Acquainted with grief

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December 10, 2018

During the season of Advent, we anticipate the coming of Christ. We wait. And though there will be joy in the morning, it is good to remember – as we wait in winter – that Jesus also “is acquainted with grief.” J. Daniel Frost offers this reminder in this morning’s Fruit of the Vine reflection on a story from Luke 7:


12 As [Jesus] approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out – the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her ...

Frost writes that “this man’s passing would leave the widow without anyone to care for her – an especially dire situation.” Jesus knew. “He called for the parade to stop, and then he touched the bier.”

14 ... the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.

Frost suggests you can almost imagine someone proclaiming of Jesus, “There he is! There he is!”

We expect Jesus to come and end our time of mourning. We wait. We anticipate. We hope. But Jesus is here with us, no matter what our situation. “He is acquainted with grief, and his presence brings peace.”

Frost ends with this suggested prayer: “Thanks, Lord, for your comforting presence; we so badly need it.”

Thank you,

Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $41,031 in gifts and pledges.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com

Seeds of Hope
Copyright © 2018 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


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The struggle

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December 3, 2018

Since my first day at Barclay Press, every day has been a struggle. The financial struggle of figuring out which bills have to be paid and which I might be able to set aside in order to get us through another week or two. The professional struggle of not knowing exactly what I’m supposed to be doing, let alone how to do it, and having to do it anyway. The personal day-to-day struggles.

Jan Pierce writes about these struggles (and so much more) in this morning’s Fruit of the Vine. She reflects on a substitute teaching experience in a fourth-grade classroom where students were “studying the amazing transformation of a chrysalis into a monarch butterfly. The trembling creature hatched on the exact day I replaced the beloved ‘real teacher.’ Worse, I wasn’t fully aware of the project and came dangerously close to stepping on the fragile body when it fluttered out of its cage.”

This “transformation from larva to butterfly” is a striking metaphor for our own struggles, Jan writes, and it’s a miracle. We “are the larva turning into beautiful butterflies.... Sometimes we get inklings of growth – little wiggles while still in the chrysalis.”

But it takes a long time. And it’s a struggle.

“We may not have received our wings yet,” Jan continues, “but the transformation will certainly occur in God’s timing.”

This last week on #GivingTuesday, nearly twenty people donated through Facebook, through our website, or with a visit to our office, raising nearly $1,500 in one day. That may seem like a small amount of money, but for a small nonprofit like Barclay Press, those funds make a big difference! That’s because these financial gifts do the mundane work of paying our bills. But they also do the spiritual work of reminding me I’m not struggling alone. We’re in this together.

Thank you,

Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $39,766 in gifts and pledges.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com

Seeds of Hope
Copyright © 2018 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


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This was Elizabeth’s sermon

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November 26, 2018

The way Friends interacted with, thought about, and used Scripture over the years frequently challenges our contemporary sensibilities about what the Bible is and what it does. I think this challenge can be healthy in that it prompts us (if we let it) to think about how we read the Bible and what we do with it – to uncover our assumptions about the text, to help us more honestly engage the text. This is why we’ve designed Illuminate Bible study curriculum to include a Quaker quotation that relates to the Scripture passage each week. Here are a few of the quotations we’re including for the study of Luke that starts this next week:

“In the time of the Gospel, when Mary came to salute Elizabeth in the Hill Country in Judea, and when Elizabeth heard the Salutation of Mary, the Babe leaped in her Womb, and she was filled with the Holy Spirit; and Elizabeth spoke with a loud Voice. Blessed art thou amongst Women, blessed is the fruit of thy Womb. . . . And this was Elizabeth’s Sermon concerning Christ, which at this day stands upon Record.” – Margaret Fell (1614–1702)

“The humanity of Jesus was not fictitious; he was bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. He lived on our street. The temptations that came to Him were not with hoofs and horns, labeled for instant recognition. His temptations came as ours come, under the cover of the sensible: the seemingly reasonable act of a hungry man, the opportunity for valuable publicity, the shortcut to a success big with the possibilities of splendid human service. What suggestion could be more reasonable than these? .... This brother-man of ours met the temptation to make bread of stones promptly and decisively, met it out of the sacred Scriptures. ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,” He quoted, “but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.’” – Ellison R. Purdy (1864–1933)

“For it is common for the people of the world to make use of the law in the defence of their outward substance, and the gun and sword in the defence of their law and country, because they lack faith, and are unbelievers in the revealed will of Christ, and they make to themselves a law, and do protect it by their own strength; they put their trust in man, in whom there is no help. And what will it profit them if they gain the whole world and lose their own souls.” – James Bellangee (1788–1853)

“He ... set us an example of faith, patience, and perseverance, through all. And that he might both feel and manifest this resignation in the most conspicuous manner possible, he was so far stripped as to feel as if he was forsaken; yet even in this extremity, though as man he was ready to wish the cup to pass from him, yet he centered in—‘Not my will, but thine be done.’ (Luke xxii. 42.) I saw that there was no way for me to get rightly along, but through the like submission.” – Job Scott (1751–1793)


Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $38,286 in gifts and pledges.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com

Seeds of Hope
Copyright © 2018 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


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