Archive for July, 2013

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Ecclesiastes 2:18-19

Wednesday, July 31, 2013 – Proper 13/Ordinary 18, Year C

Ecclesiastes 2:18-19I hated all my toil in which I had toiled under the sun, seeing that I must leave it to those who come after me – and who knows whether they will be wise or foolish? Yet they will be master of all for which I toiled and used my wisdom under the sun. This also is vanity.

We don’t serve God alone but in a web of relationships that extends from those who came before us to those who follow us. Part of our faith journey is trusting that our successors will listen for God’s voice as we have.

Prayer: Almighty God, grant that our ears can hear you speaking to us and that our hearts are able to understand your will. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 107:4-5, 8-9

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 – Proper 13/Ordinary 18, Year C

Psalm 107:4-5, 8-9Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to an inhabited town; hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them… Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to humankind. For he satisfies the thirsty, and the hungry he fills with good things.

This passage speaks of soul care. It reminds us that while taking care of physical needs, our spiritual needs are also buoyed up. Faith and health are intricately joined.

Prayer: Gracious God, give us this day our daily bread and help our spirits soar. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Hosea 11:2, 8

Monday, July 29, 2013 – Proper 13/Ordinary 18, Year C

This week we are reminded of the steadfast love of God, and we are asked to keep our lives focused on those priorities which please God and build up the kingdom. Lectionary selections for this week include: Hosea 11:1-11; Psalm 107:1-9, 43; Colossians 3:1-11 and Luke 12:13-21. Alternate selections include Ecclesiastes 1:2, 12-14; 2:18-23 and Psalm 49:1-12.

Hosea 11:2, 8The more I called them, the more they went from me; they kept sacrificing to the Baals, and offering incense to idols…How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, O Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? My heart recoils within me; my compassion grows warm and tender.

God is very disappointed in the people of Israel. In fact, God laments their infidelity, their sin, their worship of other gods, throughout Hosea. But here we once again see assurance of God’s steadfast love for us.

Prayer from Psalm 107:1: O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 11:9-10

Friday, July 26, 2013 – Proper 12/Ordinary 17 – Year C

Luke 11:9-10“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.”

After teaching the disciples to pray, Jesus assures the disciples that the journey of faith is a worthwhile one. God listens. God answers.

Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for your steadfast presence in our lives and for the gentle nudges when we veer off course. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 11:3

Thursday, July 25, 2013 – Proper 12/Ordinary 17, Year C

Luke 11:3“Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial.”

Not a banquet, but simply provide for our basic biological needs. And help us remain healthy in spirit as we face our day-to-day temptations. The prayer Jesus would have us pray asks God to provide for both our body and our spirit.

Prayer: Faithful God, provide us with the strength to walk in your light every day. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 11:1-2

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 – Proper 12/Ordinary 17, Year C

Luke 11:1-2He was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.”

Jesus asks that we first acknowledge the parental nature of God’s love for us. Our relationship to God is as intimate as that of a parent – “Our Father, our Parent, who art in heaven.”

Prayer: Gracious God who loves us as the perfect parent, use us as instruments of your will as we build your kingdom here on earth. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Genesis 18:26-28

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 – Proper 12/Ordinary 17, Year C

Genesis 18:26-28And the LORD said, “If I find at Sodom fifty righteous in the city, I will forgive the whole place for their sake.” Abraham answered, “Let me take it upon myself to speak to the Lord, I who am but dust and ashes. Suppose five of the fifty righteous are lacking? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five? And he said, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

God and Abraham do this back and forth for a few more verses. As I read it, I began to appreciate anew how through God, one person can make a significant difference in the world.

Prayer: Almighty God, be with us in our individual and collective efforts to make your creation better. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 85:10-11

Monday, July 22, 2013 – Proper 12/Ordinary 17, Year C

Abraham pleads for the righteous of Sodom and Gomorrah and Jesus teaches his disciples to pray in the lectionary selections this week which include: Hosea 1:2-10; Psalm 85; Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19) and Luke 11:1-13. Alternative passages include Genesis 18:20-32 and Psalm 138.

Psalm 85:10-11 Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.
This is a wonderful passage with which to begin our week. We put our faith into action each day creating a grassroots movement of neighborly love. May God bless our actions today and every day.

Prayer: Loving God, while we may stumble along the way, help us as we faithfully walk toward your will. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 10:40-42

Friday, July 19, 2013 – Proper 11/Ordinary 16, Year C

Luke 10:40-42But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, do you not care my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.

In the church of my youth, we were given campaign-style buttons to wear that had a finger pointed upward with the words, “I am third.” God, others and then self was the order of priority.

Prayer: Loving God, help us be joyful servants of your will and keep us mindful of the needs of those around us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 10:38-40a

Thursday, July 18, 2013 – Proper 11/Ordinary 16, Year C

Luke 10:38-40aNow as they went on their way, Jesus entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks…

‘Always keep the main thing, the main thing,’ is something of a mantra at the Church Health Center. It reminds us to remain mission-focused in all we do. This is good corporate advice, but it is also good personal advice.

Prayer: Understanding God, we live in a world that is distraction-rich. Help us remain focused on your will. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Genesis 18:2, 9-10a

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 – Proper 11/Ordinary 16, Year C

Genesis 18:2, 9-10aAbraham looked up and saw three men standing near him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent entrance to meet them, and bowed down to the ground. They said to him, “Where is your wife Sarah?” And he said, “There, in the tent.” Then one said, “I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son.”

In their old age, Abraham and Sarah are promised a son. Today’s passage reminds us that God offers us extraordinary promises.

Prayer: Almighty God, give us ears to hear your voice so that we can know your plan for us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 15:1-3

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 – Proper 11/Ordinary 16, Year C

Psalm 15:1-3O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill? Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart; who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors…

The message of these verses may seem obvious to us, but the psalmist thought it important enough to write about it in these words for this morning. How we treat one another matters to God.

Prayer: Gracious God, work within us so that we might better see those around us as you see them. Amen.

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July 2013

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