I would like to also propose a question or encouragement each week to reflect upon, particularly in light of the rendering found here in The Message: Do we realize how much God loves us? I mean really? At the very moment when He merely thought about us, life was given, and He "created humanity in mint condition, with his own face on the coin." Wow! Our dignity of being in the image of God can never be taken away. Perhaps this would be a great week to remember our own dignity as sons and daughters of a loving God, through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Jesus, we trust in you!
Wisdom 1:13-15, 2: 23-24
God didn’t make death, nor does he enjoy punishment. He created everything, gave everything its being. Generations have enjoyed good health; there isn’t a poisonous flower in the garden, not a punishing plant on earth. Justice outlives our lives.
God created humanity in mint condition, with his own face on the coin. The devil was envious of God; that’s how death entered the world; and those on earth who think the same as the Great Deceiver are the ones who’ll die the death of deaths.
God, my God, I yelled for help
and you put me together.
All you saints! Sing your hearts out to God!
Thank him to his face!
He gets angry once in a while, but across
a lifetime there is only love.
The nights of crying your eyes out
give way to days of laughter.
When things were going great
I crowed, “I’ve got it made."
You did it: you changed wild lament
into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
I can’t thank you enough.
2 Corinthians 8:7, 9, 13-15
You do so well in so many things—you trust God, you’re articulate, you’re insightful, you’re passionate, you love us—now, do your best in this, too.
You are familiar with the generosity of our Master, Jesus Christ. Rich as he was, he gave it all away for us—in one stroke he became poor and we became rich.
This isn’t so others can take it easy while you sweat it out. No, you’re shoulder to shoulder with them all the way, your surplus matching their deficit, their surplus matching your deficit. In the end you come out even. As it is written,
Nothing left over to the one with the most,Nothing lacking to the one with the least.
Mark 5:21-24, 35-43
While he was still talking, some people came from the leader’s house and told him, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?”
Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.”
He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader’s house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: “Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn’t dead; she’s sleeping.” Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn’t know what he was talking about.
But when he had sent them all out, he took the child’s father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child’s room. He clasped the girl’s hand and said, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, get up.” At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room. Then he said, “Give her something to eat.”