Proper 22/Ordinary 27, 2014 – Exodus 20:20

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Exodus 20:20Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin.”

The Israelites had palpable experiences with God, and yet they became frustrated, angry and impatient with God.  One of the most hopeful themes of the Bible for me is how God remains faithful to us despite our efforts to push God away.

Patient God, thank you for bearing with us even when we are struggling to be grateful for all you do for us.  Amen.

Proper 22/Ordinary 27, 2014 – Exodus 20:17

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Exodus 20:17You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

The Israelites lived in a tight, interdependent community.  Work environments can be similar in makeup.  This commandment reminds us that for such communities to function effectively, there must also be an enduring respect for one another.

Gracious God, help us to better honor one another in all we do.  Amen.

Proper 22/Ordinary 27, 2014 – Exodus 20:12

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Exodus 20:12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

I have known many people like me who share wonderful relationships with their parents.  Others I know have had difficult family stories.  So whether your parents are biological or you have been fortunate enough to have honorary but non-biological parents, our passage today instructs us to maintain a connection to those good people in our past.

Parent God, help us to honor those who came before us whose goodness continues to influence us today.  Amen.

Proper 22/Ordinary 27, 2014 – Exodus 20:4

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vineyards and those who tend them play a prominent role in the passages this week, but our selections begin with the Ten Commandments.  Our scriptures include: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 and Psalm 19; Isaiah 5:1-7 and Psalm 80:7-15; Philippians 3:4b-14; and Matthew 21:33-46.

Exodus 20:4You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

What are the idols that you place between you and your full relationship with God?  Do you feel good about your work/life balance?  Does a loved one have to repeat themselves to you because you are more concerned with updating your status on any number of social media sites?

Understanding God, help us to live our lives more focused on service to you and to our brothers and sisters around us.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26, 2014 – Philippians 2:5-7

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Philippians 2:5-7Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

As I thought about this passage, I remembered that whenever Jesus instructed his disciples, he told them to preach, teach and heal.  Serve others by giving them the good news and by making them well.

Gentle God, help us to have the right attitude about ourselves so we are able to serve others more completely.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26, 2014 – Philippians 2:3-4

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Philippians 2:3-4Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Be humble at all times, and consider the needs of others ahead of your needs.  Imagine for a moment a world where all of us act as these verses instruct.

Loving God, let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me having the right attitude about myself and others.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26, 2014 – Philippians 2:1-2

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Philippians 2:1-2If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Paul speaks in earlier verses of the privilege or serving Christ, and he wanted the Philippians to live as one body, as one mind serving Christ.  Let our prayer today be for lives lived in community with this same unity of purpose as Paul desired.

Gracious God, help us to live together bound by a common love for you.  Amen.

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