Archive for March, 2010

Easter Sunday 2010 – Acts 10:34-36

Acts 10:34-36Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ – he is Lord of all.

I love these three verses. I think each of us is called to be preachers of peace, but maybe not all as preachers who use words. As you go through this day, look for those opportunities for you to preach peace whether through words or actions.

Prayer: God of peace, help us envision a new world living in peace. Help us walk into that vision each day. AMEN.

Easter Sunday, 2010 – Psalm 118:1, 14, 24

Psalm 118:1, 14, 24O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!…The LORD is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation…This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

These wonderful verses are tucked inside Psalm 118. Each one is a short prayer of thanks, and together, I think they make a nice daily devotional to start each day. Embrace this day, this gift from God.

Prayer: Steadfast and loving God, thank you for this wonderful day. Give us strength to meet any challenges which might come before us. AMEN

Easter Sunday 2010 – Isaiah 65:20

Welcome to Holy Week. Our lectionary selections for Easter Sunday include: Acts 10:34-43; Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:19-26 and John 20:1-18. Alternate readings include: Isaiah 65:17-25 and Luke 24:1-12.

Isaiah 65:20 No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.

Isaiah offers much beautiful imagery of how it will be when God ushers in “new heavens and a new earth.” As we consider the resurrection of Jesus, let us also consider our own rebirth, our resurrection that can be experienced today.

Prayer: Creator God, help us better embrace you so that we might help usher in your Kingdom. AMEN

Palm Sunday & Holy Week, 2010 – Luke 23:33-34

Clarity for the Journey
Luke 23:33-34
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots to divide his clothing.

Our journey ends today at the foot of the cross even though we know the story is just beginning. We have been seeking clarity of God’s intention for us, so it is appropriate to end our journey with Christ’s words of piercing clarity on the cross. To the men who whipped him, to the men who nailed him to the cross, to the multitudes who laid their coats down on Sunday just to turn their backs on Friday, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them.”

Prayer: Forgiving God, my shortcomings are many, but you remain steadfast in your love for me. Using Christ Jesus as my example, may you continue your tireless work in me so that I might become the servant you desire. AMEN.

Palm Sunday & Holy Week, 2010 – John 13:3-5

Clarity for the Journey
John 13:3-5
Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, got up from the table, took off his outer robe, and tied a towel around himself. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was tied around him.

To wash someone’s feet, both parties have to become vulnerable to one another. A servant to the end, Christ poured out his love for us. May we be willing to risk allowing his intimate touch in our lives.

Prayer: Understanding God, help me be more vulnerable to your presence in my life so that I might walk closer to you. AMEN.

Palm Sunday & Holy Week, 2010 – Philippians 2:5-8

Clarity for the Journey
Philippians 2:5-8
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

“Become as Christ!” A tall order for all of us. Yet, I hope your Lenten journey has led you to a new understanding of God’s will for your life. May you recognize God’s calling in your life, and like Christ, may you walk boldly into that vision.

Prayer: Loving God, may the teachings and actions of Christ Jesus more deeply inform and direct my life. AMEN.

Palm Sunday & Holy Week, 2010 – Psalm 31:14-16

Clarity for the Journey
Psalm 31:14-16
But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.

“God is my copilot,” is catchy, but it is not my favorite bumper sticker. It suggests that God is assisting us on a journey we are leading, where we know the final destination. I hope your journey this Lenten season has helped you switch seats with God, so you more clearly see God’s direction and destination, for you.

Prayer: Almighty God, lead where you will lead me. Help me more closely follow you. AMEN.

Palm Sunday & Holy Week, 2010 – Isaiah 50:7-8

Clarity for the Journey
Isaiah 50:7-8
The Lord GOD helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near. Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together. Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.

We have been on a journey, and like most journeys it is tempting to take side roads, to become distracted. While some roads lead to deeper understanding, others create setbacks. It is my prayer that your journey has helped you develop a fuller understanding of God’s work in and through your life so that you might be able to set your face like flint as you continue forward.

Prayer: Gracious God, help me walk confidently in the knowledge that you are always with me. AMEN.

Palm Sunday & Holy Week, 2010 – Luke 19:36-38

Clarity for the Journey
Luke 19:36-38
As [Jesus] rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road. As he was approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!”

Unlike the people laying their coats on the road, we know how this story begins anew on Easter. It always makes me pause when I consider the fleetingness of human opinion, especially on important matters. The adoration of the crowds today will turn into disdain of the highest magnitude in just a few days.

Prayer: Steadfast God, strengthen my faith so that I might be withstand the pull of the crowd away from you. AMEN.

Palm Sunday & Holy Week, 2010 – Prayer of the Week from Psalm 118

Clarity for the Journey – Holy Week 2010
Prayer for the Week – Psalm 118

O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! (v1)
The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. (v22)
This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. (v23)
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD. (26a)
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. (v24)

AMEN.

Fifth Sunday of Lent, 2010 – John 12:7-8

Moving Forward
John 12:7-8
Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

Mary’s generous act now serves to foreshadow Jesus’ death in just a few days. In his acknowledgement of this, Jesus claims the path that God has chosen and begins his walk into God’s plan.

Prayer: Loving God, where you lead, I will follow. AMEN.

Fifth Sunday of Lent, 2010 – John 12:3-5

Moving Forward
John 12:3-5
Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?”

Nard came from a plant that grew in what is now India. Its value, three hundred denarii, was equivalent to a year’s wages in Jesus’ time so Mary’s spontaneous act of love and adoration was an extravagance that many of us might have questioned.

Prayer: Gracious God of endless possibilities, help us follow you with the zeal of Mary. AMEN.


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