Archive for September, 2009

Proper 21/Ordinary 26 – James 5:13

From James 5:13 – Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.

As a young person, I sang a church song that had the line, ‘Take it to the Lord in prayer.’ I thought of that song today with this verse. Whether we are suffering or joyful, we should invite God to be at the center of our life, through prayer and praise.


Loving God, “Help,” is a word you often hear from us. Know that we also honor you and worship your steadfast presence in our lives. AMEN.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26 – Numbers 11:25a

We are well into the season of Pentecost and the following scriptures are offered by the lectionary this week: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10 and 9:20-22; Psalm 124; James 5:13-20 and Mark 9:38-50. Alternate scriptures include Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 and Psalm 19:7-14.

From Numbers 11:25a – Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to [Moses], and took some of the spirit that was in him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested on them, they prophesied.

This verse provides a wonderful image of God taking a bit of Moses’ spirit and passing it onto others so that they might be stronger. As you interact with people today, consider this passage, and try to leave a bit of your spirit behind with them so that they might be stronger.


Almighty God, help us be better instruments of your will as we work among your children today. AMEN.

Picture for Proper 21/Ordinary 26 – Mark 9:41

For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25 – Mark 9:36-37

From Mark 9:36-37 – Then [Jesus] took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

After a week of scriptures reminding us to stay focused on God’s will, this is a wonderful passage with which to conclude.


Loving God, keep us mindful that as we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, we also do to you. AMEN.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25 – James 3:13, 17

From James 3:13, 17 – Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom…But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

Some friends say I have a tendency to ramble when I speak. In fact, one friend has interrupted me more than once with the line, “Focus!” The lectionary selections for this week are a big shout for us to beware of the numerous distractions in the world and to “Focus!” on those things which build God’s Kingdom.


Steadfast God, continue to gently nudge us back toward your will for us whenever we wander. AMEN.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25 – James 3:14, 16

From James 3:14, 16 – But if you have envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth…For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.

The visual this passage gave me was of two people in a rowboat, each rowing with no regard to the other. The rowboat simply spins in a circle, never moving forward. I see this passage as saying that envy and selfishness can create in our lives disorder that, like the rowboat, causes us to circle aimlessly.


Loving God, help us lead lives focused outwardly toward one another and upwardly toward you. AMEN.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25 – Psalm 1:1-2

From Psalm 1:1-2 – 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 this they meditate day and night.

You may have heard the phrase, “Keep the main thing, the main thing.” Like the advice of the mother in Proverbs 31, we are reminded by this passage to keep focused on our faith, and resist being distracted by those things in the world which don’t build up God’s Kingdom.


Understanding God, too often we march to the beat of our own drum. Thanks for loving us anyway. AMEN.

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September 2009
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