Thanks to Bryan at Calling All Witnesses, I’ve been tagged in a blogging meme! I didn’t know what that was. It turns out that a blogging meme is a topic that is passed from blogger to blogger, sort of like a big game of tag. Each person passes the meme to three others, and so it grows, sort of like compound interest. The theme for this meme is “My Three Favorite Scriptures”
Here are the rules:
- Write a post on your three favorite verses from the Bible and why you like them.
- Link back to this post.
- In your post tag three other bloggers to carry this theme forward, link to you, and tag additional bloggers.
Its been a busy week for me, but now I am all over it. So here are my three favorite scripture passages.
- The Eucharist
Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”
This is just a snippet of Christ’s teaching on the Eucharist. Once I truly had digested this chapter of John, I wondered how anyone could not see the truth of the Catholic church. “My flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”
Many couldn’t handle it and left, but Jesus didn’t try to get them back. And he didn’t offer any other explanation for his words, which he would have done, for the sake of his apostles, if it had been merely a parable.
This is the first verse I had my kids memorize, because if we’ve got the Eucharist, we’ve got it all.
Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and handed himself over for her to sanctify her, cleansing her by the bath of water with the word, that he might present to himself the church in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
And this is the ultimate description of the role of the husband in the vocation of marriage. It is a Christ-like role of self-sacrifice. It is a sanctifying role. There are a million little deaths to self that a husband must go through, and this passage inspires me like nothing else. What a calling! What a responsibility!
- A Blessing
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!
This is the Aaronic prayer or blessing. God gave this to Moses, instructing him to tell Aaron to use this blessing to bless the Israelites. When my oldest daughter was still quite young, I saw a talk by Jeff Cavins (the Great Adventure, Bible Timeline) where he suggested using it to bless your children every night. I haven’t missed a night since, and my kids can’t go to sleep without it.
So there it is. My top three scripture verses. And now I am handing it off to three others.
Here are the candidates. Hope they accept. Even if they don’t, their blogs are worth the visit:
Chris at This Pilgrim’s Progress
Joe at Average Catholic Joe
Kortni at Heart Shaped Stone
Yesterday, we studied Acts 8, which has so much in it, I was floored.
It starts with Paul’s persecution of the church, which was much more brutal than the short sentences described in Acts. By piecing together mentions in the Pauline letters, one sees that Paul was not only imprisoning Christ’s followers, but murdering them. He was following in the line of many of the great men of the Old Testament such as Moses, Saul, and David – being a murderer before achieving his greatness before God.
Why this brutal persecution of the Church so soon after Gamaliel had convinced the Sanhedrin to let Peter go? Gamaliel’s warning had concerned the leaders of the Way. This new persecution was against the followers. Note that the apostles were able to stay in Jerusalem while the followers had to flee.
This chapter contains two other critical points. The first is the preaching to the Samaritans. After Philip had baptized the Samaritans, it was required that Peter and John come and lay hands on them so that they might receive the Holy Spirit. This is the first example of the Sacrament of Confirmation in the scriptures.
The second critical point is the interaction of Philip with the Ethipian eunuch. The eunuch’s acknowledgment of being unable to understand scripture without a guide should be a caution to us all concerning our own personal interpretations of scripture.
This chapter also introduced the sin of simony as well as further established the roles of deacons in the church through the actions of Philip.
Our bible study is the Great Adventure Series, which I highly recommend.
The below reading from Ecclesiasticus was from today’s Office of Readings. It reminds us that our reward for following Christ does not come in this world, but the next, and that the sinner’s reward as well does not come in this world but the next. It is an important fact to remember and is put beautifully in this reading. Our world today is markedly unfair. The rich who created this recession were bailed out, while the rest of us are indebted as a result. The unborn are denied life and their killers are enriched with our tax dollars. It is good to remember that a gift of wealth might not be a gift at all, but a curse.
Put your trust in God alone
Another man is a poor creature begging for assistance,
badly off for support, but rich in poverty,
and the Lord turns a favourable eye on him,
sets him on his feet out of his abject condition,
and enables him to hold his head high,
to the utter amazement of many.
Good and bad, life and death,
poverty and wealth, all come from the Lord.
The Lord’s gift remains constant to the devout
and his goodwill means a good journey for ever.
A man grows rich by his sharpness and grabbing,
and here is the reward he receives for it:
he says, ‘I have found rest,
and now I can enjoy my goods’;
but he does not know how long this will last;
he will have to leave his goods for others and die.
Persevere at your duty, take pleasure in doing it,
and grow old at your work.
Do not be astonished at the sinner’s achievements;
trust the Lord and keep to your duty;
since it is a trifle in the eyes of the Lord,
in a moment, suddenly to make a poor man rich.
The devout man receives the Lord’s blessing as his reward,
in a moment God brings his blessing to flower.
Do not say, ‘What are my needs,
what will be my profits in future?’
And do not say, ‘I am self-supporting,
what losses can I suffer in future?’
In a time of profit, losses are forgotten,
and in a time of loss, no one remembers profits.
Yet it is a trifle for the Lord on the day a man dies
to repay him as his conduct deserves.
A moment’s adversity, and pleasures are forgotten;
in a man’s last hour his deeds will stand revealed.
Call no man fortunate before his death;
it is by his end that a man will be known.
My 3 year old son came home from pre-school today quoting John 3:16. Perfectly. (Yes, it is a Protestant pre-school.) He learned this in one 3 hour school “day”. It floored me. (And gave a booster shot to my fatherly pride.) He is already pretty good with the standard prayers. I am thinking about instituting a family bible verse of the week. (I don’t think I can match him!)
My knowledge of the bible is good, but it doesn’t include knowing where the quotes are. It also doesn’t include getting them exactly right, but with the plethora of translations that is less critical, I think.
I am thinking of originating with this one:
John 6:53 Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you.”
The center of our worship is the Eucharist, Christ Himself. We really ought to have memorized his commands regarding that.
Jesus, please help me to teach my children the Word of God. Please grant me the wisdom to pass on the faith in ways that will plant it deep, so that they may be sustained by it their entire lives. Please send down Your Spirit to make my faith strong that I might share it well.