Wednesday, November 26, 2014
1 Corinthians 1:9 – God is faithful; by him you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
For most of you who read this devotion each day, tomorrow is Thanksgiving. As you prepare your list of “those things for which I am thankful” remember those first three words: “God is faithful.”
Steadfast God, thank you for believing in each of us. May we have a portion of the faith in ourselves that you have in us. Amen.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Mark 13:28-29 – From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates.
During Advent, Christians anticipate the eventual return Christ, and the verses prior to these give some ominous signs for which we should be aware. Whether Christ will return after signs like those noted in Mark, we are reminded today to remain vigilant and anticipate the return of Christ.
Loving God, help us to sense all the ways you communicate with us, especially the subtle ones. Amen.
Monday, November 24, 2014
The second year of the lectionary cycle begins this Sunday as Advent begins. Our selections for this week include: Isaiah 64:1-9; Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 1 Corinthians 1:3-9 and Mark 13:24-37.
Isaiah 64:8 – Yet, O LORD, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.
I like the potter/clay imagery because it speaks of an ongoing creative process that is God’s work in our lives. Unlike the lifeless clay on a potter’s wheel, however, we have to be willing to allow God to work in our lives for our potential to be realized.
Creator God, open our minds and hearts to your presence in our lives so that we can sense your will for us in all we do. Amen.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
Matthew 25:36 – I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.
As I am typing this, a newscast is telling of another health care worker who has died of the Ebola virus after contracting it while caring for someone suffering from this dreaded disease. Jesus’ words are particularly challenging today.
Gracious God, give us the strength to be faithful even in difficult times. Amen.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
Matthew 25:35a – …for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…
I heard an article on Monday that here in the US, we throw away more food than paper and plastic combined (To End Food Waste, Change Must Begin At Home, NPR). In the face of this information, we are reminded that food insecurity, the lack of sufficient, affordable, nutritious food, is an increasingly serious problem in our communities.
God of our abundance, give us creative hearts so that we can develop ways to feed our hungry brothers and sisters. Amen.
Friday, November 14, 2014
1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 – For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.
As people of faith, we are bound together forever as children of God. This fact should instruct our interactions. We are to inspire one another, and we are to help one another succeed.
Gracious God, help us to be constructive presences for one another today and every day. Amen.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
1 Thessalonians 5:4-5, 8 - But you, beloved, are not in darkness, for that day to surprise you like a thief; for you are all children of light and children of the day; we are not of the night or of darkness…But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
On a special vacation to Toronto, Canada, I stayed with my family in the Royal York Hotel, a huge hotel with full suits of armor decorating the lobby. Paul reminds us that our faith can both protect us and allow us to act boldly.
Loving God, help our faith to deepen so that we can follow your will even when doing so seems risky. Amen.