Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How Quickly We Forget!

Reflections: Today our theme is one of remembrance. We hear the saying, “How quickly we forget!” And it is true. And today we also remember 9/11, and the men and women who so bravely fought against a terrorist attack that took many innocent and valiant lives. 9/11 reminds us that evil is still prevalent and powerful in the world today. We don’t need to live our lives in fear as “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” Today, we remember our 9/11 heroes and also give thanks to those who continue to give our lives to protect our freedoms at the city, state and national level. If you serve in this way and are reading this thank you and may God protect you as you serve!

The psalmist reminds us how quickly the Israelites forgot God deliverance in Egypt and some were judged because of it. Ruth is a reminder of how God remembered Ruth’s faithfulness to her mother in law and how her kinsmen redeemer faithful executed his promise to his relatives. The result was Boaz married Ruth and gave birth to Obed, who was the father of Jesse, who was the father of the Great King David. God remembered this faithful Moabite woman Ruth, who honored her mother in law Naomi, and God honored her by making her part of the Messianic line.

Finally, in our Gospel, we see Jesus promises to remember the thief on the cross, who was penitent. While the rulers of the people and the people themselves were cursing, jeering and mocking Jesus, and even the one who was guilty remained obstinate, the other thief realized the great tragedy that was happening. He realized that he was being punished justly but Jesus was hanging there for his sin. He was the first to realize that Jesus died for him a sinner, and he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom. Jesus honored him by saying, “Today truly you will be with me in paradise!”

Though we may not have the same situation as the thief on the cross, there will be a time in all of our lives where we have the chance to realize what Jesus has done for us on the cross. As we realize what He has done, we can be like the one thief who only wanted to save himself, or the other thief who realized that only Jesus could truly save him and asked him to remember him! Which one are you like?

Take time to remember what Jesus did on the cross for you! If you were the only person on the earth Jesus would have died for you! As we realize and remember this, the rest of our lives can be spent preparing for the day we will be in paradise with him, serving him until He brings us home!

Psalm 106:13-23
13 But they soon forgot what he had done
and did not wait for his plan to unfold.
14 In the desert they gave in to their craving;
in the wilderness they put God to the test.
15 So he gave them what they asked for,
but sent a wasting disease among them.
16 In the camp they grew envious of Moses
and of Aaron, who was consecrated to the Lord.
17 The earth opened up and swallowed Dathan;
it buried the company of Abiram.
18 Fire blazed among their followers;
a flame consumed the wicked.
19 At Horeb they made a calf
and worshiped an idol cast from metal.
20 They exchanged their glorious God
for an image of a bull, which eats grass.
21 They forgot the God who saved them,
who had done great things in Egypt,
22 miracles in the land of Ham
and awesome deeds by the Red Sea.
23 So he said he would destroy them—
had not Moses, his chosen one,
stood in the breach before him
to keep his wrath from destroying them.

Ruth 4
Boaz Marries Ruth

4 Meanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat down there just as the guardian-redeemer he had mentioned came along. Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down. 2 Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. 3 Then he said to the guardian-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our relative Elimelek. 4 I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.” “I will redeem it,” he said. 5 Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi, you also acquire Ruth the Moabite, the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.” 6 At this, the guardian-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.” 7 (Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.)8 So the guardian-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal. 9 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!” 11 Then the elders and all the people at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the family of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. 12 Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”

Naomi Gains a Son

13 So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When he made love to her, the Lord enabled her to conceive, and she gave birth to a son. 14 The women said to Naomi: “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer. May he become famous throughout Israel! 15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age. For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and who is better to you than seven sons, has given him birth.” 16 Then Naomi took the child in her arms and cared for him. 17 The women living there said, “Naomi has a son!” And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

Luke 23:32-43

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[a] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews. 39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely. Psalm 139:4

The good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden. 1 Timothy 5:25 (NKJV)

Lord, in you alone we are an unstoppable force. Even when we think you are far away, you are so close. Even when we have hidden from you or run away, you are always there. We will not deny you any longer, but spread the word of your glory and goodness. Let our works magnify you among the peoples. Amen

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