Third Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Matthew 4:21-22

Friday, January 20, 2017 

Matthew 4:21-22As Jesus went from there, he saw two brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.  Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Jesus called them.  People of faith talk a lot about being called – missing your calling and fulfilling your calling.  What I think we often miss is that to hear your call, you have to be listening.  For me, calling is about developing an attitude of listening…listening for that still small voice of God.

Prayer: Loving God, help us to be better listeners in all aspects of our lives.  Help us hear each other, but also help us hear you so that we can know your will for us.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Epiphany 2016 – 1 Corinthians 1:10

Thursday, January 19, 2017 

1 Corinthians 1:10I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.

Church Health is a mission-driven organization.  We talk about our mission frequently because we want “to be united in the same mind and the same purpose” even amidst the great diversity of our staff.  But this is a call to all people of faith, and not just those of us who are members of a particular organization.

God who loves all of us, be with us each day as we seek to reclaim the mission of your Church to care for people in both body and spirit.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Epiphany 2016 – Psalm 27:1

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Psalm 27:1The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Most of us prefer to drive rather than be the passengers.  Yet as people of faith, we are asked to trust in God, and in a sense, let God do the steering of our lives.   “Let go and let God,” exclaimed the woman at a coffee shop to me.  “Easier said than done,” I replied.

Protector God, we want to trust you more than our actions often suggest. Strengthen us; abide in us so that we might realize the fullness of our lives in you.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Isaiah 9:2, 4

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

We are approaching the third Sunday after the Epiphany, and the lectionary passages for this week include: Isaiah 9:1-4; Psalm 27:1, 4-9; 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 and Matthew 4:12-23.

Isaiah 9:2, 4The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness on them light has shined…For the yoke of their burden, and the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian. 

“For a child has been born to us, a son given to us…” (Isaiah 9:6a)  I attended a dinner recently where I was reminded that Christians should strive to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  Today, consider the ways you bring light to and relieve the burdens of others.

Loving God, bless our efforts to help those among us who are oppressed.  Amen.

A Devotion for the King Holiday – 1 John 4:7

Friday, January 13, 2017 

1 John 4:7 – Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of the day when we would live in a beloved community.  We will choose to spend our Monday holiday in various ways, but let’s decide collectively to spending at least a few moments reflecting on a world dictated by love for one another.

Loving God, help us as we genuinely strive to create a beloved community in Memphis.  May our efforts locally play a role in creating a world that is also living as a beloved community.  Amen.

A Thought from Proverbs 2016 – Proverbs 3:27-28

January 12, 2017

Proverbs 3:27-28Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.  Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come again, tomorrow I will give it” – when you have it with you.

Welcome the inconvenience of someone in need.  Faith is lived out in community, and we are asked to care for one another as best as we can.

Prayer: Understanding God, help us to be better caretakers of each other.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Epiphany 2016 – 1 Corinthians 1:9

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful…

When I read this brief passage it occurred to me that we often speak of having faith in God, but I rarely think of God as having faith in me.  We are children of God, made in God’s image, and God has faith in each of us.  What a blessing!

Faithful God, you love us, you know us by our first name, and you hear us.  Help make our faith in you stronger.  Amen.

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