Archive for January, 2012

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 147:10-11

Tuesday, January 31, 2012 – Epiphany 5, Year B

Psalm 147:10-11His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner; but the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.

Several sources indicate that the word that is translated as fear can also be translated as reverence. I find this helpful. God loves me as I am. What delights God is my worship and admiration and my trust in the unending love that only God provides.

Prayer: Loving God, we come before you in different shapes, sizes and colors. Some of us are in good places today while others of us are in not so good places. Thanks for loving all of us. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 40:29-31

Monday, January 30, 2012 – Epiphany 5, Year B

We are approaching the fifth Sunday of Epiphany. The lectionary selections for this week include: Isaiah 40:21-31; Psalm 147:1-11, 20c; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 and Mark 1:29-39.

Isaiah 40:29-31The LORD gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

I always think of Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings when I hear this scripture so I looked up the words to the song again. She sings of the devoted and supportive friend who is always there for her. I like to think of God as such a friend, who loves us despite our shortcomings.

Prayer: Steadfast God, help us remember that we cannot soar in this world without your presence and your help. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Mark 1:23-26

Friday, January 27, 2012 – Epiphany 4, Year B

Mark 1:23-26Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice came out of him.

Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath and in synagogues became a source of his problems among the religious leaders of his day. But Jesus makes it clear here and in other scriptures that our places of worship should be healing spaces as well.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us be healing presences to people at all times. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 8:8-9, 13

Thursday, January 26, 2012 – Epiphany 4, Year B

1 Corinthians 8:8-9, 13“Food will not bring us close to God.” We are no worse off if we do not eat, and no better off if we do. But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak…Therefore, if food is the cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall.

“Do no harm,” is part of the oath of new physicians, and this scripture seems to be saying the same thing to us in our dealings with each other on matters of faith.

Prayer: Merciful God, help us nurture the faith of those who come before us today. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 8:4, 6-7

Wednesday, January 25, 2012 – Epiphany 4, Year B

1 Corinthians 8:4, 6-7Hence, as to the eating of food offered to idols, we know that “no idol in the world really exists,” and that “there is no God but one.”…yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. It is not everyone, however, who has this knowledge. Since some have become so accustomed to idols until now, they still think of the food they eat as offered to an idol; and their conscience, being weak, is defiled.

Paul asks us to PROCEED WITH CAUTION in our dealings with one another. He implores us to consider the shoes in which our brothers and sisters have walked.

Prayer: Merciful God, help us remember that we do not know the full story of those who come before us today. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 8:1-3

Tuesday, January 24, 2012 – Epiphany 4, Year A

1 Corinthians 8:1-3Now concerning food sacrificed to idols: we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. Anyone who claims to know something does not yet have the necessary knowledge; but anyone who loves God is known by him.

This is a little gem of a passage. First, it says to me that we have to be careful in our dealings with each other on matters of faith because our own knowledge is incomplete. Second, it says that having incomplete knowledge is alright because by loving God, God knows us.

Prayer: God of mystery, we have so many questions yet you love us anyway. Thank you for your faith in us. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 111:1

Monday, January 23, 2012 – Epiphany 4, Year B

We are approaching the fourth Sunday of Epiphany. The lectionary texts include Deuteronomy 18:15-20; Psalm 111; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 and Mark 1:21-28.

Psalm 111:1Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.

The texts this week concern our responsibility for one another as we travel along our own faith journey. We are reminded of our interdependence on one another and the duty that comes with that knowledge.

Prayer: Gracious God, keep us mindful of one another today and throughout this week. AMEN.


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