Moriah, which means chosen by God, was where God had his temple built, for it was a place special and holy to him. It was also where he sent King David to make sacrifice after his sin of taking census (1 Chronicles 21). Such a little thing, counting the people. But it showed his reliance on military might instead of God. Which angered God and caused him to send a plague.
“Who needs the church?” As pastors we heard that question often, albeit in various forms. And people had many reasons for quitting the church; a trend that seems to have grown during lockdowns. Even now as lockdowns are easing, I’ve read articles declaring in-person meetings unneccessary.
When my mom and a friend visited some years ago, I played tour guide around Italy. Rome, Venice, and the usual tourist areas. And they loved it all. But we have friends all over, so we also traipsed the smaller towns and villages. And staying in people’s homes, they saw The Real Italy!
In looking back over the past year and a half, I’d like to ask you a question. How has it treated you? It was tough worldwide with all the sickness, natural disasters, crime, and violence. And perhaps you, like many, faced great difficulty like unemployment, the loss of a loved one, or severe health issues.
That day, as always, a large crowd gathered around the young rabbi, new on the scene. Amazed at his wonderful teaching, they sought him out wherever he went. And now that news of his miracles had spread, the throng pressed against him even more, nearly backing him into the Sea of Galilee. So Jesus, boarding Simon Peter’s boat, requested, “Row out a little way from the shore.”
Every journey requires change. A change of place, of motion, of position. It takes leaving, surrender, and a leap into the unknown. So a few people (like me) relish change, but more seem to actually fear or dread it. Which is understandable. Jumping off cliffs, so to speak, can be scary!
The sky was rosy with the rising sun as Pharaoh and his court went out to the Nile for morning washing and worship where he found Moses and Aaron waiting for him. “Go out,” God had told Moses, “and wait beside the Nile for the king. Tell him to let my people go into the desert to worship me.”
You may have noticed I’ve been somewhat MIA here lately. Well, that’s because opportunity knocked – and kept on knocking! I’ve gone back to school (yes, at my age)! And because it’s been
years decades since I’ve taken any formal training I’m finding it a bit challenging to say the least!
God often works, and shows his love, in mysterious ways. And at times through such ordinary happenings we mistake them for mere chance or circumstance. Like the time he used a mamma cat’s unusual behavior to encourage our grandchildren.