Archive for May, 2010

Proper 5/Ordinary 10, 2010 – 1 Kings 17:11-12

We now enter that long stretch of the Season after Pentecost. For this Sunday, the lectionary includes 1 Kings 17:8-16, (17-24); Psalm 146, Galatians 1:11-24 and Luke 7:11-17. An alternate passage is Psalm 30.

1 Kings 17:11-12 As [the widow] was going to bring [the drink of water], [Elijah] called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” But she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat and die.”

We run into a number of people throughout the course of a day. Some, like the widow Elijah meets, may have lost all hope. My prayer today is that we will be able to discern those among us who are like the widow, so we can be most helpful to them.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us be instillers of hope in all those who come before us this day. AMEN.

Christian Community Health Fellowship Annual Conference

I just returned from my third CCHF conference. The CCHF encourages Christians to “live out the Gospel through healthcare among the poor.” Student health professionals who are interested in a more intentional Christian ministry in their practices should seek the advocacy and assistance of this wonderful organization.

Trinity Sunday, 2010 – John 16:12-13

John 16:12-13“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”

I enjoy guided tours. Guides provide the nuance, the subtlety, the stories behind the stories, the secrets you otherwise would not know. With the Holy Spirit as your life-guide, enjoy digging deeply into the mystery that is life.

Prayer: Gracious God, keep us attuned to your Holy Spirit this and every day. AMEN.

Trinity Sunday, 2010 – Psalm 8:3-6, 8

Psalm 8:3-6, 8When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? You have given them dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under their feet…the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

The passage reminds us that we are the caretakers of God’s creation, and we are reading it while the news is filled with stories of the tragedy that is the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Prayer: Creator God, we ask a special blessing this day for the birds of air, the creatures of the sea and all our brothers and sisters affected by this devastating spill. AMEN.

Trinity Sunday, 2010 – Romans 5:3-5

Romans 5:3-5And not only that, be we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

Whenever I pray over a prayer shawl, I ask that the person receiving it see it as a tangible reminder of God’s unending presence in their life. While prayer shawls may not reduce pain levels, remaining connected to God in the midst of suffering can instill hope, as this passage reminds us.

Prayer: Loving God, we thank you this day for your healing presence in our lives and in the lives of those around us. AMEN.

Trinity Sunday, 2010 – Psalm 8:1-2

Psalm 8:1-2O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger.

If God can create a fortification out of the mouths of babes and infants, imagine what God can do through you. Better yet, imagine what God is already doing through us as we work together as people of faith.

Prayer: Almighty God, bless our individual and collective actions this day to your glory. AMEN.

Trinity Sunday, 2010 – Proverbs 8:1-4

The first Sunday following Pentecost is known as Trinity Sunday. Scriptures for this week include: Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31; Psalm 8; Romans 5:1-5 and John 16:12-15.

Proverbs 8:1-4Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live.”

Our week begins with a plea that we seek wisdom. As you begin your journey toward Trinity Sunday, pray for the knowledge, the understanding, the perception and the good judgment that comes with wisdom.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us be seekers of wisdom this and every day. AMEN.

Pentecost, 2010 – Acts 2:16-18

Acts 2:16-18 – [Onlookers are commenting on the different languages being spoken in their midst and thinking they the people are drunk. Peter rises to correct them saying:] “No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.’”

Dr. Morris once said, “The Church Health Center is a testament to what can be done when everyone does their part.” Working together as the Spirit leads us individually and communally, we have changed thousands of lives since first opening in 1987.

Prayer: Almighty God, for all your wonderful works, we thank you. Continue to use us so that we might realize your Kingdom on earth. AMEN.

Pentecost, 2010 – Acts 2:1-4

Acts 2:1-4When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

In my personal experience the Holy Spirit has been more subtle than it was on the day of Pentecost. With that said, I never cease to be awed by the Holy Spirit’s power to move individuals and their communities of faith beyond their preconceived limits of service.

Prayer: Loving God, help us better sense your Holy Spirit dwelling within us. AMEN.

Pentecost, 2010 – John 14:27

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.

In the American Baptist choir of my youth, we sang a beautiful song inspired by this passage titled, Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled. My prayer for us today is that each of us can grow to trust God a little more so that we might better know God’s peace and be assured of God’s steadfast presence in our lives.

Prayer: God of peace, grant us an additional measure of trust this day so that we might live more confidently. AMEN.

Pentecost, 2010 – Genesis 11:6-7, 9

Genesis 11:6-7, 9And the LORD said, “Look they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech…” Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

The people of Babel said they wanted to”…make a name for ourselves” (v4a). This passage reminds us that we should be mindful, as best we can, to God’s will and not our will. While we prayed to be better listeners to one another yesterday, today we pray to be better listeners to God.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us hear your voice in all the ways you choose to speak to us. AMEN.

Pentecost, 2010 – Genesis 11:1-2, 4

Christ has ascended into heaven, and we are now approaching Pentecost. The lectionary selections for this Sunday include: Acts 2:1-21; Psalm 104:24-34, 35b; Romans 8:14-17 and John 14:8-17, (25-27). An alternative passage is Genesis 11:1-9.

Genesis 11:1-2, 4Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there…Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”

Sharing a common language does not guarantee universal understanding. Language is so nuanced that a word can take on different meanings depending on the inflection in one’s voice or the body language used in its delivery. Engage in active listening today so that you might best understand what is being said.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us be better listeners today. Help us understand what is actually being said. AMEN.


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