Archive for August, 2012

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Mark 7:14-15, 21a

Friday, August 31, 2012 – Proper 17/Ordinary 22, Year B

Mark 7:14-15, 21aThen Jesus called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile…For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come…”

There were so many directives related to the handling, preparation and consuming of food.  Jesus reminds us that how we act toward one another, what we say and what we do, are so much more important in defining us as people of faith.

Prayer: Understanding God, grant us wisdom and patience, and help us keep you in the forefront of our minds.  AMEN.

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Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Mark 7:1-2

Thursday, August 30, 2012 – Proper 17/Ordinary 22, Year B

Mark 7:1-2Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of the disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.

The Pharisees weren’t concerned with the swine flu, and in a few verses Jesus will chide them for focusing so much on issues such as hand washing.  With that said, we are approaching the return of flu season, and this is a good scripture to remind us that one simple preventive measure to help avoid the flu is to practice frequent hand washing. 

Prayer: Healer God, may we remain healthy so that we can serve those who aren’t so fortunate.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – James 1:27

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 – Proper 17/Ordinary 22, Year B

James 1:27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

One synonym for pure is undiluted.  I found that an interesting word for this passage since diluting often makes something weaker or less reactive.  So, be strong and work to rise above the fray of this world, and care for those who are less fortunate.

Prayer (adapted from Dr. Scott Morris’ blessing over food): Gracious God, keep us mindful of those less fortunate than we are.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – James 1:19-20

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 – Proper 17/Ordinary 22, Year B

James 1:19-20You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.

I was reminded of the wisdom of Thomas Jefferson that goes something like this: ‘When angry count to ten before you speak.  When very angry, a hundred.’  But this scripture also holds up the importance of being a good listener.  Listen more.  Talk less. Be patient with one another. 

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to be better listeners so that we can better understand what is being said.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Deuteronomy 4:9

Monday, August 27, 2012 – Proper 17/Ordinary 22, Year B

We are fast approaching the end of August.  The lectionary selections for this week include: Song of Solomon 2:8-13, Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9; James 1:17-27 and Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23.  Alternate passages include Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 and Psalm 15.

Deuteronomy 4:9But take care to watch yourselves closely, so as to neither forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children…

We learn from our life experiences.  Sometimes those lessons are found in times of laughter, but others are found in times of great anguish.  This scripture reminds us that we owe it to others, especially our families, to share those life lessons.

Prayer: Loving God, may we grow in our wisdom and share it in ways that benefit others.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 6:64-67

Friday, August 24, 2012 – Proper 16/Ordinary 21, Year B

John 6:64-67 – “But among you there are some who do not believe…”  And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.”  Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him.  So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?”

Jesus is talking about decision points in life – those times in our lives when we reach a fork in the road.  We are asked to evaluate each route through the lens of our faith and to choose accordingly.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us remember that you are our ever-present guide on the road of life.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Ephesians 6:13

Thursday, August 23, 2012 – Proper 16/Ordinary 21, Year B

Ephesians 6:13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

This is the introduction to another favorite passage in the Bible.  Paul admonishes us to put on truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Spirit.  He then tells us to pray.

Prayer: Almighty God, clothe us in your armor so that we can be the people you want us to be.  AMEN.


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