Archive for May, 2009

Trinity Sunday

Pentecost – Acts 2:17

In Peter’s speech, he describes the scene of that day of Pentecost by quoting from the prophet Joel: From Acts 2:17 – In those last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.

In the benediction used at my church each Sunday, the pastor includes the line “…and the Holy Spirit, our strength, be with each of us…” This scripture selection from Acts reminds us that through God all things are possible.

Prayer:

Almighty God, you pour your Spirit out for us. May we use the strength and vision it gives us to build your Kingdom. AMEN.

Pentecost – Acts 2:1-4

From Acts 2:1-4 – When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

“May the force be with you,” is the familiar phrase said in every Star Wars movie. For me, the “force” is the Holy Spirit, and like the “force” in the movie, if I can become intimately connected to the Holy Spirit that is active inside and around me, I can do amazing things.

Prayer:

Gracious God, help us be more Holy Spirit-aware people. AMEN.

Pentecost – Romans 8:22-23

From Romans 8:22-23 – We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.

In verses 14 – 16 of this same chapter, Paul speaks of our adoption. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God…

Prayer:

Loving God, until that time when we are in your presence, help us be the sons and daughters you would have us be here on earth. AMEN.

Care for Caregivers

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A visitor to my blog asked me about caring for caregivers. This article posted by my friends at HopeandHealing.org is titled “Care for Your Caregiver.” I think it is the kind of article nurses and other medical professionals could give to their patients in long-term care as a way to advocate for the family member or friend who is their primary caregiver.

If you have a special article or advice to offer caregivers or those in their care, I hope you will comment here and link to the article so others may learn. Peace, Butch

Pentecost – Psalm 104:24, 30

From Psalm 104:24, 30 – O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures…When you send forth your spirit, they are created; and you renew the face of the ground. May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works.

We are reminded of the intimate relationship in which we live with God. The Holy Spirit surrounds us and inhabits us. Our challenge, I think, is to somehow keep this connection in mind throughout each day.

Prayer:

Life-giving God, help us be aware of your constant presence so that we might draw on your strength in all we do. AMEN.

Pentecost – Ezekiel 37:9-10

We are approaching the Day of Pentecost, the “birthday” of the Christian church. Lectionary selections for this coming Sunday include: Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Romans 8:22-27 and John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15. An alternative scripture offered is Ezekiel 37:1-14.

From 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.

Memphis lies in what is known as Tornado Alley. While tornadoes do form in and around our city, sometimes with violent force, what happens more frequently is wind, strong wind. The next time I am in one of these windy situations, rather than resent it, I will stretch out my arms and imagine the Holy Spirit rushing all around me.

Prayer:

Almighty God, keep us mindful of your life-giving Spirit in and around us. AMEN.

The Day of Pentecost

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Ascension – Luke 24:44-47

From Luke 24:44-47 – Then [Jesus} said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”

I was drawn to the phrase, “Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures…” I believe God is still speaking to us, and my prayer today is that each of us will hear God’s voice in our lives.

Prayer:

Loving God, help us be better listeners so that we might know your will for us and for this world. AMEN.

Ascension – Acts 1:6-9

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Today is the 40th day since Easter and is recognized as the day Jesus ascended into heaven. The lectionary offers several selections for this day of the Ascension of the Lord. The scriptures include: Acts 1:1-11; Psalm 47 or Psalm 93; Ephesians 1:15-23 and Luke 24:44-53.

From Acts 1:6-9 – So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.

As a Christian, I am always awed by this moment. Jesus entrusted his earthly ministry to eleven people who likely wouldn’t pass a job interview if we were hiring for this job. But look around you today, and see the wonder of God’s power in all the people of faith you come across.

Prayer:

Almighty God, we are believers today thanks to the generations of believers who came before us. We thank you this day for all of them. AMEN.

Easter 7 – John 17:10-11

Jesus is praying for his disciples just before he leaves for the Garden of Gethsemane in John 17:10-11 – “All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. 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.”

In the moments before his betrayal, this prayer shows us that Jesus’ thoughts were turned toward those who had followed him and who would carry on his ministry. In subsequent verses of this prayer, Jesus prays even for us, today, asking that we may be “…brought to complete unity…” A beautiful prayer with a beautiful thought for this day.

Prayer:

Eternal God, help us to know you more fully so that we might be of the same mind. AMEN.

Easter 7 – Psalm 1:1-3

From Psalm 1:1-3 – Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of the scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all they do, they prosper.

Sickness is one way people can experience drought in their lives. Those of us in the faith and health movement should see our role as both helping people develop deeper roots so they can withstand the droughts in life better and helping them realize that there is a community of faith surrounding them so they are not alone.

Prayer:

Gracious God, help us be better representatives of your love here in on earth. AMEN.


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