July 19, 2015 – Sweeter than honey

Pentecost 8   July 19, 2015   (Mark 6:30-34, Ephesians 2:13-22) Psalm 19 Sweeter than honey ************************************************ In days of old when someone said: The heavens are telling the glory of God… Those who heard would be likely to say in reply: and the firmament proclaims his handiwork…. Now we live in another era, a time of much knowledge. We’ve unlocked the mysteries of the atom; mapped distant reaches of the starry cosmos…This week we’ve seen close-up pictures from chilly planet Pluto…Just around the corner, relatively speaking, in our own small solar system. With the most powerful telescopes we can see far beyond the bounds of the Milky Way, and detect the presence of planets in far-off universes… Now we communicate at warp speed. Now we know so very much… And…. Now it’s no longer just us and the Russians, England and France… No longer just India, Pakistan, China… Israel… Now any country with a little plutonium can have it’s own weapons of mass destruction… Anyone can look up the recipes on-line. So much knowledge and such unfettered power has been gained and claimed… And… So much real understanding has been lost along the way. We have such vast knowledge… With, it seems, so little wisdom… People of old didn’t know nearly as many things as we know now… But they knew the heavens are telling the glory of God… They knew God knows all the stars in the heavens by name (as Isaiah 40 and Psalm 147 alike tell us). They knew God gave the rainbow sign after the flood in the first book of the bible… and the rainbow sign again in scripture’s last book… They knew the heavens are telling the glory of God… Just as assuredly our ancestors also knew… that God who made the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that fills them; God who made us in the image of God… Just as certainly made the Law of God… The Torah, the teaching of God – for revival of souls and giving of wisdom – for rejoicing of hearts and clarifying of vision. God gave his Sacred Teachings, full of the pure fear-awe-and-wonder of God. All God’s holy ordinances, true and righteous, more to be desired than gold, even much fine gold… Sweeter also than honey, and drippings of the honeycomb. CS Lewis calls Psalm 19 “the greatest poem in the psalter and one of the greatest lyrics in the world.” In his book Reflections on the Psalms, Lewis says (perhaps just a bit optimistically): “Most readers will remember it’s structure; six verses about Nature, five about the Law, and four of personal prayer.” Then he puzzles at some length – wondering – how can the law be sweeter than honey? ‘I can understand,’ he says (I’m paraphrasing), ‘how we can say the law is good and true and holy… But – sweeter than honey? Is Leviticus really that lovely? Can Deuteronomy revive our souls?’ Lewis was of an older-generation of scholars – not in a great hurry to make every point faster than a speeding freight train. He understood the power of building his case slowly, deliberatively, peppered with many small but useful observations. But in due time he does answer his question, saying now of the psalmist (quote): “First he thinks...

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Week of July 19, 2015 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Finance Committee will host coffee hour next Sunday, July 26th. Introduction to the Psalms. We’ll have a summer discussion group on the Psalms, Sundays at 12:30 to 1:30 pm in the Perry Room at Bourne UMC starting July 19 through August. All are invited. The only homework is to read about ten Psalms a week. See Tim with any questions. OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS The Food Pantry needs your food donations. Kids are out of school so lunch foods are needed. The Thrift Shop at BUMC. On Monday’s it is staffed by CUMC and all monies come to our...

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Week of July 19, 2015 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, July 19th: 11:00 AM Worship 12:30 PM Psalm Discussion Group Saturday, July 25th: 8:00 PM Contra Dance Sunday, July 26th: 11:00 AM Worship 12:30 PM Psalm Discussion Group Introduction to the Psalms: We’ll have a summer discussion group on the Psalms, Sundays at 12:30 to 1:30 in the Perry Room at Bourne UMC, starting today and running through August. All invited. The only homework is to read about ten Psalms a week. See Tim with any questions etc. CONTRA DANCE this Saturday, July 25th in Crain Hall. LITURGISTS AND GREETERS ARE NEEDED for most of August. Please sign up! ALTAR FLOWERS are needed for a couple of Sundays in August. Please sign up on the list outside of the door to the sanctuary, leading to Crain Hall. PICTURES NEEDED! We are looking for pictures of recent church activities to use on our website and Facebook page. If you have taken any pictures, please email them to bumcsecretary@verizon.net, or burn them onto a CD and leave it in the secretary mailbox in the stairwell. Thanks!  ...

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