From Matthew 23:11-12 – The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
One Holy Week observance at my church is a service of foot washing. It reminds us that we should become servants to each other. I know I have work to do on myself, for as long as I have been going to this church, I have never moved myself to get to this particular service.
Patient God, we come to you not as finished products but as works in progress. Thank you for the gentle, loving nudges toward your will you offer us from time to time. AMEN.
Published October 30, 2008
Links & Things
Tags: chaplains, hospice
This article from the New York Times provides a glimpse at the difficult but rewarding role of hospice chaplains.
Driving home today, I saw a church sign that stated the following:
CASUAL DRESS: NOVEMBER & DECEMBER
At first I found this sign rather odd, but as I thought about it, I wondered if it was response to the economy – A church saying “Save your money on clothes. Come worship as you are.”
Whether that was the intent of the sign or not, I am curious as to how congregations are dealing with the struggling economy and its impact on struggling members and friends.
How is your congregation dealing with the current economic climate? How is it affecting stewardship or the stewardship campaigns that make up this season in many congregations?
From Matthew 23:1-3 – Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.
Model Christ. Lead by example. Walk the walk. Or as a friend of mine said recently, “Walk the talk.” These are simple lines that flow from my fingers onto the computer screen. The bar is set high, but we follow a God of abundant grace whose love for us is steadfast.
Gracious God, we want to follow you more nearly but we so often fall short. Thank you for your continued confidence in us. AMEN.
From 1 Thessalonians 2:13 – We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s word, which is also at work in you believers.
There was a church here in Memphis that had an advertisement years ago…I can’t remember the name of the church or pastor, but I know he has passed away. One of his sermon lines in the ad was “God is working his purpose out!” This scripture reminded me of this line and of the fact that God is at work in each of us.
Steadfast God, attune our ears and open our hearts so that we might clearly hear your directions for us. AMEN.
Some dear family friends volunteer for this unique hospice in Penn Yan, New York. Penn Yan is a community of 5,000 in Upstate New York. I was fascinated by this hospice home led by a minimum of paid staff and reliant on a number of volunteers to care for the residents each week. This is a service that many communities and even some larger congregations could offer, depending on State laws.
If your congregation is engaged in a similar program, please mention it here so others can learn.
From Psalm 107:8, 35-37 – Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. And there he lets the hungry live, and they establish a town to live in; they sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield.
We often speak of the neighborhood in which the Church Health Center is located as being something less than ideal. YET, with God’s leadership and lots of hard work on the part of many faithful people, an oasis of hope and healing has been created for God’s children.
Gracious God, you have blessed us mightily. May we continue to do your will in all we do. AMEN.