Archive for September, 2012

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Mark 9:41

Friday, September 28, 2012 – Proper 21/Ordinary 26, Year B

Mark 9:41For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

The passages this week have given us direction on how to interact with one another as people of faith – passing a bit of our spirit to others, praying for one another, being vulnerable to one another.  Today’s passage reminds us that living into this responsibility can begin with the simplest of interactions – giving someone a glass of water.

Prayer:  Loving and steadfast God, help us remember that reflecting your presence in us can be accomplished with simple acts of kindness.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – James 5:14

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 – Proper 21/Ordinary 26, Year B

James 5:14Are any among you sick?  They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.

The Church Health Center has been led by this scripture for over 25 years now.  It calls the church to task in providing for our sick brothers and sisters through both spiritual means (prayer) and physical means (anointing) – healing people in body and spirit using our bodies and our spirits. 

Prayer: Gracious God, help us be fully present for the people we will meet today so we can be a healing presence for each of them.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – James 5:13

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 – Proper 21/Ordinary 26, Year B

James 5:13Are any among you suffering?  They should pray.  Are any cheerful?  They should sing songs of praise.

As a young person, I sang a church song that had the line, ‘Take it to the Lord in prayer.’  I thought of that song today with this verse.  Whether we are suffering or joyful, we should invite God to be at the center of our life through prayer and praise. 

Prayer: Loving God, “Help” is a word you often hear from us.  Know that we also honor you and worship your steadfast presence in our lives.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Numbers 11:25a

Monday, September 24, 2012 – Proper 21/Ordinary 26, Year B

The following scriptures are offered by the lectionary this week:  Esther 7:1-6, 9-10 and 9:20-22; Psalm 124; James 5:13-20 and Mark 9:38-50.  Alternate scriptures include Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 and Psalm 19:7-14.

Numbers 11:25aThen the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses, and took some of the spirit that was in him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested on them, they prophesied.

This verse provides a wonderful image of God taking a bit of Moses’ spirit and passing it onto others so that they could be stronger.  As you interact with people today consider this passage, and leave a bit of your spirit behind with them.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us be better instruments of your will as we work among your children today.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Mark 9:36-37

Friday, September 21, 2012 – Proper 20/Ordinary 25, Year B

Mark 9:36-37Then Jesus took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”

After a week of scriptures reminding us to stay focused on God’s will, this is a wonderful passage with which to conclude. 

Prayer: Loving God, keep us mindful that as we do to the least of our brothers and sisters, we also do to you.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – James 3:13, 17

Thursday, September 20, 2012 – Proper 20/Ordinary 25, Year B

James 3:13, 17 Who is wise and understanding among you?  Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom…But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy.  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.

Some friends say I have a tendency to ramble when I speak.  In fact, one friend has interrupted me more than once with the line, “Focus!”   The lectionary selections for this week are a reminder for us to beware of the numerous distractions in the world and to “Focus!” on those things that build up God’s Kingdom.

Prayer: Steadfast God, continue to gently nudge us back toward your will for us whenever we wander.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – James 3:14, 16

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 – Proper 20/Ordinary 25, Year B

James 3:14, 16But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth.  For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.

The visual this passage gave me was of two people in a rowboat, each rowing with no regard to the other.  The rowboat simply spins in a circle, never moving forward.  I see this passage as saying that envy and selfishness can create disorder in our lives causing us similarly to circle aimlessly. 

Prayer: Loving God, help us lead lives focused outwardly toward one another and upwardly toward you.  Amen.

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

Tuesday, September 18, 2012 – Proper 20/Ordinary 25, Year B

Psalm 1:1-2Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of the scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on this they meditate day and night.

You may have heard the phrase, “Keep the main thing, the main thing.”  We are reminded by today’s passage to keep focused on our faith and to resist being distracted by those things in the world that don’t build up God’s kingdom. 

Prayer: Understanding God, too often we march to the beat of our own drum.  Thanks for loving us anyway.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Proverbs 31:10, 20

Monday, September 17, 2012 – Proper 20/Ordinary 25, Year B

I hope you had a relaxing weekend.  The lectionary selections for this week include: Proverbs 31:10-31; Psalm 1; James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a and Mark 9:30-37.  Alternate scriptures include Wisdom of Solomon 1:16-2:1, 12-22; Psalm 54 and Jeremiah 11:18-20.

Proverbs 31:10, 20A capable wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels…She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.

Proverbs 31:1 reads: The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him, and verse 9 reads: Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. The King’s mother is beseeching him to care for the poor and needy and to find a wife who does the same.  She is asking him to surround himself with people who are righteous.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us find people who are called to similar service as we are, so that we can do great things for your kingdom.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Mark 8:33

Friday, September 14, 2012 – Proper 19/Ordinary 24, Year B

Mark 8:33But turning and looking at his disciples, Jesus rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan!  For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

We set priorities every day.  I have a planner that I use each day to keep me on track with my to-dos at work.  This passage reminds us that our daily tasks should include those things which bring us closer to God. 

Prayer: Loving God, help us set our priorities on those things which bring glory to you.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – James 3:7-9

Thursday, September 13, 2012 – Proper 19/Ordinary 24, Year B

James 3:7-9For every species of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by the human species, but no one can tame the tongue – a restless evil full of deadly poison.  With it we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.

You remember the rule for crossing the street?  ‘Stop.  Look both ways.  Proceed.’  It is unfortunate we often fail to take that same advice when we speak. 

Prayer: Patient God, help us to remember the power of our words to do both good and harm.  Help us to think before we speak.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 50:8-9

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 – Proper 19/Ordinary 24, Year B

Isaiah 50:8-9 He who vindicates me is near.  Who will contend with me?  Let us stand up together.  Who are my adversaries?  Let them confront me.  It is the Lord GOD who helps me; who will declare me guilty?

This passage speaks of a confidence that comes from a firm faith in God.  It is a confidence that allows you to ‘set your face like flint’ as in the passage yesterday, and then walk proudly as the person of faith that you are. 

Prayer: Steadfast God, help our faith strengthen and deepen so that we can be bolder people of faith.  AMEN.


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