Treasure in Clay Jars

Community United Church of Christ (St. Paul Park, Minnesota)

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 4:1-15

Yesterday my great-uncle and great-aunt—Ralph and Lois—celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They live in Coon Rapids, and are members of First Congregational UCC in Anoka. Lois and Ralph are both retired teachers, and they make retirement look good! They are healthy in body and soul, take in all manner of cultural experiences, and travel regularly to see their many friends. They just completed a move to independent living, wisely preparing for the day when they may need more care. They’ve stayed close enough to remain active members of their church, the League of Women Voters, and other community organizations. At fifty years together and going strong, Ralph and Lois went out last night to a fancy restaurant in downtown Saint Paul to celebrate. There is a cascade of light to give thanks for in their life together.

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Psalms 33-36

Good morning! All of today’s psalms (33-36) underscore a central theme: God protects the righteous, and no enemy will be able to withstand God’s power. Some of these psalms make one suspect that Job’s friends would say the same thing, but unlike them the psalmist gives no hint of being “better than” or “holier-than-thou”. While David (or perhaps another author) does wish harm on his foes, the psalms point instead to God as a most righteous and merciful deliverer.

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Psalms 9-16

Good morning! Today’s seven psalms (9-16) are a wealth of human emotion. I’m inclined to read them slowly, lovingly, in the manner that people have been reading the psalms for countless years. I’ll keep my reflection brief today so that you can enjoy a little more time with each psalm, savoring it like a piece of dark chocolate passed from tongue to cheek and back again.

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Psalms 1-8

Good morning! Today we start the book of Psalms, which has been the songbook of the Jewish and Christian tradition for millennia. These ancient poems capture all aspects of human emotion—including some very ugly desires—in songs to God. Millions of people read the psalms each day, and I have no doubt that some of the psalms are particularly meaningful for you. As we read a number of psalms each day, rest assured that I’m not planning to comment extensively on each one! I’ll point out significant themes or verses, and look to you for sharing those psalms which are meaningful to you, and why.

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