Proper 13 (18) 2016 – Luke 12:13

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Luke 12:13Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.”

My first thought on reading this verse was, “Jesus got some random questions thrown his way.”  But on second thought, Jesus had created safe space, sanctuary so to speak, where this person felt comfortable asking Jesus about an issue that obviously was obviously weighing heavily on him.  We need to make sure our congregations are seen as sanctuaries for the concerns of all who enter them.

Merciful God, help us to keep our minds and hearts open and welcoming to all our brothers and sisters.  Amen.

Proper 13 (18) 2016 – Luke 12:20-21

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Luke 12:20-21But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’  So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.

A friend once told me, “When you die, there will still be stuff in your inbox.”  It reminds us that as people of faith we have to constantly work to keep our priorities straight.  We have to cut through all the chatter of the day and listen for God’s voice in our lives.

Loving God, help our ears hear your voice and our hearts understand your will.  Amen.

Proper 13 (18) 2016 – Ecclesiastes 2:20-21

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ecclesiastes 2:20-21So I turned and gave my heart up to despair concerning all the toil of my labors under the sun, because sometimes one who has toiled with wisdom and knowledge and skill must leave all to be enjoyed by another who did not toil for it. This also is vanity and a great evil.

This passage made me think about the fidelity of one generation to those generations on either side.  While due honor should be given to those who came before us, I think our role as people of faith is to create a better world for those who come after us, and trust that they will do the same.

Almighty God, we live in an interdependent world.  Grant us the wisdom to build on the successes of the past while always looking toward an improved future for those to whom we will entrust this wonderful creation.  Amen.

Proper 13 (18) 2016 – Hosea 11:1-2

Monday, July 25, 2016

The lectionary selections for this week challenge our notion of self-reliance, and they remind us of our role and responsibility as children of God.  The passages include: Hosea 11:1-11 and Psalm 107:1-9, 43, Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23 and Psalm 49:1-12, Colossians 3:1-11 and Luke 12:13-21.

Hosea 11:1-2When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.  The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols.

I rant about the “God is My Co-pilot” bumper sticker from time to time.  While I understand what is meant by the phrase, I take issue with it because it places God in a role that is subservient to us.

Everlasting God, help us to keep you in the forefront of our minds so that your will is fulfilled.  Amen.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17 2016 – Genesis 18:23-24

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Genesis 18:23-24Then Abraham came near and said, “Will you indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?  Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city; will you then sweep away the place and not forgive it for the fifty righteous who are in it?”

What ensues after these verses is a back and forth between Abraham and God about the fate of the righteous living in Sodom and Gomorrah.  For me, it reminds us that God expects us to be strong and persistent voices for the weak and innocent among us.

Merciful God, help us to identify those around us who are in need.  Grant us wisdom to know how to effectively help them.  Amen.

Proper 12 (17) 2016 – Psalm 85:5-7

Monday, July 18, 2016

God is portrayed as angry, just and forgiving in the lectionary readings this week.  We are also encouraged to be persistent in our prayers to God.  The passages include: Hosea 1:2-10 and Psalm 85, Genesis 18:20-32 and Psalm 138, Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19), and Luke 11:1-13.

Psalm 85:5-7Will you be angry with us forever? Will you prolong your anger to all generations?  Will you not revive us again, so that your people may rejoice in you?  Show us your steadfast love, O LORD, and grant us your salvation.

I will admit that the vision of the angry, vengeful God sometimes seen in the Old Testament writings is a difficult one for me.  I do wonder if God sees how we treat one another at times and sheds a tear.

Steadfast, loving God, help us to live in faith-informed partnership with one another.  Amen.

Proper 11 (16) 2016 – Luke 10:40

Friday, July 15, 2016

Luke 10:40But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that Mary has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.”

If you have ever heard a sermon about Mary and Martha, you have probably been told that we need both Mary’s and Martha’s, dreamers and doers, around us.  But Jesus goes on to remind Martha that “there is need of only one thing.”

Understanding God, in this world of mixed messages, of multi-tasking jobs, of tough economic times, and much more, help us to remain focused on your will for us.  Amen.


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