Archive for April, 2013

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Acts 16:14-15

Tuesday, April 30, 2013 – Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year C

Acts 16:14-15 A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us.

Luke could have written so much about Lydia and her household. But her first act after her baptism says much about being a person of faith. She offered Paul, Luke and maybe others in their group, a place to stay – Christian hospitality.

Prayer: Loving God, help us show our faith in you through the way we touch the lives of one another. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center –

Monday, April 29, 2013 – Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year C

We are now approaching the sixth Sunday of Easter. The lectionary selections include Acts 16:9-15; Psalm 67; Revelation 21:10, 22-22:5 and John 14:23-29 or John 5:1-9.

Acts 16:9-10 During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them.

I am moved by the faith of Paul in this passage. How did he know this was a message from God and not just a dream? My prayer for us today is for discernment so that we might also know the difference.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us hear your voice above the din that fills our world. Amen.

Picture for Sixth Sunday of Easter, 2013

From the Memphis Botanic Garden

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 13:34-35

Friday, April 26, 2013 – Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

John 13:34-35“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

What a wonderful scripture with which to end our workweek! Jesus asks that we just love one another. It is that simple. It is that hard.

Prayer: Steadfast God, help us be more loving people. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Revelation 21:1-2

Thursday, April 25, 2013 – Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

Revelation 21:1-2Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

I believe that people of faith are called to be transforming presences in the world. While this can take on many different forms among us, collectively I see us as working to usher in a new Jerusalem.

Prayer: Gracious God, may our work this day be indicative of your will so that we might be better kingdom builders. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Acts 11:8-9

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 – Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

Acts 11:8-9 – [Peter is still speaking.] “But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’”

In the creation narrative, God stamps a seal of approval at each stage calling each “good.” God created us in all our diversity. As children of God, we are bound together as relatives of one another.

Prayer: Almighty God, you created us in your image. Help us remember that this and every day. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Acts 11:4-7

Tuesday, April 23, 2013 – Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

Acts 11:4-7Then Peter began to explain it to them step-by-step, saying, “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up Peter; kill and eat.’”

Have you ever been invited to a dinner only to find that few if any of the foods being served are items you eat? God sends Peter a picnic blanket loaded with foods Peter has never eaten, and in so doing, God is challenging Peter’s sense of religious inclusiveness.

Prayer: Loving God, challenge us in ways that better help us see as though we are looking through your eyes. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health – Acts 11:1-3

Monday, April 22, 2013 – Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year C

As we approach the fifth Sunday of Easter, the lectionary offers some familiar and favorite scriptures for us including: Acts 11:1-18; Psalm 148; Revelation 21:1-6 and John 13:31-35.

Acts 11:1-3Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him saying, “Why do you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?”

Are we much different today? Don’t we tend to congregate with people who look like us, think like us and believe like us? The scriptures this week challenge us to look more broadly at who our brothers and sisters are.

Prayer: Gracious God, give us eyes that see the fullness of your creation and everyone in it. Amen.

Picture for Fifth Sunday of Easter, 2013 – Revelation 21:1a

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth…

From Memphis Botanic Gardens

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – John 10:27-28

Friday, April 19, 2013 – Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C

John 10:27-28My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand.

Once again, Jesus uses the analogy of the shepherd to characterize his care for us. The passages this week have provided me with comfort because they suggest that if I listen faithfully, I will be able to distinguish God’s voice from the rest of the world’s chatter.

Prayer: Awesome God, help us experience the many ways you make yourself known to us so that we can follow your will for us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 23:4

Thursday, April 18, 2013 – Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff – they comfort me.

Whenever I read the 23rd Psalm aloud in a group setting, people listening invariably join me saying it from memory. I can write complex prayers, but in my times of greatest need, I turn to either the 23rd Psalm or the Lord’s Prayer for comfort…simple and powerful words.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for simple expressions of faith and hope that both bind us to you and connect us to one another. Amen.

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

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 – Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year C

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; he restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s sake.

The word pastor is derived from the Latin word for shepherd. According to an online dictionary, pastor can be used for a Christian minister or a layperson having spiritual charge over people. In a sense, we are all called to pastor others.

Prayer: Gracious God, sometimes our responsibility for one another seems too great. Help us remember that you are always with us. Amen.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,308 other followers

April 2013

%d bloggers like this: