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Thoughts: When Isaiah went to the temple one day, he became part of a dramatic service. God was there, sitting on an elevated throne.
Above God were six seraphim, each one with six wings. (This is the only time in the Bible where seraphim are mentioned.)
The seraphim sang this chorus: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
The temple shook and filled with smoke.
Isaiah felt guilty and lamented, “I am a man of unclean lips. Yet now I have seen the Lord!”
A seraphim flew to Isaiah, holding a live coal which he placed upon Isaiah’s mouth, saying, “Your sin is purged.
God asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”
And Isaiah answered, “Here am I; send me.”
Discussion: Where do we not want to go?
Activity: “Keep thou … our lips from shame, that in thy house have called upon they name.”
Thoughts: What do we know about Peter?
1. He was the son of Jonah and the brother of Andrew.
2. He lived in Capernaum.
3. He has been called the Big Fisherman.
4. We know he was married, because he had a mother-in-law.
5. He is named first in the lists of the disciples.
6. He was the most loquacious disciple.
7. He was one of the three disciples closest to Jesus.
Do we think of Peter as a scholar, able to quote minor prophets? Well, no. But in today’s reading, Peter reels off five verses from the second chapter of Joel.
This passage has a modern outlook:
“ … your sons and your daughters shall prophesy ….”
It has echoes of poetry:
“ … your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions ….”
And it closes with a wonderful promise:
“ … who so ever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
Discussion: How would a present-day audience react to Peter’s talk?
Activity: Read the book of Joel – all three chapters.
Thoughts: Shopping for groceries, I saw a sheet of paper curled around a box of Major Murgatroyd’s Marshmallow Munchies. Reflexively, I picked it up. It was a grocery list, in pretty feminine writing, concluding with “One thing you want.” I smiled and wondered what one thing the shopper chose.
The effusive first chapter of Ephesians promises these three things to believers:
“As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you….” Surely, this is one of the most precious verses in the Bible. We are blessed with love from God through his Son. And in perfect sequence, Jesus tells us, we are to “love one another, as I have loved you.”
When we know the blessing of love, we have love to give to others. Love that is received and given away is like the inexhaustible meal and oil which Elijah gave to the widow of Zarephath. Love gives warmth and comfort and light. Poet Sara Teasdale wrote about the light of love.
“And a woman I used to know
Who loved one man from her youth…
Never spoke of this thing,
But hearing his name by chance,
A light would pass over her face.”
Discussion: What expression crosses our faces when people ask, “What church do you attend?”
Activity: Practice reflecting the light of love.
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