Archive for April, 2012

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Acts 8:30-31

Monday, April 30, 2012 – 5th Sunday of Easter, Year B

 We are approaching the fifth Sunday of the Easter season.  The lectionary selections for this week include: Acts 8:26-40; Psalm 22:25-31; 1 John 4:7-21 and John 15:1-8.

Acts 8:30-31So Philip ran up to the Ethiopian eunuch and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah.  He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”  He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?”  And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him.

The eunuch had trouble understanding scripture and asked Philip to help him with the interpretation.  I couldn’t help but draw the parallel that many of us in the faith and health movement are often asked to assist those patients and clients before us in the interpretation of their lab tests, health risks, medications and prevention strategies.  Like Philip’s actions, our actions can improve and even save lives…a privilege not to be taken lightly.

Prayer: Understanding God, regardless of our job description, help us to understand our role as interpreters for others who may need our knowledge and understanding.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Acts 4:8-10

Friday, April 27, 2012 – 4th Sunday of Easter, Year B

Acts 4:8-10Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders, if we are questioned today because of a good deed done to someone who was sick and are asked how this man has been healed, let it be known to all of you, and to all people of Israel, that this man is standing before you in good health by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead.”

In verses prior to these, Peter had healed a crippled man who would sit at a gate to the Temple and beg for money from those entering.  Healing was an integral part of the Apostle’s ministry as it was in Jesus’ ministry.  Yet, the acts of healing were also seen as radical and disruptive to the religious authorities of the time.  Those of us in the faith and health movement continue to find ways to practice this radical hospitality toward our brothers and sisters today.

Prayer: Healer God, may we be healing presences to all people around us today.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 10:14-16

Thursday, April 26, 2012  – 4th Sunday of Easter, Year B

John 10:14-16I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.  And I lay down my life for the sheep.  I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.  I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.  So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

I understand that sheep actually learn the voice of their own shepherd and know to follow that voice when called even when they are around multiple shepherds.  It is my prayer that our actions toward one another will serve to lead people to the truth of God’s love for all of us so that we may live as one flock. 

 Prayer: Caring God, bless our work this day.  May we be living witnesses of your love for all of us.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 John 3:17-18

Wednesday, April 25, 2012 – 4th Sunday of Easter, Year B

1 John 3:17-18How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses to help?  Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.

1 John 3:18 is one of my favorite passages first introduced to me twenty five years ago.  For me, it is simply not enough to believe.  Our faith should change us…make us act differently toward one another.

Prayer: Loving God, as we grapple with our faith, help us to always see our neighbors as children of God.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 John 3:16

Tuesday, April 24, 2012 – 4th Sunday in Easter, Year B

1 John 3:16We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us – and we ought to lay down our lives for one another.

Would you die for a member of your family?  I know many of you would immediately say, “Of course!”  But would you die for your neighbor?  Consider today what it means to live sacrificially for your neighbor, especially the neighbor who is actually a stranger.

Prayer: Gracious God, many people will come in contact with us today.  Help us to see each of them with your eyes.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 23:1-2

Monday, April 23, 2012 – 4th Sunday of Easter, Year B

 We are approaching the fourth Sunday of this Easter season.  The lectionary selections for this week include: Acts 4:5-12; Psalm 23; 1 John 3:16-24 and John 10:11-18.

Psalm 23:1-2The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still waters…I bet most of you reading the first two verses of Psalm 23 went ahead and completed it by saying the other four verses to yourself.  If praying publicly makes you nervous or uncomfortable, consider simply using the 23rd Psalm.  It can be a wonderful prayer for many situations.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us to better share our faith with one another.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 John 3:1a

Friday, April 20, 2012 – 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B

1 John 3:1aSee what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. 

This Sunday is also Earth Day.  While it ages me, I remember the green “e” (it may have been a Θ Greek theta) of that first Earth Day in 1970.  As brothers and sisters who are sharing this planet, I hope you will take a moment this weekend and determine one more way you can help care for it.

Prayer: Creator God, thank you for green grass, snow-capped peaks, emerald green seas and clear blue skies.  Help us be good stewards of this amazing abundance you have entrusted to us.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 24: 39-42

Thursday, April 19, 2012 – 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B

Luke 24: 39-42And when Jesus had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.  While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

I can tell when I am really sick, because I have absolutely no interest in food.  When I can eat again, I know I am well.  To me, Jesus is showing his disciples through the seemingly simple act of eating that he is whole, that his body and his spirit are one.

Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for the gift of our wonderful bodies.  May we find strength in you as we strive to be better stewards of all of our gifts from you.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center –

Wednesday, April 18, 2009 – 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B

 1 John 3:2Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed.  What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is.

As much as any other idea in scripture, our relationship as brothers and sisters informs my understanding of our responsibility toward one another.  I know I often fall short in this regard, but I think that is why it is called a faith journey.

Prayer: Steadfast God, thank you for standing by us even when we are prone to wander.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center –

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 – 3rd Sunday of Easter

Psalm 4:3-4But know that the LORD has set apart the faithful for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him.  When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds and be silent.

When I read these verses I thought of the quote by Thomas Jefferson, “When angry, count to ten before you speak; if very angry, a hundred.”  It is so easy to act on impulse, especially in those most trying times in our lives, but we are reminded to pause and let God inform our actions.

Prayer: Understanding God, you are with us always, and for that, we thank you.  Help us to be better listeners for your voice in our lives.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 4:1

Monday, April 16, 2012 – 3rd Sunday of Easter, Year B

We are approaching the third Sunday of Easter.  I hope you are enjoying these early days of spring that provide continual reminders of resurrection.  For me, the lectionary selections this week help us reflect on trusting God and include: Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1-7 and Luke 24:36b-48.

Psalm 4:1Answer me when I call, O God of my right!  You gave me room when I was in distress.  Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer.

 I like the image of God giving room. In my mind, I am walking toward a house with an enormous burden on my shoulders. Just ahead of me, God is standing in the doorway beckoning me forward, and as I approach I can feel the burden lighten.

 Prayer: Comforter God, help us remember to look up and see you always standing in the doorway just ahead. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Acts 4:32, 34


Friday, April 13, 2012 – 2nd Sunday of Easter, Year B

Acts 4:32, 34Now the whole group of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one claimed private ownership of any possessions, but everything they owned was held in common…There was not a needy person among them, for as many as owned lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold.

 I am always proud of how we come together for one another after disasters like floods, tornadoes or hurricanes.  But what always nags me when I see the human spirit soar in service to one another at such times is that I think we are supposed to act that way toward one another at all times. 

Prayer: Sustainer God, guide us in our efforts to help our neighbors when the need is obvious as well as when it is obscure.  AMEN.

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April 2012

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