SSB Gathering – January 10, 2016

Spiritual Sounding Board – This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

 by Kathi

Grist mill

***

Luke 3: 1-20

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar – when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene – during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the desert. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God’s salvation.'”

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”

Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked,  “what should we do?” “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.

Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely – be content with your pay.”

The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.

But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison.

Proverbs 31: 8-9

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the right of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and the needy.”

***


***

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.

***
Feel free to join the discussion.
You can share your church struggles and concerns.
Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.
What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?
Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

***

photo credit: Brian – Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Washington

One comment on “SSB Gathering – January 10, 2016

  1. Praises be to our LORD Jesus Christ. This is such a moving church service this morning here on Spiritual Sounding Board. The Scriptures that moved my soul were these from the prophet Isaiah,

    “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: Prepare the way of the LORD; Make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough ways smooth; And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”

    Lately, our LORD has been showing me that the ground at the foot of the cross bears witness to even ground where “the valleys are filled and the mountains and hills are brought low.” There is a place on that level ground for all who sin, repent, and place their faith in the only One who saves, Jesus. His ways never made ‘a way’ for men and women, many of whom deem themselves more important than others (like the popularity contests people play), to control and manipulate and lord it over, as our Scriptures say, over others within the context of true Christianity.

    Here, on that level ground in the presence of the Cross, there is such freedom and joy; for this morning while listening to “My Lighthouse,” the spirit led me to dancing around my kitchen in unashamed worship. This old kitchen, where tears of joy in worshiping in spirit and truth abide, “Praise Him with the timbrel and dance.” Psalm 150:4.

    The Way of Jesus is pure, holy, and straight and it is only through Him that salvation reigns. Another chapter later, Jesus proclaims while in the synagogue,

    “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
    Because He anointed Me
    To preach the gospel to the poor;
    He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted ,
    To proclaim liberty to the captives
    And recovery of sight to the blind,
    To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
    To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

    “Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

    While men and women build their systems of hierarchy at the foot of the Cross, Jesus is tearing them down through the truths of His Words.

    Thank-you, thank-you for posting these Scriptures this morning Kathi, and also for the beautiful picture. This whole service takes my breath away and I am reminded of God’s goodness here. Love you all.

    Liked by 2 people

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