Two blogs for Saturday and Sunday

August 29, 2020
Good afternoon,
”  Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. ”  Matthew 18:23-24

Does Jesus ever smile or laugh ? I do not remember seeing any famous paintings that have Jesus smiling. There have been some recent ones of him laughing and smiling. In the biblical record, I do not think it is there. He is emotional, being angry and sad, to the point of crying. But he is not funny. Do you find anything funny about him ? What would it mean for your faith to hear Jesus laugh with you everyday, or smile at the strange things we do in our lives. Does Jesus always have to be serious ?

Some theologians, those people are paid to talk about God, say that the resurrection is funny because it breaks down all the human barriers. Orthodox priests tell jokes from the pulpit on Easter Sunday. Maybe they have something there ? Is God always serious as well ? 

But the only real joking Jesus might be doing,  is when he tells those stories, we call parables. We have read them so often, and we try to find meaning. I know them too well, and so I might be missing Jesus’ twinkle in his eyes. Here are a few. He gives three people bags of gold. One gets five bags of gold, one three and the last one only one. Five bags is an outrageous amount of money. People might have said, ” yeah, right Jesus, that is a real joke ” . Another story is the one about the guy who is forgiven a lot, and then he throws a servant in jail when he cannot repay just a small amount of money. The guy at the beginning owes “10,000 bags of gold”  ” (see verse above). Then there is the parable of the Prodigal Son. The younger son wants his inheritance even before his parents are dead. Outrageous again !!! Jesus was trying to get the attention of the audience by saying funny/outlandish things ?
What if we put a smile on Jesus’ face ? Would our relationship be different with our Saviour and our Lord ? Just a few thoughts for today.

Salaam and strength for the journey of life and faith. Keep smiling .
Tread on bold new paths !
Fireflies flash the direction
Hope springs eternal           Monica Pieper Landoni 2020
Fred Redekop Pastor Poole Mennonite Church

August 30, 2020,
Good morning,
May you find God today. Wherever you find yourselves, may your worship of God bring you much blessing. God will be blessed by your worship of the Holy One. Praise God from whom all blessings flow !

 Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
    be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!” The four living creatures said, “Amen,” and the elders fell down and worshiped. “
 Revelation 5:13-14

The Empire was persecuting the early church. The church was under threat of death in many areas of the world, especially near Rome. The book of Revelation is to provide comfort to the believers who were a danger to the Empire. There are many examples of worship in the book. Copies of the book must have been handed to people in secret. I would think that they memorized these words, so they might be comforted by God. In the end, the writer expresses well that  God will come in new ways at the end of the age.

We are going through the pandemic, economic downturn, climate change, schools re-opening, the death of friends and family, health crises and other events that challenge our lives and our faith.  We say, ” Amen ” , and we fall down, or stand up and worship the Almighty and Everlasting One.

God of all creation of heaven and earth
Come close to us today.
Sit down next to us,
Hold our hands
Speak to us softly.
Hold our tears, in your total being.
So, we might be comforted
So Be It !    AMEN

Tread on bold new paths
Fireflies flash the direction
Hope springs eternal           Monica Pieper Landoni 2020

Fred Redekop Pastor Poole Mennonite Church