Archive for February, 2011

Picture for Transfiguration Sunday, Exodus 24:15

Then Moses went up to the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.

Picture Citation

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Exodus 24:12

Monday, February 28, 2011 – Transfiguration Sunday, Year A

Sunday is the last Sunday in Epiphany and is known as Transfiguration Sunday recognizing the transfiguration of Christ. The lectionary scriptures for Sunday are Exodus 24:12-18, Psalm 2 or Psalm 99, 2 Peter 1:16-21 and Matthew 17:1-9.

Exodus 24:12The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.

I have trouble imagining the vastness of God so I like that Moses had to go to a mountaintop to see God. I was once at the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado where I was able to see not just all of Colorado but several surrounding states, too. I imagine that is sort of what God is like.

Prayer: Ever-present God, help us to remember that wherever we might go, you are already there. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 6:31, 33-34

Friday, February 25, 2011 – Epiphany 8, Year A

Matthew 6:31, 33-34 – [Jesus is speaking.] Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ of ‘What will we wear?’…But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.

Consider the imagery from earlier in the week, when the crying baby was quickly calmed by the ministrations of a loving parent. Jesus is reminding us that our trust in God should be at this level. If we are successful, we will find that God provides for all our real needs.

Prayer: Provider God, help us fall back into your arms with a sense of trust that grows ever deeper. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 6:25

Thursday, February 24, 2011 – Epiphany 8, Year A

Matthew 6:25 – [Jesus is speaking.] Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing.

Our founder and Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Scott Morris often reminds us that life for life’s sake isn’t worth much. To encourage one to quit smoking or begin a new exercise regimen to simply add years to one’s life, rarely offers sufficient motivation. He goes on the say that what makes life worth living are those things which drive us closer to God, like more joy and love.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to first seek those things which bring us closer to you, which allow you easier passage into our hearts. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 4:1

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 – Epiphany 8, Year A

1 Corinthians 4:1Think of us this way, as servants of Christ and stewards God’s mysteries.

I have a dear friend who is a property manager for people who invest in rental property in Memphis but who often live far away from here. An important aspect of her job is to serve the needs of the investors whose property she manages and to protect the property from undue damage. In a similar way, God’s property lies before us in many ways, but in no more significant way than in every person who comes before us.

Prayer: Creator God, bless our efforts as we seek to better care for one another today. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 131

Tuesday, February 22, 2011 – Epiphany 8, Year A

Psalm 131O LORD, my heart is not lifted up, my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; my soul is like the weaned child that is with me. Oh Israel, hope in the LORD from this time and forevermore.

I love holding babies, until they start crying. Once the crying begins, I most often find the mother or father and quickly hand the fussy child back. I then marvel at how the right words spoken softly or the way the child is held, immediately calm the child.

Prayer: Parent God, may the safety we feel in your arms help us maintain our perspective despite the obstacles before us. AMEN.

Birds of the Air – Matthew 6:26a

Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns…

Picture Citation

Lillies of the Field – Matthew 6:28

And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lillies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin…

Picture Citation

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 49:49-16a

Monday, February 21, 2011 – Epiphany 8, Year A

As we approach the eighth Sunday after Epiphany, we are nearing the end of this liturgical season. This week we explore our trust in the steadfast presence of God in our lives. The scripture passages include Isaiah 49:8-16a; Psalm 131; 1 Corinthians 4:1-5 and Matthew 6:24-34.

Isaiah 49:49-16aCan a woman forget her nursing child, or show no compassion for the child of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands.

During funerals, in hospital waiting rooms, in church, in many settings, I have seen loved ones desperately clutching something in their hands that reminds them of someone dear in their lives. This is the image I get when I think of us as being inscribed in the palms of God’s hands.

Prayer: Steadfast God, we know of so many people struggling because someone dear to them is in pain. Help those for whom we are concerned sense your never-ending presence in their lives. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 5:44-45

Friday, February 18, 2011 – Epiphany 7, Year A

Matthew 5:44-45 – [Jesus is speaking.] But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and send rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

Throughout the week, we have been exploring our care for one another. Our concluding passage for this week reminds us that we are all in this world together…that we are all precious children of God.

Prayer: Loving God, help us recognize each person who comes before us as our neighbor, as a fellow child of yours. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Leviticus 19:17-18

Thursday, February 17, 2011 – Epiphany 7, Year A

Leviticus 19:17-18You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself. You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

“Love your neighbor as yourself,” is surely one of the most recognized passages in scripture. The Golden Rule, or the ethic of reciprocity as it is also called, is found in some form in nearly every world religion. This provides us a common reference point for all people of faith.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us better recognize our neighbors and treat them as we would like to be treated. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Wednesday, February 16, 2011 – Epiphany 7, Year A

1 Corinthians 3:16-17Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

In the verses preceding these, Paul expresses frustration at the way the Corinthians are acting toward one another. By reminding us that we are God’s temple, Paul is imploring us to always act in ways which build one another up spiritually.

Prayer: Ever-present God, help us to better see your face in those who come before us. AMEN.

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February 2011