Archive for January, 2011

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 58:6-7

Monday, January 31, 2011 – Epiphany 5, Year A

Being a light for others is a theme of the lectionary passages for the fifth Sunday of Epiphany. These passages include: Isaiah 58:1-9a (9b-12); Psalm 112:1-9 (10); 1 Corinthians 2:1-12 (13-16) and Matthew 5:13-20.

Isaiah 58:6-7Is this not the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin?

We are approaching the season of Lent when many Christians will consider some sort of fast. Fasts, when done for the right reasons, can help the participant feel a closer connection to God. These verses remind us that an important way to live in closer communion to God is by taking care of one another, especially those less fortunate than we are.

Prayer: Gracious God, guide us to be better sharers of the abundance you have provided. AMEN.

Picture for Epiphany 5, Year A – Isaiah 58:12b

…you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets to live in.

This picture is in the public domain.

Picture for Epiphany 4, Year A – 1 Corinthians 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

Picture Citation

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 5:7

Friday, January 28, 2011 – Epiphany 4, Year A

Matthew 5:7Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. (New Revised Standard Version) You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you will find yourselves cared for. (The Message)

A wise manager of mine once told me that most people treat others as they wish to be treated themselves. Reflect on this idea throughout the day as you interact with others and consider the message you are sending.

Prayer: Merciful God, help us as we seek to be care givers to one another. AMEN.

Daily Devotional for the Church Health Center – Matthew 5:9

Thursday, January 27, 2011 – Epiphany 4, Year A

Matthew 5:9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. (New Revised Standard Version) You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family. (The Message)

Peace is so often thought of as the absence of war, that I found The Message’s translation helpful with this Beatitude. This is especially true for the workplace, where it is important to remember that we are working together as individual parts of a whole toward God’s plan, not ours.

Prayer: Loving God, help us keep the main thing, the main thing. AMEN.

Daily Devotional from the Church Health Center – Matthew 5:4

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 – Epiphany 4, Year A

Matthew 5:4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. (New Revised Standard Version) How blest are the sorrowful; they shall find consolation. (The New English Bible)

When we have reached the pit of our sorrow, it is easy to feel alone. Yet Jesus is reminding his disciples and us, that God never leaves us. God is by our side waiting to comfort and console us in a way that only God can.

Prayer: Steadfast God, help us better sense your constant presence in our lives. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 5:3

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 – Epiphany 4, Year A

Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (New Revised Standard Version) How blest are those who know their need of God; the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. (The New English Bible)

I sometimes refer to myself as a driver’s-side Christian, an attitude that relegates God to the passenger seat. With God over there I am free to accept advice on an as needed basis. May God bless all of our efforts as we seek to give up control and exchange seats.

Prayer: Gracious God, help each of us be more open to your guidance. AMEN.

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January 2011
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