Proper 26 (31) 2016 – Habakkuk 2:1-2

Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Habakkuk 2:1-2I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint.  Then the LORD answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. 

While I am not a fan of billboards, the most effective ones often have fewer but larger words, making them easier to read as I speed by in my car.  How we live our lives, as imperfect as they may be, can be the billboards of our faith.

Prayer: Gracious and forgiving God, give us the strength to live the lives you want us to live.  Amen.

Proper 26 (31) 2016 – Habakkuk 1:2-3

Monday, October 24, 2016

This Sunday the lectionary offers the following passages from Scripture: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4; Psalm 119:137-144; 2 Thessalonians 12:1-4, 11-12; Luke 19:1-10.  Alternate selections include Isaiah 1:10-18 and Psalm 32:1-7.

Habakkuk 1:2-3O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen?  Or cry to you, “Violence!” and you will not save?  Why do you make me see wrong-doing and look at trouble?  Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.

Habakkuk is another prophet seemingly frustrated with God by what he sees happening to his brothers and sisters.  And yet, I can’t help but think how much better the world would be if more of us cried out to God to help us like Habakkuk is doing in the passage.

Prayer: Almighty God, strengthen us so that we can be of more help those less fortunate than we are.  Amen.

Proper 25 (30) 2016 – 2 Timothy 4:16-17a

Thursday, October 20, 2016 

2 Timothy 4:16-17aAt my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me.  May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.

‘In my time of need, no one stood by me but you, God.  Don’t think less of them, God.’  What a powerful statement of forgiveness Paul is making in this passage today!

Prayer: Gracious God, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Amen.

Proper 25 (30) 2016 – 2 Timothy 4:6-7

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

2 Timothy 4:6-7As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come.  I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

I find Paul’s race analogy very helpful.  First, Paul says he finished the race, but he didn’t say he won the race.  Participation, not victory, is key.  Second, I think of the stitch you can get in your side after strenuous exercise.  The race of faith in which we run can be difficult, even painful, at times.

Prayer: Steadfast God, in our race of faith, help us know your presence so that we may continue to draw on your strength when we are faltering.  Amen.

Proper 25 (30) 2016 – Joel 2:27-29

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Joel 2:27-29You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other.  And my people shall never again be put to shame.  Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.  Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

Anticipate the impossible!  Expect the unexpected!  We worship a limitless God who loves all of us.

Prayer: Almighty God, open our eyes and our minds to your love that knows no limits.  Amen.

Proper 25 (30) 2016 – Joel 2:23-24

Monday, October 17, 2016

The lectionary for this week includes: Joel 2:23-32; Psalm 65; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 and Luke 18:9-14.  Alternate selections include Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 and Psalm 84:1-7.

Joel 2:23-24O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the LORD your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before.  The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

Our farmer’s market will end its seasonal run in a few weeks.  Many urban neighborhoods are devoid of grocery stores.  A famer’s market can be part of the solution to such nutritional deserts in our communities.

Prayer: Creator God, help us creatively share your abundance with those less fortunate than we are.  Amen.

Proper 24 (29) 2016 – Luke 18:1-3

Friday, October 14, 2016 

Luke 18:1-3Then Jesus told them a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart.  He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people.  In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’”

Persistence can be annoying when it is aimed at you, and I imagine most of us have had a time when we gave in to the demands of someone just to make them go away.  But we are reminded this week to be students of our faith, to offer prayers and praise with inspired persistence, so that we might have confidence borne of that faith that is able to withstand any challenges that come our way.

Prayer: Almighty God, you have been described in song as “a bulwark never failing.”  Help us lift our eyes to the hills with confidence knowing that you are always with us.  Amen.

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