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Party Time! (24 November)

Morning Encounter:

Read: 

People of Israel, every year you must set aside ten per cent of your grain harvest. Also set aside ten per cent of your wine and olive oil, and the first-born of every cow, sheep, and goat. Take these to the place where the Lord chooses to be worshiped, and eat them there. This will teach you to always respect the Lord your God.

But suppose you can’t carry that ten per cent of your harvest to the place where the Lord chooses to be worshipped. If you live too far away, or if the Lord gives you a big harvest, then sell this part and take the money there instead. When you and your family arrive, spend the money on food for a big celebration. Buy cattle, sheep, goats, wine, beer, and if there are any other kinds of food that you want, buy those too.

(Deuteronomy 14.22-26)

Reflect: 

The verses of Scripture remind us that God is not sour or dreary but our generous Father who encourages us to enjoy life. He is not mean-spirited or gloomy, but generous and kind. There are occasions for enjoyment, for parties and celebrations. Here the Israelites are to throw an annual party and to be thankful for all that God has provided for them. Whilst not condoning drunkenness, he wants them to enjoy good food and drink.

Respond: 

Enjoy eating and drinking today – whether a simple breakfast or sandwich at lunch or a more elaborate meal. Enjoy the preparation and the eating, and be thankful for God’s provision of colour, flavour, taste and nutrition in the foods and drinks he provides.

Midday Meditation:

God is the highest good of the reasonable creature, and the enjoyment of him is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied. To go to heaven fully to enjoy God, is infinitely better than the most pleasant accommodations here. Fathers and mothers, husbands, wives, children, or the company of earthly friends, are but shadows. But the enjoyment of God is the substance. These are but scattered beams, but God is the sun. These are but streams, but God is the fountain. These are but drops, but God is the ocean. . . . Why should we labor for, or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end, and true happiness?

(Jonathan Edwards)

Evening Reflection:

I will praise you,
my God and King,
    and always honour your name.
 I will praise you each day
    and always honour your name.
 You are wonderful, Lord,
    and you deserve all praise,
because you are much greater
    than anyone can understand.

(From Psalm 145.1-3)

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