February ~ 2014

February 2

A reading from the prophet Micah
(Micah 6.8)

God has shown you, O mortal, what is good; and what is required of you? Only to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.

A reading from the Wisdom of Olympia Brown
“We can never make the world safe by fighting. Every nation must learn that the people of all nations are children of God, and must share the wealth of the world. You may say this is impracticable, far away, can never be accomplished, but it is the work we are appointed to do. Sometime, somehow, somewhere, we must ever teach this great lesson.”

A reading from the gospel according to Matthew
(Mt 5.1-12, ERV)

When Jesus saw the crowds of people there, he went up on a hill and sat down. His followers came and sat next to him. 2 Then Jesus began teaching the people. He said,

3 “Great blessings belong to those who know they are spiritually in need.
[Divine abundance] belongs to them.
4 Great blessings belong to those who are sad now.
God will comfort them.
5 Great blessings belong to those who are humble.
They will be given [all that] God [has] promised.
6 Great blessings belong to those who want to do right more than anything else.
God will fully satisfy them.
7 Great blessings belong to those who show mercy to others.
Mercy will be given to them.
8 Great blessings belong to those whose thoughts are pure.
They will be with God.
9 Great blessings belong to those who work to bring peace.
God will call them…sons and daughters.
10 Great blessings belong to those who suffer persecution for doing what is right.
[Divine satisfaction] belongs to them.

11 “People will insult you and hurt you. They will lie and say all kinds of evil things about you because you follow me. But when they do that, know that great blessings belong to you. 12 Be happy about it. Be very glad because you have a great reward waiting for you…People did these same bad things to the prophets who lived before you.

February 9

A reading from the Wisdom of Norbert F. Capek
“In the name of sages and great religious leaders who sacrificed their lives to hasten the coming of the age of mutual respect, let us renew our resolution…to be [united]…”

A reading from the Wisdom of William F. Schulz
“This is the mission of our faith: to teach the fragile art of hospitality, to revere both the critical mind and the generous heart, to prove that diversity need not mean divisiveness, and to witness to all that we must hold the whole world in our hands.”

A reading from the gospel according to Matthew
(Mt 5.13-16)

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its salty taste, it cannot be made salty again. It is good for nothing, except to be thrown out and walked on. 14 “You are the light that gives light to the world. A city that is built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 And people don’t hide a light under a bowl. They put it on a lamp-stand so the light shines for all the people in the house. 16 In the same way, you should be a light for other people. Live so that they will see the good things you do and will [honor the divine presence within you].

February 16

A reading from the Wisdom of the Son of Sirach
(Sirach 15.16-19)

16God has placed before you fire and water: stretch out your hand for whichever you wish. 17Before each one are life and death, and whichever is chosen, it will be given. 18For great is divine Wisdom; God is mighty in power and sees everything; 19God’s eyes are on those who revere God, and God knows every human deed.

A reading from the Wisdom of Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.
The non-violent resistor not only avoids external, physical violence, but [also] avoids internal violence of spirit. [The non-violent resistor] not only refuses to shoot his [or her] opponent, but…refuses to [even] hate [the so-called enemy].

A reading from the gospel according to Matthew
(Mt 5.21-25)

You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, “You shall not murder”; and “whoever murders will likely be prosecuted.” 22But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister,* you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult* a brother or sister,* you will be liable to the religious council; and if you say, “You fool”, there may be hell to pay [if the insulted has a fiery temper]! *23So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister* has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister,* and then come and offer your gift. 25Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are on the way to court* with him or her, or your accuser may hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.

February 23

A reading from the Wisdom of Malinda Cramer
“Spirit is truly in every place, at all times.”

A reading from the Wisdom of Patsy Cantrell
“God fills the universe, the form and the formless.”

A reading from the Psalter
(Ps. 62.5-8, paraphrased)

I stand silently in the divine Presence, waiting for divine Power to help me. For wholeness is what God is! Yes, God alone is my Substance, my Strength, Peace of mind, and ultimate Safety—why then should I be tense with fear when troubles come? 7 My protection and success come from God who is my refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me. O my people, trust God all the time. Pour out your longings before the One who can always help!

A reading from the gospel according to Matthew
(Mt 5.33-34, 37, JB Phillips New Testament)

You have heard that the people in the old days were told—‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord’, but I say to you, don’t use an oath at all. Whatever you have to say let your ‘yes’ be a plain ‘yes’ and your ‘no’ a plain ‘no’—anything more than this has a taint of evil.

 

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