Archive for December, 2009

New Year’s Eve – John 1:5

John 1:5 – The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

Here we are at the end of 2009. For many people, this was a dark year economically. Yet, we can stand on the threshold of a new decade with hope and anticipation, confident that God has remained with us despite the woes of the dollar, the gas pump and the stock market.

Prayer: Steadfast God, bless us to thy service today and throughout 2010. AMEN.

Second Sunday after Christmas – Psalm 147:14

Psalm 147:14 – He grants peace within your borders; he fills you with the finest of wheat.

I appreciate that peace and sustenance are side-by-side in this verse. On a fundamental level, people want to be able to take care of themselves, their families and their loved ones. If this is seen as impossible, then violent acts might become a considered option. Programs that reach out to those less fortunate: health ministries, food pantries and clothes closets, help make the world a safe, more peaceful place for all God’s children.

Prayer: Loving God, help each of us as we seek to be peacemakers in our own ways. AMEN.

History of Christianity and Medicine

The editors of interviewed Amanda Porterfield, the Robert A. Spivey Professor of Religion at Florida State University in Tallahassee about the history of Christianity and medicine. Her interview is titled: Kissing the Sick: Healing in Early Church History.

Second Sunday after Christmas – Jeremiah 31:9

Jeremiah 31:9 – With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will let them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I have become a father to Israel, and Ephraim my firstborn.

I have been on many hikes, and this verse has reminded of the last 100 yards of many of those hikes where I am no longer walking uphill but on a flat grade, maybe even a bit downhill, where rocks and roots are no longer tripping me up. God eases the arduous journey we call life.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us be better followers of your lead. AMEN.

Picture for Second Sunday after Christmas – John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Second Sunday after Christmas – Jeremiah 31:8

We are approaching the second Sunday after Christmas, and the lectionary texts include: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147:12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14 and John 1:(1-9), 10-18. Some traditions include the texts: Sirach 24:1-12 and Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21.

Jeremiah 31:8 – See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here.

God would lead the remnant of Israel home, but God was including in the “great company” people who would slow the travel of the others down, the blind and lame, those with child and in labor. This passage reminds us of how we are to look out for one another.

Prayer: Gracious God, keep us mindful of those less fortunate than us so that we won’t leave anyone behind. AMEN.

Christmas Week 2009 – Colossians 3:16

Colossians 3:16 – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

I love the familiar hymns of Christmas. I tend to know them better, sing them louder and smile while singing them. My prayer for each of you is that through this season of miracles, you have experienced Christ dwelling in you richly.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us sense your presence so that the life-song we sing is authored by you. AMEN.

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December 2009
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