Archive for July, 2009

Proper 13/Ordinary 18 – Ephesians 4:1-3

From Ephesians 4:1-3 – I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

These are wonderful words by which to live. Imagine for a moment the world we would live in today if all of us lived into these words. This is my prayer for us today.

Prayer:

Gentle and patient God, you ask us to simply love one another, yet we can place so many barricades in our way. Help us trust you more fully so that we might be better neighbors. AMEN.

Proper 13/Ordinary 18 – John 6:32-33

From John 6:32-33 – Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it was my Father who gives you the true bread of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

With God inside and around us, I believe we become some of that heavenly bread that God offers his children. My prayer is that we will provide spiritual sustenance, some of heaven’s bread, to each person who comes before us today.

Prayer:

Sustainer God, help us be ambassadors of your love to those who come before us. AMEN

Right Care at the Right Time

This thoughtful article by Geoff Calkins of the Commercial Appeal in Memphis highlights a challenge faced by uninsured Americans – getting care before it is too late. This has complicated societal and financial implications. I think this article also provides an interesting beginning point for a discussion on how our faith traditions inform our opinions on health reform.

One couple’s story…

Proper 13/Ordinary 18 – Ephesians 4:4-6

From Ephesians 4:4-6 – There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.

One God: above all, through all and in all. One visual image I have of God is fog hanging over a lowland wet area. Such areas team with life of all kinds. The fog surrounds and seems to permeate everything, just as God surrounds and permeates us.

Prayer:

Ever-present God, help us feel your presence as it surrounds and permeates us each and every day. AMEN.

Proper 13/Ordinary 18 – 2 Samuel 12:13a

From 2 Samuel 12:13a – David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

Verse 13 ends with the following: Nathan said to David, “Now the LORD has put away your sin; you shall not die. David suffers consequences from his choices, but he has been forgiven by God. I can only imagine the depth of sorrow David must have felt at disappointing God, but the story of David can give all of us courage to face those darker moments in our lives and trust in our forgiving God.

Prayer:

From Psalm 51:11-12 – Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your holy spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and sustain me in a willing spirit. AMEN.

Proper 13/Ordinary 18 – 2 Samuel 11:26-27

As we approach the ninth Sunday after Pentecost, the lectionary offers the following scriptures: 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a; Psalm 51:1-12; Ephesians 4:1-16 and John 6:24-35. Alternate passages include Exodus 16:2-4, 9-15 and Psalm 78:23-29.

From 2 Samuel 11:26-27 – When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

When you read earlier about the joy in David in bringing the ark to Jerusalem and David’s interest in building God his own house, the story of David, Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, can slap you in the face. Yet, we are imperfect beings who are loved by God despite ourselves.

Prayer:

From Psalm 51:9-10 – Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me. AMEN.

Proper 13/Ordinary 18 – John 6:33

For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.


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