Archive for January, 2013

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 13:4a, 6b-8a

Thursday, January 30, 2013 – Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, Year C

1 Corinthians 13:4a, 6b-8a – Love is patient; love is kind…love rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.

Our daily work at the Church Health Center helps people through challenging journeys toward health and wellness.  We work to instill hope in an environment that is patient, kind and respectful of each individual’s worth as a child of God. We deliver good medicine and good science with ample doses of love.

Prayer: Steadfast God, be with each of us as we serve your children today. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Jeremiah 1 6-8

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 – Fourth Sunday after Epiphany

Jeremiah 1 6-8 – Then I said, “Ah, Lord GOD! Truly I do not know how to speak, for I am only a boy.” But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you, do not be afraid of them for I am with you says the LORD.”

We may not be prophets like Jeremiah, but I am reminded by this passage of the importance of listening carefully to God’s conversation in our lives.

Prayer: Gracious God, help our ears better hear and our souls better understand the conversation you are having with us. Amen.

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

Monday, January 28, 2013 – Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, Year C

Can you believe January is almost over? Scriptures from the lectionary for this week include: Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and Luke 4:21-30.

Jeremiah 1:1-2 – Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Even in my adulthood, I often struggle to be understood. I take great comfort knowing that God understands me perfectly. Created by God. Fully known by God.

Prayer: Loving God, you know us better than we know ourselves. You love us more than we love ourselves. Thank you. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 4:18-19

Friday, January 25, 2013 – Third Sunday after Epiphany, Year C

Luke 4:18-19And Jesus read from Isaiah saying, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Imprisonment and blindness can be both literal and metaphorical. Regardless, if one is relieved of their imprisonment or blindness healing has taken place. Once again, scripture supports the centrality of healing as a part of Christ’s ministry.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to be healing presences for all we see today and every day. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 12:29-31

Thursday, January 24, 2013 – Third Sunday after Epiphany, Year C

1 Corinthians 12:29-31Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.

And what are those gifts? Well, immediately following verse 31 is 1 Corinthians 13 where the greater gifts are faith, hope and love. Let us strive toward those gifts together.

Prayer: Loving God, deepen our faith, raise our hope and increase our capacity to love. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 19:1-4a

Wednesday, January 23, 2013 – Third Sunday after Epiphany, Year C

Psalm 19:1-4aThe heavens are telling of the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

Do you want to find God? This passage reminds us that finding God is as simple as looking around you, at the wonder of creation, at the cry of small child, at the glorious everydayness that we so often take for granted.

Prayer: Creator God, help our eyes see you as wind blows through our hair, as rain falls on our face, and as a stranger smiles at us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Nehemiah 8:5-6

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 – Third Sunday after Epiphany, Year C

Interesting and familiar passages are contained in the lectionary passages for this week including: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10; Psalm 19; 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a and Luke 4:14-21.

Nehemiah 8:5-6And Ezra opened the book of the law in sight of the people, for he was standing above all the people; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. Then Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, Amen,” lifting up their hands. Then they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.

In my religious practice, prayer has been a simple act of quiet reflection with my head bowed and my hands in my lap. But this passage reminds me that prayer can not only involve my mind but it can also involve my body.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us pray to you with all our being. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 2:7-10

Friday, January 18, 2013 – Second Sunday of Epiphany, Year C

John 2:7-10Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus has been baptized and he has selected disciples Now he is attending a wedding in Cana. This turning of the water into wine is considered Jesus’ first miracle. It is often read during Epiphany because it is considered the first revelation of Jesus’ divine prerogative to perform miracles.

Prayer: Almighty God, you grant each of us gifts. Reveal those gifts to us so that we can use them in ways that build up your kingdom. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 2:1-4

Thursday, January 17, 2013 – Second Sunday after Epiphany, Year C

John 2:1-4 – On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.”

The wedding in Cana is an important beginning point in Jesus’ ministry, but these first verses do cause me to chuckle a bit. In my mind, Jesus is almost saying, “Mom, it is just wine!” The passage does make me think about the prioritization of activities in my life.

Prayer: Gracious God, grant us the strength of character to keep the main thing the main thing. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Wednesday, January 16, 2013 – Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C

1 Corinthians 12:7-11(paraphrased)
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good:
§ the utterance of wisdom,
§ the utterance of knowledge,
§ faith,
§ gifts of healing,
§ prophecy,
§ discernment of spirits,
§ various kinds of tongues,
§ interpretation of tongues.
All these are activated by the one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

I am comforted knowing that God has worked in each of us and that each of us has been blessed with gifts that are to be shared with one another. My prayer is that each of us will find, claim and use our gifts.

Prayer: Loving God, help us to discern our gifts so that we can live into your vision of us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 12:7

Tuesday, January 15, 2013 – Second Sunday After Epiphany, Year C

1 Corinthians 12:7 – To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

Such a short and simple verse, yet it is profound in its implications. Our gifts from God are not secret skills God grants to us for personal use. Our gifts are “for the common good.” Consider for a moment today if you are sharing your gifts to the fullest.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to willingly share our gifts with one another. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Monday, January 14, 2013 – Second Sunday after Epiphany

In texts for this week we will consider Paul’s writing to the Corinthians on spiritual gifts, and Jesus will reveal his divine prerogative to perform miracles when he turns water into wine at the wedding feast in Cana. Scriptures for this week include: Isaiah 62:1-5; Psalm 36:5-10; 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 and John 2:1-11.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6 – Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.

We have different schedules and job descriptions. We have different skill sets among us. Despite our differences, this passage reminds us that God is at the center of all we do…that each of us serves God in the work we do.

Prayer: Almighty God, bless our efforts as we try to use faithfully the gifts you have given us. AMEN.

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January 2013

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