Archive for July, 2009



Proper 12/Ordinary 17 – John 6:16-20

From John 6:16-20 – When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.”

I take comfort in knowing that the disciples weren’t always pictures of unfailing faith. Like us, their ability to trust, to have faith, wasn’t always complete. Just as Jesus said to his disciples, he stands by us saying, “Do not be afraid.” May our faith grow to trust those words at all times.

Prayer:

Steadfast God, your faith in us is greater than our faith in you. Work within us so that our faith might deepen. AMEN.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17 – John 6:9-11

From John 6:9-11 – [The disciple Andrew said,] “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.

This is only account of the feeding of the 5,000 that identifies “a boy” as the one who had brought the food that was then distributed to all. It seems that a child would be an unlikely central character in one of Jesus’ most remembered miracles, but as with David, we are once again reminded that God can work through anyone, even us.

Prayer:

God of mystery, help us sense your presence in us so that we might stretch beyond our own limitations to reach heights only possible through you. AMEN.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17 – Psalm 145:14-17

From Psalm 145:14-17 – The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand, satisfying the desire of every living thing. The LORD is just in all his ways, and kind in all his doings.

I love the visual image of this passage. I love the picture of God catching me before I fall, but I especially like the picture of God holding my forearm with one hand and gently pressing his other into my back supporting me so I can stand a bit taller. As hands and feet of God, I hope that each of us has the opportunity today to prevent a fall or help someone stand a bit taller.

Prayer:

God of compassion, be with us in our walk with you today. Help us be instruments of your kindness in all we do. AMEN.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17 – 2 Samuel 11:9-11

From 2 Samuel 11:9-11 – But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your house?” Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do such a thing.”

Uriah returns from battle at the request of David, but he refuses to stay at his home or see his wife because of his loyalty to his colleagues who are still on the battlefield. Do you have a Uriah in your life? Someone whom you know or believe to be loyal to you at a deep level? If so, give thanks for that person today. If not, pray that God will send such a person into your life.

Prayer:

Gracious God, you give us loyal friends and family on whom we can rely for honest advice and understanding and unwavering friendship. Thank you. AMEN.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17 – 2 Samuel 11:2-5

The lectionary takes us from David and Bathsheba to the feeding of the 5,000 this week. Those scriptures include: 2 Samuel 11:1-15; Psalm 14; Ephesians 3:14-21 and John 6:1-21. Alternate selections include 2 Kings 4:42-44 and Psalm 145:10-18.

From 2 Samuel 11:2-5 – It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, “This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. Then she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

This story isn’t unlike ones we hear in the papers today. Despite this chapter in David’s life, God continued to work through him to do amazing things. We approach God as flawed human beings, and amazingly, God uses us anyway.

Prayer:

Steadfast God, we can fail miserably at times. Thank you for continuing to use us and have faith in us despite ourselves. AMEN.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17 – John 6:11a

Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated…

From www.publicdomainpictures.net

Proper 11/Ordinary 16 – Mark 6:30-31

From Mark 6:30-31 – The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, :”Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

While we are called to care for one another, this passage clearly reminds us that we are to also care for ourselves. We can’t serve others or serve God effectively if we are hungry or tired. Are you caring for yourself as much as you are caring for others?

Prayer:

Almighty God, thank you for reminding us that you want us to care for ourselves as well as our brothers and sisters. AMEN.


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