Archive for September, 2013

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Lamentations 1:1, 5

Monday, September 30, 2013 – Proper 22/Ordinary 27, Year C

We are quickly approaching the end of this third year in the lectionary cycle. Our scriptures this week include: Lamentations 1:1-6 & Lamentations 3:19-26; Psalm 137; 2 Timothy 1:1-14 and Luke 17:5-10. Alternate selections include: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 and Psalm 37:1-9.

Lamentations 1:1, 5How lonely sits the city that once was full of people! How like a widow she has become, she that was great among the nations! She that was a princess among the provinces has become a vassal…Her foes have become the masters, her enemies prosper, because the LORD has made her suffer for the multitude of her transgressions; her children have gone away, captives before the foe.

The writer of Lamentations, traditionally thought to be the prophet Jeremiah, is anguished by the fall of Jerusalem and points to God’s displeasure “for the multitude of her transgressions” as the cause of the fall. While I rarely write about sin in these meditations, we are reminded this morning that sin can have devastating consequences for us and those around us.

Prayer: Gracious God, forgive us of our sins, and help us be more forgiving toward one another. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Timothy 6:10-12

Friday, September 27, 2010 – Proper 21/Ordinary 26, Year C

1 Timothy 6:10-12For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains. But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Paul instructs his trusted Timothy that it is easy to place money and other pursuits in front of God, sometimes with disastrous results. By telling him to “…fight the good fight of the faith,” Paul suggests that the path of faith won’t always be an easy one, but Paul assures him, and us, that the life of faith is ultimately worth the effort.

Prayer: Understanding God, help us live above the fray so that we can be the disciples you want us to be. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Timothy 6:6-9

Thursday, September 26, 2013 – Proper 21/Ordinary 26, Year C

1 Timothy 6:6-9Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

I can’t remember the origin of the song, but I recall a line that went, “Life’s simple pleasures are the best.” And then there’s the Baloo the bear in the Jungle Book singing, “Look for the bear necessities, the simple bear necessities…”

Prayer: Gracious God, we give you thanks for the sustenance with which you will provide us this day. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 146:4-8

Wednesday, September 25, 2013 – Proper 21/Ordinary 26, Year C

Psalm 146:4-8Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.

The psalmist assures us that God our creator, feeds us, heals us and frees us. God also opens our eyes and helps us stand up straight. The psalmist implores us to place our trust in God, “who keeps faith forever.”

Prayer: Faithful God, you have more faith in us than we have in ourselves. Help us see ourselves as you see us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 91:1-4a

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 – Proper 21/Ordinary 25, Year C

Psalm 91:1-4aYou who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence; he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge…

Pinion, in this context, refers to the strongest part of the bird’s wing where the bones are located. The psalmist is assuring us that God remains with us always, even in times of great trouble.

Prayer: Steadfast God, you promise you are always with us. Help us be more trusting of you. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 16:13

Friday, September 20, 2013 – Proper 20/Ordinary 25, Year C

Luke 16:13“No slave can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

At the Church Health Center, we believe all us are in need of recovery…that all of us place idols in our lives in front of God. While some choose alcohol or drugs, others of us choose more acceptable addictions like work or money.

Prayer: Loving, steadfast God, give us strength to overcome all the barriers we place in front of our relationship with you. Amen.

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

Thursday, September 19, 2013 – Proper 20/Ordinary 25, Year C

1 Timothy 2:1-2First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings, and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity.

Our passages thus far this week have admonished us to never forget the poor and needy among us. Today’s passage reminds us to pray for our leaders, too, that they lead in ways that help us live out our faith as best we can.

Prayer: Almighty God, we ask a special blessing for all of those in positions of power. May their leadership be pleasing to you. Amen.

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