Archive for December, 2012

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 2:1-5

Monday, December 31, 2012 – Epiphany, Year C

Sunday, January 6 is known as Epiphany. The season of Epiphany celebrates several events. Epiphany marks the visit of the Magi to baby Jesus, that time when Jesus was first made known to the Gentiles. The baptism of Jesus is also celebrated during Epiphany, which will be the subject of next week’s scriptures.  The lectionary texts for this week include Isaiah 60:1-6; Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14; Ephesians 3:1-12 and Matthew 2:1-12.

Matthew 2:1-5In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.

A multitude of the heavenly host visited lowly shepherds to announce the birth of Jesus, and a star guided Gentiles to the newborn child. God was revealed through the person of Jesus to laborers as well as wealthy travelers from a land far away.

Prayer: Understanding God, we live in a time when it is easy to place people into neat boxes according to preconceived notions. Keep us mindful that your arms are stretched wide. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Colossians 3:16

Friday, December 28, 2012 – Christmas Week 2012

Colossians 3:16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God.

I love the familiar hymns of Christmas. I tend to know them better, sing them louder and smile while singing them. My prayer for each of you is that through this season of miracles, you have experienced Christ dwelling in you richly.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us sense your presence so that the life-song we sing is authored by you. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Colossians 3:13-14

Thursday, December 27, 2012 – Christmas Week 2012

Colossians 3:13-14Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

So much of the language of faith references how people of faith are to live in community. For those times when living in community is difficult, we are reminded by today’s passage that forgiveness should rule.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us to be more forgiving people and help us to be people who are easy to forgive. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Colossians 3:12

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 – Christmas Week 2012

Colossians 3:12As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience.

This passage is one of the guiding scriptures for us at the Church Health Center. We hope these virtues guide us in how we respond to and interact with our patients, members, donors and volunteers. Equally important, these virtues should dictate our actions toward one another.

Prayer: Loving God, help us to be the people you want us to be. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 2:5-7

Monday, December 24, 2012 – Christmas Week, 2012

Luke 2:5-7Joseph went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The image of Jesus’ humble beginnings is powerful. Consider the immigrants among you today. Consider the children being born today in modern day mangers far away from home. Pray for all of them.

Prayer: Almighty God, much of the hope of this world rests in bundles of innocence being born at this time. Help us create a world that is safer, more nurturing and more loving for each of them. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Micah 5:4-5

Friday, December 21, 2012 – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C

Micah 5:4-5And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God.  And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.

Your Advent journey is about to come to an end, but your journey with God is beginning anew.  God incarnate will be here soon.   Be fervent in your prayers, gentle with one another and know that God, your Creator, remains steadfast by your side today and always.

Prayer: Gracious, loving God, you have always been with us, but we are often blind to your presence.  Guide us where you would have us go.  Help us to move closer to you and toward your plan for us.  Amen.  

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 1:52-53

Thursday, December 20, 2012 – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C

Luke 1:52-53He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

We are approaching a season of great feasts when many good things will be on our tables.  Yet our feasts often fall short when it comes to the health considerations of those around the table.  Will there be people around your table watching their cholesterol or their fat intake?  Will you host anyone with diabetes?  Be mindful of the health concerns around your Christmas table, and plan today for choices that all can enjoy. 

Prayer: Loving God, help us create a Christmas season that is welcoming to and mindful of all who might visit.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 1:46b, 48-49

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 – Fourth Sunday of Advent, Year C

Luke 1:46b, 48-49“My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.  Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

As part of your meditative time today, consider gifts you have received from God, maybe even taking time to write them down.  Throughout the day, consider this list, and thank God for all these gifts.

Prayer: Generous God, thank you for the many blessings you have poured out on us.  May we remain forever grateful of your generosity.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke: 1:43-45

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 – Fourth Sunday in Advent, Year C

Sorry, but I have had some trouble posting to my blog the last few days…

Mary has just entered the home of Elizabeth and Zechariah and we hear from Elizabeth in Luke: 1:43-45“And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me.  For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy.  And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Most people of faith have listened for God’s voice in their life.  But this passage points out to us that believing what you hear from God is a leap of faith all on its own.

Prayer: God of mystery, help us not only to hear you more clearly, but help us to believe more fully.  Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Philippians 4:6-7

Thursday, December 13, 2012 – Third Sunday of Advent, Year C

Philippians 4:6-7Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Advent is a short journey within the larger context of your life.  But travel is almost always more fulfilling when you are joined by someone else.  This passage notes that your life should be an ongoing conversation with God, that you are never alone on your journey.

Prayer: God of our past, present and future, incline our ears to you so that we can hear your still small voice guiding us.  Amen.

Have a Blessed Day is Now Available

Have a Blessed Day

I am proud to announce my latest book, Have a Blessed Day: A Year of Daily Devotions from the Church Health Center, is available for sale.  This book compiles 365 of my best Daily Devotions from the last three years.  To order Have a Blessed Day, visit the Church Health Center’s online store.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Zephaniah 3:19

Wednesday, December 12, 2012 – Third Sunday of Advent, Year C

Zephaniah 3:19I will deal with all your oppressors at that time.  And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth.

Everyone comes in contact with outcasts, even if the outcast in your life is just the awkward and insecure person who makes people uncomfortable whenever he or she is around.  Do you interact with such people in positive ways or do you help add to their feelings of separation?

Prayer: Understanding God, help us to see your imprint on each person we see today.  Amen.

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December 2012

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