Thursday, 9 July 2009

Thoughtful Words From the Bible Come in Threes: By the Way column in the Medicine Hat New on July 4th

A while ago I stared writing down three word phrases that lit up for me when I read my Bible. Why three words? They are easy to remember and mull over for a day. They are a useful “triplet trigger” for prayers. Our God is Three Persons.

Here they are in the order I noticed them:

IN THOSE DAYS (Joel 2.29): we are all in the process of becoming for Jesus. Those days come for every generation. They are here and they are yet to come.

LISTEN TO HIM (Mk 9.70): open the ears of our hearts. It’s hard to listen if we never stop talking.

BUT JESUS ONLY (Mk 9.8): it’s all about Jesus. Get to know The Shepherd’s voice. Beware the counterfeits.

A BEAUTIFUL THING (Mk 14.6): anything done for Jesus.

RESTORE US AGAIN (Ps 85.4): and again, and again.

BUT IF NOT (Dan 3.18): even if You don’t give me that for which I ask. I will not give up or turn away from You.

I BELIEVED, THEREFORE (2 Cor 4.13): I became more than I ever thought I could be  for Jesus.

AND BE THANKFUL (Col 3.15): in all circumstances.

WHATEVER YOU DO (Col 3.17): make it an act of worship for Jesus, all of it.

PROCLAIM THE EXCELLENCIES (1 Peter 2.9): of our LORD and Saviour in word and deed.

A FRAGRANT OFFERING (Eph 5.2): is all of the above when we do it for Jesus.

FIVE SMOOTH STONES (1 Sam 17.40): with which to get the job done for Jesus. We all need to choose them carefully, just as David did.

WIDEN YOUR HEARTS (2 Cor 6.13): to let the generosity and grace of Jesus flow through us.

Soon after I started my list of threes, I came across a piece by Allan Dobras on the VirtueOnLine website entitled “The Three Most Important Words.” In his musing on what is happening to Easter and Christianity in America he wonders what are the most important words ever spoken to humankind. He first suggests IN THE BEGINNING, followed by COME, LORD JESUS, and then IT IS FINISHED!—all profound and evocative statements worthy of reflection and prayer—but the most important, he suggests, is HE IS RISEN.

May the people I love who don’t know that, come to know it. May those who do know it, be empowered by it and live it out in all the above.

Alleluia! Amen.