I have three items for my write-up on this morning's church service. The first items two relate to things I have recently watched and read.
In the children's part of the service, the pastor was continuing his
series on the Lord's prayer. The pastor was talking about the part of
the prayer that says "Give us this day our daily bread." We pray for
God's provision each day.
I was thinking about a movie that I watched last week. I've been watching the Love Comes Softly movies on Trinity Broadcasting Network. In the movie Love's Abiding Joy,
there is a land baron named Samuel Doros, who is taking people's land.
Doros tells the story of when he was a poor child and was continuously
hungry. He could find food in those days, but he could never enjoy it
because he would be wondering where his next meal would come from.
would think that such an experience would make him more compassionate
towards those who are struggling, as opposed to trying to take their
land. But the experience did the opposite to him: it made him so bitter
about life and insecure that he tried to eek out from people whatever
money he could.
B. The pastor was noting that Jesus told his
disciples to ask God for bread, not cake. I am not sure why the pastor
was making that point. He did say that bread is healthier. In the
sermon, he talked about his own recent struggles with dieting.
been reading Philo of Alexandria's Special Laws for my daily quiet
time. Philo of Alexandria was a first century C.E. Jewish thinker in
Alexandria, Egypt. He interpreted the Torah in light of Greek
philosophy. In Special Laws, he tries to explain the laws of the
Torah. Mostly, he seeks practical reasons for the laws being as they
are. There are times, though, when he seeks an allegorical
explanation. Special Laws is different from his esoteric works, in
which his primary focus is on allegorizing the Torah.
Laws I, Philo is talking about the sacrifices. In I: 171-174, he is
explaining why there are loaves of bread in the sanctuary. One of his
answers is that bread is simple. He contrasts bread with "high
seasonings, and cheesecakes, and sweetmeats" (C.D. Yonge's tradition).
Philo has a negative attitude towards the latter.
Philo is rather
ascetic. Heaven forbid that people want to gratify their fleshly
tastes! Their mind should be on higher things! What is ironic, though,
is that Philo does talk about God blessing people with abundance when
they obey God. And he talks about abundant celebrations, which occur at
Jewish festivals. Philo is ascetic, but he has to deal with that
stress on abundance in the Torah.
C. Someone from the local food
bank spoke to us. She told us stories about people who lost their jobs
and had difficulty finding work. In some cases, they have children.
There was also an elderly couple that was raising their grandchildren,
and that was going into their retirement fund. The husband was a truck
driver, but he could no longer drive as many miles on account of his
age. They are benefiting from the food bank.
The lady was also
telling us that the food bank offers lessons on nutrition and how to
shop for food economically. That may initially sound patronizing and
condescending, but, believe me, such mentoring is good. She said that
the food bank does this so that people are not intimidated when they go
shopping for groceries. I can understand that being intimidating.
Stores have so many options. A person may want to know how to get more
for his or her money. There's also the issue of buying food that can
make a person full: whole wheat bread may be more expensive, but it will
make a person more full after eating it than white bread (that's my
insight, not what the speaker said).
The Legitimacy of Miracles
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