Archive for February, 2012

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.

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

Monday, February 13, 2012 – Transfiguration Sunday, Year B

Next Sunday will be the last Sunday of Epiphany, and it is known as Transfiguration Sunday. The lectionary selections for include: 2 Kings 2:1-12; Psalm 50:1-6, 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 and Mark 9:2-9.

2 Kings 2:1-2Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

I am fortunate to have several Elisha’s in my life…family and friends who would stay with me no matter what. Think of Elisha’s in your life today, and give thanks to God for them.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for those people in our lives on whom we can count to be with us through all of life’s ups and downs. Help us be better Elisha’s in their lives, too. AMEN.

Walking to the Cross, My Lenten Devotional

Walking to the Cross is a 40-day devotional designed for the Christian season of Lent. It invites you to make walking, reflecting and prayer a part of your daily Lenten practice. Just as Jesus traveled the long journey to the cross, we believe that walking is an act of spiritual and physical devotion.

To learn more about Walking to the Cross or for information on how to order copies visit Walking to the Cross.

To learn about our other Lenten devotionals visit Seasoning Lent on Church Health Reader.

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February 2012
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