Archive for February, 2012

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 22:23-24

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 – Second Sunday of Lent, Year B

Psalm 22:23-24You who fear the LORD, praise him! All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him; stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel! For he did not despise or abhor the affliction of the afflicted; he did not hide his face from me, but heard when I cried to him.

Each week, a prayer service is held where employees, patients and members pray for the healing of themselves and others. Throughout scripture as in this Psalm, we are assured that God doesn’t turn from us in our time of need and that God hears our prayers.

Prayer: Healing God, we thank you for your steadfast, healing presence in our lives and for hearing both our spoken and unspoken prayers. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Genesis 17:15-16

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 – Second Sunday of Lent, Year B

Genesis 17:15-16 – God said to Abraham, “As for Sarah your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall come from her.

Dr. White was a full–time volunteer physician at the Church Health Center well into his eighties. I couldn’t help but think of Dr. White and his wife Sarah after reading the lectionary selection from Genesis this week. A ninety-nine year old became the father of many nations by a wife who was similarly aged, and an octogenarian used his healing skills well past retirement caring for God’s children. In God’s world, anything is possible.

Prayer: Loving God, we ask a special blessing for the senior members of our community. May each of them continue to feel a vital part of your kingdom. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Genesis 17:1a, 3-5

Monday, February 27, 2012 – Second Sunday of Lent, Year B

We are approaching the second Sunday in the season of Lent. The lectionary selections this week include: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:23-31; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38. An alternate Gospel reading is Mark’s account of the Transfiguration in Mark 9:2-9.

Genesis 17:1a, 3-5When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram…Then Abram fell on his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.

According to the website Wikipedia, Abraham means “father of many nations.” Today, think about what God’s name for you might be.

Prayer: Gracious God, you know us better than we know ourselves. Help us to live into your vision of us. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Mark 1:9-13

Friday, February 24, 2012 – First Sunday of Lent, Year B

Mark 1:9-13In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John the Baptist in the Jordan. And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Like Jesus in today’s scripture, we symbolically venture into the wilderness for forty days during Lent. Lent leads to Easter and the Resurrection, and it is my prayer that this season will be life-affirming to each of you.

Prayer: Steadfast God, thank you for walking beside us each day. Help us to know your true voice so that we won’t be distracted along the way. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 25:1, 4-5

Thursday, February 23, 2012 – First Sunday of Lent, Year B

Sunday is the first Sunday in the season of Lent. Lectionary readings for this Sunday include: Genesis 9:8-17; Psalm 25:1-10; 1 Peter 3:18-22 and Mark 1:9-15.

Psalm 25:1, 4-5To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul…Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

When I read these three verses, I thought of the hymn “Here I Am, Lord.” I think these verses make a wonderful prayer for each day, but they are especially meaningful during Lent.

Prayer:
“Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
I have heard you calling in the night.
I will go, Lord, if you lead me.
I will hold your people in my heart.” AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 6:19-21

Wednesday, February 22, 2012 – Ash Wednesday, Year B

Matthew 6:19-21“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Part of the discipline of Lent is to take time to intentionally reassess our lives and our faith. It is a time to redefine our priorities.

Prayer: Loving God, help us to know your will. Give us the strength to act in ways which honor that knowledge. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 58:8-10

Tuesday, February 21, 2012 – First Sunday of Lent, Year B

Isaiah 58:8-10Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am.” If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday.

Elton John sang a song in The Lion King called “Circle of Life,” but I like the circle of life offered by today’s passage: Offer someone light, and see your light rise. Offer someone healing, and you will be healed, too.

Prayer: Healing God, help us be light-givers to each person we meet today. AMEN.

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

Monday, February 20, 2012 – Ash Wednesday, Year B

Lent begins this week on Ash Wednesday. The lectionary readings for Ash Wednesday include: Joel 2:1-2, 12-17; Psalm 51:1-17; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10 and Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21. An alternate to the Joel passage is Isaiah 58:1-12.

Isaiah 58:6-7Is this not the fast 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?

Fasting is a common observance during Lent, although not one in which I have regularly participated. While we can pay honor to and reflect on God through fasting, this passage reminds us that we also serve God through our service to others each day.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us share ourselves with others in ways which are pleasing to you. AMEN.

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

Friday, February 17, 2012 – Transfiguration Sunday, Year B

Mark 9:8-9Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them anymore, but only Jesus. As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

What I like most about the story of the Transfiguration is what happens immediately after these verses. Following this deeply moving, spiritual experience, the first thing Jesus does at the bottom of the mountain is heal a little boy. Jesus didn’t bask in the glory he had just received…he went right back to work ministering to the needs of those around him.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us be healing presences to those who come before us today. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Mark 9:2-5

Thursday, February 16, 2012 – Transfiguration Sunday, Year B

Mark 9:2-5Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them. And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

I know some of you reading this have had significant spiritual experiences where you knew you had been in the presence of God. I have never had a dazzling light experience, but I sense God regularly in the many ways my life is touched by other people of faith.

Prayer: Almighty God, you make your presence in our lives known in so many ways. Help us better sense your steadfast presence. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Corinthians 4:3-4

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 – Transfiguration Sunday, Year B

2 Corinthians 4:3-4And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

I have known individuals who come to church as spiritually damaged people. For some, I think this impedes their ability to fully see the light of God. I hope and pray that as we work together, our collective light can shine brightly enough to pierce the veils these neighbors are wearing.

Prayer: Merciful God, help each of us be a light for the world by being a light for the person sitting in front of us today. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Kings 2:9-11

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 – Transfiguration Sunday, Year B

2 Kings 2:9-11When Elijah and Elisha had crossed the Jordan River, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit double your share of the spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not. As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind to heaven.

I read this passage and thought of John Dye who played Andrew on Touched by an Angel. He was the angel who would appear to escort a dying character to heaven. I have no idea what my final moments will be like, but it is a comforting thought to think of God as sending each of us an escort to help us on our journey to heaven.

Prayer: God of mystery, we thank you for your steadfast presence in our lives, especially during those times when we are feeling alone. AMEN.


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