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Prayer of the Day
O God our strength, without you we are weak and wayward creatures. Protect us from all dangers that attack us from the outside, and cleanse us from all evil that arises from within ourselves, that we may be preserved through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.  Amen
The ending of this particular Old Testament reading has a warning for all of us.  We need to be careful and continue to remember what we’ve been given, or we will forget and go and do our own thing, thinking that we did it all.  There’s a poster I remember in school that had Hitler on it and under his image there was the saying:  “those that forget history (or don’t learn history) are forever condemned to repeat it.”  We can see it already happening in our society today.  It’s all because we want to do our own thing.
Psalm 15 (KJ21)

Psalm 15 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

15 Lord, who shall abide in Thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in Thy holy hill?

He that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart;

he that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor spreadeth a reproach against his neighbor;

in whose eyes a vile person is contemned, but he honoreth them that fear the Lord; he that taketh an oath to his own hurt, and changeth not;

he that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh a bribe against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

In James’ letter he states over and over that the hardest thing to control is one of the smallest muscles in the body.  Our minds and thoughts can be mean and nasty, and it’s the tongue that gives voice to those thoughts.  Yet at the same time that same tongue can give words of kindness and generosity to the hurting and the grieving.   The key is to control it.
We pay homage with our lips and not our hearts and minds.  That is so true in today’s society.  It’s all about keeping up with the Jones’, and how we look in church, if we attend services from week to week.  This is one of the reasons why I’m glad that most denominations today have a more relaxed atmosphere.  In the congregation I worship in we don’t care what you look like, just as long as you come to worship.  So in the summer, you will find people in shorts and flip-flops.  Yet at the same time we don’t look at those who choose to “dress up” as if they’ve grown a second head.  It’s your choice on what you wear.  Just come to worship.