Archive for November, 2010

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 72:1-2, 4, 6

Tuesday November 30, 2010 – Advent 2, Year A

Psalm 72:1-2, 4, 6Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son. May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice…May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor…May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.

We live in communities, and these communities have leadership structures. The Psalm reminds us that for peace to reign, cooperation from these leaders is necessary. The Psalm is a wonderful prayer for our leaders.

Prayer: Almighty God, help our leaders sense your presence in their lives. May they seek your will in all they do. AMEN.

Daily Devotional from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 11:7-9

Monday, November 29, 2010 – Advent 2, Year A

Wonderful images of peace continue as we approach the second Sunday of Advent. Our lectionary passages for this week include: Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-7, 18-19; Romans 15:4-13 and Matthew 3:1-12

Isaiah 11:7-9The cow and the bear graze, their young shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. The nursing child shall play over the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put its hand on the adder’s den. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.

Meat-eating animals will become plant-eating animals! Children will play with poisonous snakes and not get hurt! Today, we pray for God’s intentional activity among us to help usher in this perfect peace.

Prayer: Gracious God of peace, join us in all we do for your kingdom. Help us to sense your presence as we seek to do your will. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 2:5

Friday, November 26, 2010 – Advent 1, Year A

Isaiah 2:5“O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord!”

Our neighborhoods are filled with hunger, sickness and violence. Against this backdrop, we have been given a glimpse of God’s kingdom where weapons are turned into farm implements, where nations no longer engage in war. We have been challenged to live as active peacemakers. “Come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.”

Prayer: Gracious God, entrust us to your service as we seek to walk in your light at all times. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 24:36, 44

Thursday, November 25, 2010 – Advent 1, Year A

Matthew 24:36, 44“But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father…Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Christians differ greatly on their vision of Christ’s second coming, but we are asked to think about that time during the Advent season. We are asked to be at the ready. More to the point, I think we are asked to always act in ways that build up God’s kingdom.

Prayer: Merciful God, bless us to your service. May our actions build up your kingdom. Forgive us when we do otherwise, and gently nudge us back toward your will. AMEN.

An Advent Devotional on Church Health Reader

If you are looking for an Advent devotional, you might consider one I wrote. It can be found here.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 2:4b

Wednesday, November 24, 2010 – Advent 1, Year C

Isaiah 2:4b“…nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”

During my church’s worship service each Sunday, the congregation stands and states an Affirmation of Community where we pledge certain actions toward our neighbors near and far. My favorite line is, “We will not be skeptical that peace can come.”

Prayer: Loving God, help us see the world as you would have it, and make us instruments of your peace. AMEN.

Church Health Reader to Focus on Parenting & Pregnancy

Thanksgiving, Advent and Christmas are a time of family for many people. Throughout this season, Church Health Reader will focus on parenting, in particular on pregnancy. In the coming weeks, you will see various articles around these topics.

My friends at Church Health Reader begin this week with an interview with Kimberly Hahn about the importance of a healthy family. To read the interview, click here.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 2:4a

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 – Advent 1, Year C

Isaiah 2:4aHe shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks…

Isaiah shares a radical vision of God’s peace. In this passage, tools of war are turned into farm implements and tools of destruction are turned into tools of creation…tools used to create food, sustenance. Advent is a time to dream big dreams and to envision that time when God’s peaceful kingdom is a reality.

Prayer: Creator, Sustainer God, give us this day our daily bread. Open our eyes to the hunger in our neighbor’s eyes, and give us the strength and wisdom to help. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 2:1-2

Monday, November 22, 2010

We are now preparing to enter the liturgical season of Advent. The lectionary selections for the first Sunday of Advent include: Isaiah 2:1-5; Psalm 122; Romans 13:11-14 and Matthew 24:36-44.

Isaiah 2:1-2The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.

Advent is a time of great anticipation…of birth, rebirth and renewal. It is a time when the scriptures we read will speak of the coming Kingdom of God. We will be challenged to imagine that time to come when peace reigns throughout the land.

Prayer: Gracious God, let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 29 & Ordinary 34, 2010 – Colossians 1:11-12

Colossians 1:11-12May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

I thought this pair of verses offered an appropriate way to end this third year of the lectionary cycle, because it sounds like a benediction I would offer each of you: Be strong in your faith. Be patient with one another. Be thankful for all God has done for you.

Prayer: Almighty, merciful and loving God, help us help one another as we continue to journey together toward you. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 29 & Ordinary 34, 2010 – Psalm 46:8-9

Psalm 46:8-9Come, behold the works of the LORD; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.

Behold the works of the Lord: All wars will end and all the implements of war will be destroyed allowing for a lasting peace. Come Lord, come.

Gracious God, help us bring peace to our neighborhoods and our cities so that we might help bring peace to this world. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 29 & Ordinary 34, 2010 – Luke 1:76-77

Luke 1:76-77 “…And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins…”

Zechariah, the soon-to-be father of John the Baptist, was visited by an angel who foretold the birth of his son. Because his initial reaction was disbelief, he was struck mute until his son was born. These verses are part of the prophecy uttered by Zechariah after he named his son, in what is sometimes called the Bededictus.

Prayer: Almighty God, grant us discerning spirits so that we might better understand your will for us. AMEN.

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November 2010

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