Archive for March, 2011

Daily Devotoin from the Church Health Center – John 9:10-11

Thursday, March 31, 2011 – Lent 4, Year A

Jesus has healed a blind man who is now being questioned by his neighbors (and later by the Pharisees).

John 9:10-11But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.”

We have a Post It note that moves around our house. On it is written, ‘God is greater than our circumstances.’ I thought of this after reading today’s scripture. Mud and pond water are not typical mediums for healing, but our scriptures this week are showing us how our God can make use of unlikely people as well as unlikely medicines.

Prayer: Gracious God of mystery, we come to you as unlikely people, but we ask for your help and guidance as we strive to become better kingdom-builders. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Ephesians 5:8-9

Wednesday, March 30, 2011 – Lent 4, Year A

Ephesians 5:8-9 – For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light – for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true.

I never grow weary of seeing lighthouses on the coast with lights so powerful as to cut through the thickest fog, so that ships can sail safely to port. As a child, I sang a church song that had the line “…they will know we are Christians by our love…” As people of faith, we are asked to be, in a sense, lighthouses of God’s love.

Prayer: God of Light, strengthen us so that we may be effective beacons of your love. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Samuel 16:10-13

Tuesday, March 29, 2011 – Lent 4, Year A

1 Samuel 16:10-13Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The LORD has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And [Jesse] said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” [Jesse] sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The LORD said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

Despite David’s healthy, good looks, he was Jesse’s youngest son, so it made perfect sense to keep David in the pasture tending the family sheep. But God doesn’t work that way. Often it is the most unlikely person who is chosen for God’s special tasks. Let’s keep that in mind today.

Prayer: Understanding God, help us see the significant worth in everyone who comes before us this and every day. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Samuel 16:6-7

Monday, March 28, 2011 – Lent 4, Year A

As we enter the fourth week of Lent we are reminded that God can work through unlikely people, like us. Our lectionary selections include 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14 and John 9:1-41.

God has sent Samuel to Jesse to anoint God’s chosen king who will succeed Saul. Jesse’s sons will pass by Samuel and God will let Samuel know which son is his choice. Verse 6 picks up when the first son, Eliab, comes to Samuel.

1 Samuel 16:6-7When [Jesse and his sons] came, [Samuel] looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the LORD.” But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD does not see as mortals see; they look on outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”

‘Beauty is only skin deep.’ ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ ‘We are all God’s children.’ Phrases such as these can flow easily off our lips, but it can be a challenge to actually live by such words.

Prayer: Gentle God, help us to look at our neighbors as though we are looking through your eyes. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Romans 5:3-5a

Friday, March 25, 2012 – Lent 3, Year A

Romans 5:3-5aWe also have joy with our troubles, because we know these troubles produce patience. And patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us because God has poured out his love to fill our hearts. (New Century Translation)

I have always struggled with phrases like “…joy with our troubles.” BUT, one of the joys of working for the Church Health Center is the opportunity to see the stroke patients at our wellness facility who, despite the difficulty, keep awkwardly walking up and down the stairs to sense the meaning of this passage.

Prayer: Healer God, help us provide hope to all who seek our services today. AMEN

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 4:16-19

Thursday, March 24, 2012 – Lent 3, Year A

John 4:16-19Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet.”

One of the enduring images offering direction to my faith is that of Jesus associating with the outcasts of his society. Each day we run into people the pasts of whom we are unaware. Yet we are reminded through such scriptures that all of them are children of our God.

Prayer: Gentle God, help us as we seek to serve your children, our brothers and sisters. May they see your face in ours. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 4:13-15

Wednesday, March 23, 2012 – Lent 3, Year A

John 4:13-15Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”

Have you ever heard the phrase, ‘Man does not live by bread alone?’ I thought of this when I read these verses today. Obviously, the woman won’t be able to live without well water, but Jesus is affirming her need for spiritual “water” as well. Faith and health: connection made.

Prayer: Gracious God whose love flows out like a river, join us in our steps today so that you might be our guide. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 4:9-10

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 – Lent 3 Year A

John 4:9-10 – The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

From a favorite choir song from my childhood:

The King of love my shepherd is,
whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am his,
and he is mine for ever.

Where streams of living water flow,
my ransomed soul he leadeth,
and where the verdant pastures grow,
with food celestial feedeth…

And so through all the length of days
thy goodness faileth never:
Good Shepherd, may I sing thy praise
within thy house for ever.
________________________________________
Words: Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877), 1868 http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/t/t199.html

Prayer: Living, loving God, open our hearts to your presence. Help us share your living water with others. AMEN.

Daily Devotion to the Church Health Center – John 4:5-9

Monday, March 21, 2011 – Lent 3, Year A

We are approaching the third Sunday of Lent, and the lectionary scriptures are filled with images of life-giving water. The passages include: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-11 and John 4:5-42.

John 4:5-9So (Jesus) came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)

One of the most enduring images I hold of Jesus is how he associated with folks considered outcasts in his society. Jesus redefined neighbor to include not just “his kind” but the whole of God’s creation. If you are given the opportunity today, risk showing God’s love to someone who makes you feel uncomfortable.

Prayer: Loving God, we are asked to see your face in each person we meet. Help us to be faithful to you in this sometimes difficult way. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 3:16

Friday, March 18, 2011, Lent 2, Year A

John 3:16For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

This has been a week of favorite scriptures, so it is fitting to end with this passage. God’s love for each of us is steadfast and sacrificial. For each person who comes before you today say to yourself, “God loves this person, too.”

Prayer: Loving God, help us see your face in each person we meet today. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 121:5-6

Thursday, March 17, 2011 – Lent 2, Year A

Psalm 121:5-6The Lord guards you. The Lord is the shade that protects you from you sun. The sun cannot hurt you during the day, and the moon cannot hurt you at night. (New Century Version of the Everyday Bible)

I recently heard someone sing “His Eye is on the Sparrow” where the refrain goes:

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For his eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
(Words by Civilla D. Martin, 1905)

Prayer:
Protector God, our shield and defender you will be. Wrap each of us in your loving arms so that we may feel your presence today and for all of our tomorrows. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 121:1-2

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 – Lent 2, Year A

Psalm 121:1-2I lift my eyes to the hills–from where will my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

This passage is a daily affirmation for many people. As a child, I watched Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood on public television, and Mr. Rogers would remind me: “You’ve made this day a special day just by being you. You are the only person like you in this whole world. And people can like you just because you’re you.” (http://pbskids.org/rogers/parentsteachers/series/philosophy.html)

Prayer: Loving God, you love us just the way we are. Help us love one another in all our wonderful diversity. AMEN.


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