Garments of Peace

Scripture Focus: Exodus 28.2-4
2 Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor. 3 Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as priest. 4 These are the garments they are to make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a woven tunic, a turban and a sash.

Reflection: Garments of Peace
By John Tillman

In Ephesians, Paul gives a metaphor of spiritual armor for spiritual battles but in the Old Testament we get a literal God-ordained “anti-armor” which priests will wear. These are not garments for a spiritual war. Instead, they are garments for the spiritual work of making peace with God.

Pray this prayer over the garments described for the priests and ask God to make you a peacemaking priest of God.

Garments of Peace
Dress us, Lord, that we may serve.
Fit us for your work.

For our breastpiece, Lord, keep the burden of your mission close to our heart
Aaron’s heart felt the weight of the names of Jacob’s children
May our hearts be weighted with loving concern for our communities.
May our hearts beat with love for our brothers and sisters in the faith.
May our hearts break with compassion for the suffering and oppressed.
May our hearts love through actions aiding those around us.

For our ephod, Lord, mark us as yours, called and set apart for your work.
May it carry our breastplate of burden.
May it show the beauty of your grace.
May it glint with colors showing your love for all people.

For our robe, Lord, give us righteousness.
Remove our filthy rags. Wash and dress us in your robes.
Let the sound of your righteousness go before us, 
The tinkling echoes of your mercy, as bells on Aaron’s hem.

For our woven tunic, Lord, make us one with you.
Weave your Spirit into our lives.
Seamlessly cover us with your dignity and honor.
Let us walk before you, with the golden threads of your life gilding the material of our lives.

For our turban, Lord, guard our minds.
May we have affixed on our foreheads and in our thoughts
The immutable truths that we are loved by you, holy to you, and will be used by you.
Let no thought or desire cause us to forget we carry your name and your love

For our sash, Lord, bind our vestments as one.
Let us hold firmly to all your gifts:
The burden of our mission
The beauty of your calling
The joyful sound of your righteousness
The seamless covering of your Spirit
The firm security of your love for us.

Make us a holy priesthood, in garments of peace, not holding ourselves above others, but lifting them up and carrying them to you.

Divine Hours Prayer: The Greeting
I will offer you a free will sacrifice and praise your Name, O Lord, for it is good. — Psalm 54.6

– Divine Hours prayers from The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle
Today’s Readings
Exodus 28 (Listen – 5:54)
John 7 (Listen – 5:53)

Read more about Priests of Life and Peace
God’s purpose is not to end the priesthood. Instead, through Christ’s sacrifice, he instituted a new priesthood for all who follow Jesus.

Read more about Praying as Priests
We are charged, as the Aaronic priests were charged, to pronounce God’s blessing.

Take Up Your Mat

John 5.14
Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.”

Reflection: Take Up Your Mat
By John Tillman

The paralytic at the pool is one of the more unusual miracles of Jesus. In most miracles of healing someone comes to Jesus with a request.

The Centurion sent to Jesus on behalf of his servant and the leaders of the Jewish community supported the Centurion’s request due to his kindness to them.

Bartimaeus called out to Jesus over the noise of the crowd, “Son of David, have mercy on me,” and asked directly, “Lord I want to see.”

Jairus, a synagogue leader, humbled himself to come to Jesus openly, begging for his daughter to be healed.

Along the way to Jairus’s daughter, the woman with the issue of blood braved the crushing crowd, to touch Jesus.

But in the case of the paralytic, Jesus seems to initiate everything. Jesus sees the man. He discovers how long he has been there. He singles him out. He questions him. He heals him.

Another common element of other miracles is a moment in which Jesus comments on the person’s faith. That is absent in this account as well. The paralyzed man’s faith is questionable—perhaps so weak that only Jesus could see it.

Sometimes, a miracle is the beginning of a journey of faith instead of the end. Perhaps the reason Jesus told the man to pick up his mat and walk, was so that he would not be able to come back to the same spot in which he had been lying for years.

In the case of the paralyzed man, Jesus isn’t done with him after he is healed. Jesus once more seeks him out. Jesus finds him in the Temple—a place the man was forbidden to go before being healed. There Jesus calls him to repentance and warns him that there are worse things than being paralyzed by a pool for 38 years. Jesus has more for this man then simply taking up his mat and walking. He has more for us too.

Jesus sought us out when we were paralyzed and deformed by sin. Though our faith might have been so small only he could detect it, he healed us, granting us access to God at the Temple. But he isn’t done with us after this miracle. He still seeks us out. To warn us, to call us to continued repentance, to transform our lives.

Jesus isn’t done with us after the miracle of our salvation. When we take up our mat and walk, we are just beginning to follow him in faith.

Pick up your mat and walk. Then take up your cross and follow him.

Prayer: A Reading
Then, speaking to all, he said, “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross everyday and follow me.” — Luke 9.23

Today’s Readings
Exodus 26 (Listen – 4:18)
John 5 (Listen – 5:42)

This Weekend’s Readings
Exodus 27 (Listen – 2:52) John 6 (Listen – 8:27)
Exodus 28 (Listen – 5:54) John 7 (Listen – 5:53)

Thank You!
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Read more about Not Just Miracles
Christ’s miracles weren’t entertainment for a crowd or party tricks to show he was a neat prophet. With each miracle Christ demonstrated that restoration beyond what our world is capable of producing will one day come through his reign.

Read more about C.S. Lewis on Miracles
Each miracle writes for us in small letters something that God has already written, or will write, in letters almost too large to be noticed, across the whole canvas of Nature. — C.S. Lewis

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