Friday, May 22, 2015
Acts 2:5-8 – Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?
As I read this favorite selection from the Pentecost story in Acts, I can’t help but think how we are all Memphians or Tennesseans or (fill in the blank). That said, truly understanding one another takes special listening skills.
Gracious and forgiving God, equip us to hear our brothers and sisters in ways that help us to recognize the needs of one another. Amen.
Thursday, May 21, 2015
104:24, 35b – O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures…Bless the LORD, O my soul. Praise the LORD!
I love this time of year. Blooms pop up overnight, and as they wither, there are new blooms to admire on different plants. Some birds are starting to think about nests, and soon there will be chirps of little birds and squawks of protective parents. Thanks be to God!
Awesome God, help us to appreciate the nuances and intricate handiwork of your creation. Amen.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Ezekiel 37:9-10 – Then the LORD said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood on their feet, a vast multitude.
Today, our passage reminds us that every breath comes from God. As you are able, take a deep breath as though you are filling your chest with the Holy Spirit. As you exhale, thank God for this extraordinary gift.
Creator God, thank you for brisk winds that mess up our hair and clean, crisp air that gives us life. Amen.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Ezekiel 37:3-4 – The LORD said to me, “Mortal, can these bones live?” I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.
As I read this very familiar pair of verses, I couldn’t help but think of the charge God leaves with us: ‘Be prepared to minister wherever I lead you.’
Omnipresent God, help us to deliver your message through word and deed wherever we are. Amen.
Monday, May 18, 2015
Pentecost is here! The birthday of the Christian church will be celebrated in many churches this Sunday. For our preparation for Pentecost we are offered the following passages from the lectionary: Acts 2:1-21 or Ezekiel 37:1-14, Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Romans 8:22-27 or Acts 2:1-21 and John 15:26-27; 16:4b-15.
Ezekiel 37:1-2 – The hand of the LORD came upon me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me all around them; there were very many lying in the valley, and they were very dry.
“Dem Dry Bones” was one of the first songs I remember learning as a child. Yet while I smile thinking of that fun song, today’s passage can also remind us that God remains with us even when we might feel most alone.
Almighty God, thank you for your never-ending presence even when we are feeling alone during desolate times in our lives. Amen.
Friday, May 15, 2015
John 17:11 – “And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.”
Many people I know routinely pray for travel mercies prior to any trip, asking God to watch over them and guide them safely their destination. In this passage, Jesus asks for travel mercies, too, for the disciples he is leaving behind.
Loving God, be with us throughout today and all of our tomorrows. Grant each of us safe passage as we seek to be living witnesses of your love in this complicated world. Amen.