Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Five - Favorite Verses

The RevGalBlogPals have a fun Friday Five - Favorite Bible verses!

This is the one I always put on my mobility papers and is the is my standard answer for favorite verse:
 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16
The gospel is the power of God.  God's love, forgiveness and acceptance for all people is what will overcome all that is wrong with this world.  Grace is everything.  And that first part "I am not ashamed" was especially meaningful for me when I was being hammered and argued with and pressured to "tone down that grace stuff" at my former congregation.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—Ephesians 2:8
Faith is a gift.  It is not your own doing.  Too many people have turned faith into a work,  just another way to try to grab some credit, take some control, manipulate God "God has to save me because I made a decision for Christ"  Nope, no credit, no control, no manipulation.  You didn't make any decisions for Christ.  "This is not your own doing, it is the gift of God"

 The next one depends on the translation - I've always like "Where there is no vision, the people perish"  Proverbs 29:18 which is not at all how the NRSV puts it but I kind of like the Message version:
If people can't see what God is doing,
   they stumble all over themselves;
But when they attend to what he reveals,
   they are most blessed.

You need a vision but it has to be God's vision.  I've seen too many congregations stumbling all over themselves because their vision was to be their own little private club.  But when they do get a glimpse of what God is doing and attend to it, they are indeed most blessed.

And I have to steal Revgalblogpals favorite and this Sunday's OT lesson:

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?  Micah 6:8

I have a funny story about this verse.  I went to Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berekley and we were part of the Graduate Theological Union which meant you could take classes at some of the surrounding seminaries of other traditions.  I took an Old Testament class at the Baptist Seminary.  (I figured Baptists knew their Old Testament!)  So the teacher asks "What is Micah known for?"  And in my usual teacher's pet kiss ass way, I shot up my hand and proudly answered "What do your Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God"

 The teacher looks at me strangely.  "No....someone else?"  and someone else says "Micah predicts Jesus will be born in Bethlehem"  That was the correct answer.  Oh.

And though I struggle with the Gospel of John I really really love the first 18 verses of John, especially these two: him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.   John 1:4-5
From his fullness we have received grace upon grace.     John 1:16
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth"  John 1:14
I've lived through a lot of dark times and this promise, this assurance that there is light, there is grace, there is truth, there is love is what has pulled me through. 


  1. your verses are some of my favorites! and I love what you say about vision!

  2. Thanks for the great list.

    btw: I went to seminary at SFTS...and took several classes from PSR and the Jesuits.

  3. I took a preaching class at PSR (I think also a pastoral care class - so long ago hard to remember) never got to the Jesuits. That whole GTU is a great idea but at the time there were really only a "unLutheran" classes you could take.

  4. well played, Joelle, I love the Proverbs/vision of God...and I relied on Ephesians 4 (the entire chapter) for some parish conflict issues I faced...Ephesians has some challenging passages - but good stuff too!

  5. You're a PLTS grad? PSR alum, here. I took Greek and Systematic Theology at PLTS, and have some dear friends from there.

    Love your verses; I think I'll do a Friday Five this week so I can write about this myself.

  6. yup graduated in 1985. Did you have Ted Peters for Systematics.?

  7. I loved your answer to the prof's question; I would have said the same "wrong" answer! It is so good to see your choices; I want to reflect upon them more later.

  8. Oh, I like both those ways of rendering Proberbs 29!

  9. Telling comment on the Baptists.

  10. The Proverbs translation is particularly inspiring and comforting. So glad you shared that!

  11. Love that Proverb! (and the church so sorely needs to hear it these days IMO)

    And that would be my anser to the Micah question too

  12. Thanks for sharing the Proverbs one. It's very applicable to our congregation's transition team. The word "vision" has had a special meaning for me ever since that mission trip to Guatemala.