
God will not let your foot be moved; the one who keeps you will not slumber. The one who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
GOD is your keeper; God is your shade at your side. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
GOD will keep you from all evil, and will keep your life. GOD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time on and forevermore.”
The Wisdom of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
John 3.3-8 (New Testament & Psalms: An Inclusive Version, Oxford Press)
“Jesus [said to Nicodemus], ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the dominion of God without being born from above.’
Nicodemus replied, ‘How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?’
Jesus answered, ‘Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the dominion of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you: You must be born from above.
The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.’”
Romans 5.3b-5 (MEV)
“Tribulation produces patience, patience produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
The Wisdom of Helen Keller
“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
Exodus 17.1-7 (ERV)
The Israelites left the western Sinai desert. They traveled all together from place to place as the [DIVINE] commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So they turned against Moses and started arguing with him. They said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses said to them, “Why have you turned against me? Why are you testing the [HOLY ONE]?”
3 But the people were very thirsty, so they continued complaining to Moses. They said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt? Did you bring us out here so that we, our children, and our cattle will all die without water?”
4 So Moses cried to the [ETERNAL], “What can I do with these people? They are ready to kill me.”
5 The LORD said to Moses, “Go before the Israelites. Take some of the elders of the people with you. Carry your walking stick with you. This is the stick that you used when you hit the Nile River. 6 I will stand before you on a rock at Horeb. Hit that rock with the walking stick and water will come out of it. Then the people can drink.”
Moses did these things and the elders of Israel saw it.
7 Moses named that place Meribah and Massah, because this was the place that the Israelites turned against him and tested the [HOLY ONE]. The people wanted to know if [GOD] was with them or not.
Psalm 41.1,3 (New Testament & Psalms: An Inclusive Version, Oxford Press)
“Blessed are those who consider the poor; the LORD delivers them in the day of trouble. God sustains them on their sickbed; in their illness you heal all their infirmities.”
Luke 16.19-31 (NAB)
There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. 20 And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, 21 who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man’s table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. 22 When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, 23 and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. 24 And he cried out, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering…’ 25 Abraham replied, ‘My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. 26 Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.’ 27 He said, ‘Then I beg you…send him to my [family’s] house, 28 for I have five [siblings], so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.’ 29 But Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’ 30He said, ‘Oh no…Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’ 31 Then Abraham said, ‘If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’”