Archive for September, 2011



Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Jonah 4:9-11

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 – Proper 20 & Ordinary 25, Year A

Jonah 4:9-11But God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the bush?” And he said, “Yes, angry enough to die.” Then the LORD said, “You are concerned about the bush, for which you did not labor and which you did not grow; it came into being in a night and perished in a night. And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals.

Jonah was angry at God for not bringing “calamity” on Nineveh. He was also angry at God for destroying the bush that was sheltering him. God shows his compassion for and his patience with all creation…from lilies of the field to each one of us.

Prayer: Patient God, we struggle to offer patience to each other. Help us model the patience you willingly offer us. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 105:1-2

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 – Proper 20 & Ordinary 25, Year A

Psalm 105:1-2O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples. Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works.

I believe our actions should be an outward expression of our faith. This scripture reminds us that we should also TELL others how we see God active in the world.

Prayer: Ever-present God, we witness your creative presence each day. Help us share that witness with others. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Exodus 16:11-14

Monday, September 12, 2011 – Proper 20 & Ordinary 25, Year A

The lectionary texts for this week include Exodus 16:2-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45; Philippians 1:21-30 and Matthew 20:1-16. Alternate texts include Jonah 3:10-4:11 and Psalm 145:1-8.

Exodus 16:11-14The LORD spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the LORD your God.’” In the evening quails came up and covered the camp; and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. When the layer of dew lifted there was a fine flaky substance, as fine as the frost on the ground.

Whenever I am a passenger in a car rather than the driver, I am reminded of how I prefer to be at the controls. This scripture reminds us that self-reliance is over-rated, and that we need to trust God more.

Prayer: Compassionate God, help us and give us the courage to trust in you more fully. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 18:21-22

Friday, September 9, 2011 – Proper 19 & Ordinary 24, Year A

Matthew 18:21-22Then Peter came to Jesus and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but I tell you, seventy-seven times.”

In the parable that follows these verses, Jesus reminds us that God is generously forgiving of us. In return, we should be generously forgiving of each other. While I would hesitate to say I have been generously forgiving, I would say that when I have both sought and offered forgiveness, I have come away feeling healed.

Prayer: Gracious God, give us strength and courage to be the forgiving people you would have us be. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Romans 14:3, 5-6

Thursday, September 8, 2011 – Proper 19 & Ordniary 24, Year A

Romans 14:3, 5-6Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgment on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. Those who observe the day, observe it in honor of the Lord. Also, those who eat, eat in honor of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honor of the Lord and give thanks to God.

I appreciate Paul’s imagery in the scripture above. I can’t help but think how different our communities and our world might be if we could collectively focus on the God who binds us together rather than the details which separate us.

Prayer: God of all, be with us throughout this day. Keep us mindful of the breadth of your kingdom and all your children in it. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 103:2-5

Wednesday, September 7, 2011 – Proper 19 & Ordinary 24, Year A

Psalm 103:2-5Bless the LORD, O my soul, and do not forget all his benefits—who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the Pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good as long as you live so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

God’s Benefit Plan: Heal, Satisfy, Forgive, Crown and Redeem.

Prayer: Gracious God, you offer us full coverage in exchange for faith that is often no larger than a mustard seed. For your generosity, we thank you. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 103:1

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 – Proper 19 & Ordinary 24, Year A

Psalm 103:1Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

‘Bless the Lord with all that is within me.’ I am typing this on a Sunday afternoon after attending my weekly worship service. Reading this scripture, I am reminded that our lives should be one of constant worship…of ongoing dialogue with God through prayer and service to God’s children through our work.

Prayer: Steadfast God, thank you for your patience with us as we seek to build your kingdom through our work today and everyday. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Exodus: 14:21-23

Monday, September 5, 2011 – Proper 19 & Ordinary 24, Year A

The lectionary selections for this week include: Exodus 14:19-31; Psalm 114 or Exodus 15:1b-11, 20-21; Romans 14:1-12 and Matthew 18:21-35. Alternate selections include: Genesis 50:15-21 and Psalm 103:1-13.

Exodus: 14:21-23 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left. The Egyptians pursued, and went into the sea after them, all of Pharaoh’s horses, chariots and chariot drivers.

If you haven’t seen Charlton Heston when he parts the Red Sea while playing Moses in The Ten Commandments, you have missed one of the finest scenes in movie history. Did it really happen as it did in the movie? Was there a freak natural event? Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me. We worship a mighty and mysterious God, and if we need to know the whole story, it will be told to us in due time.

Prayer: Mighty and mysterious God, you fashioned us in your image, you created beauty in the form of flowers, and you ensured sustenance for us through grains. Thank you for your creative presence. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 18:20

Friday, September 2, 2011 – Proper 18 & Ordinary 23, Year A

Matthew 18:20“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

This is a favorite scripture of mine. It tells me that my daily interactions with others are holy moments. I don’t always live up to this knowledge, and I am glad for God’s grace and forgiveness for all those times I fall short.

Prayer: God of all, you are the most welcome guest in all of our interactions with your children. Keep us mindful of your will at all times so that we might be the neighbors you wish. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 18:15-16

Thursday, September 1, 2011 – Proper 18 & Ordinary 23, Year A

Today is the 24th anniversary of the Church Health Center.

Matthew 18:15-16If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.

For me, scripture often provides a roadmap for how we should work together as people of faith. I have been guilty of speaking critically to someone in the presence of others. In this passage, we are reminded to deal with other respectfully, even when they have wronged us.

Prayer: Loving God, whether at work, at home or at play, help us be guided by this scripture when we find ourselves at odds with a neighbor. AMEN.


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