Friday, December 6, 2013
Isaiah 2:5 – O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!
This week we have thought about weapons turning into farm implements, nations living in a radical vision of peace and being prepared to live as active peacemakers. We have been challenged to think about life as opposed to death. Take a moment to reflect on your job here at Church Health Center. I hope you can see how you are a peacemaker and kingdom builder through your work here.
Prayer: Gracious, loving, life-giving God, for the many blessings you bestow on us, thank you. Entrust us to your service as we seek to walk in your light at all times. Amen.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Matthew 24:36, 44 – “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father…Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”
I call this passage a Boy Scout passage as in their motto “Be Prepared.” Christians differ greatly on their vision of Christ’s second coming, but we are asked to think about that time during the Advent season. The Apostle Paul thought he would see Christ again before his own death, and things haven’t cleared up much in the 2,000 years that have followed. We are asked to be at the ready. More to the point, I think we are asked to always act as God’s kingdom builders.
Prayer: Merciful God, bless us to your service. May our actions build up your kingdom. When they do otherwise, forgive us and nudge us back toward your will. Amen.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Isaiah 2:4b – “…nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
During my church’s worship service each Sunday, the congregation stands and states an Affirmation of Community where we pledge certain actions toward our neighbors near and far. My favorite line is, “We will not be skeptical that peace can come.”
Prayer: Loving God, help us see the world as you would have it, and make us instruments of your peace. Amen.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Isaiah 2:4a – He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks…
Isaiah shares a radical vision of God’s peace. In this passage, tools of war are turned into farm implements and tools of destruction are turned into tools of creation…tools used to create food, sustenance. Advent is a time to dream big dreams and to envision that time when God’s peaceful kingdom is a reality.
Prayer: Creator, Sustainer God, give us this day our daily bread. Open our eyes to the hunger in our neighbor’s eyes, and give us the strength and wisdom to help. Amen.
Monday, December 2, 2013
We are now preparing to enter the liturgical season of Advent. The lectionary selections for the first Sunday of Advent include: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14 and Matthew 24:36-44.
Isaiah 2:1-2 – The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.
Advent is a time of great anticipation…of birth, rebirth and renewal. It is a time when the scriptures we read will speak of the coming Kingdom of God. We will be challenged to imagine that time to come when peace reigns throughout the land.
Prayer: Gracious God, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Amen.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Psalm 100 – Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness for all generations.
A favorite and familiar hymn based on this Psalm known as Old 100th:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him all creatures here below;
Praise him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. AMEN.
Thomas Ken, 1674
Prayer: Gracious God, as we near Thanksgiving Day, may our thoughts turn to you in thanks for all your wonderful works. Amen.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Philippians 4:5 – Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
What a wonderful verse for us to consider this morning. There are so many symbols of status like wealth, material possessions and academic degrees, but it is our gentleness, the way we treat one another, that God wants us to show.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us be gentle to all the people we meet today. Amen.