Archive for October, 2013

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3

Thursday, October 31, 2013 – Proper 26/Ordinary 31, Year C

2 Thessalonians 1:1-3Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: We must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters, as is right, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of everyone of you for one another is increasing.

Working at the Church Health Center offers each of us the opportunity to work among many people who share a deep and abiding faith. Time and time again, managers from more typical corporate environments have told me of the transformational nature of their experience here. Not unlike the passage today, as we grow in our faith together, we grow closer to one another in ways we can’t ignore.

Prayer: Creator God, continue to work in us in ways that bring us into deeper relationship with one another. Amen.

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Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 1:16-17

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 – Proper 26/Ordinary 31, Year C

Isaiah 1:16-17 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.

In today’s passage, Isaiah is offering the word of the Lord to the people of Sodom and Gomorrah. Earlier in the passage, God seems to scoff at their sacrifices and burnt offerings. What God wants is for them to care for those less fortunate among them.

Prayer: Loving God, give us eyes to see the needs of those around us, and give us the wisdom to offer substantive help. Amen.

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

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 – Proper 26/Ordinary 31, Year C

Habakkuk 2:1-2I will stand at my watchpost, and station myself on the rampart; I will keep watch to see what he will say to me, and what he will answer concerning my complaint. Then the LORD answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it.

While I am not a fan of billboards, the most effective ones often have fewer but larger words, making them easier to read as I speed by in my car. How we live our lives, as imperfect as they may be, can be the billboards of our faith.

Prayer: Gracious and forgiving God, give us the strength to live the lives you want us to live. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center –

Monday, October 28, 2013 – Proper 26/Ordinary 31, Year C

This Sunday the lectionary offers the following passages from Scripture: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4; Psalm 119:137-144; 2 Thessalonians 12:1-4, 11-12; Luke 19:1-10. Alternate selections include Isaiah 1:10-18 and Psalm 32:1-7.

Habakkuk 1:2-3O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you, “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see wrong-doing and look at trouble? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise.

Habakkuk is another prophet seemingly frustrated with God by what he sees happening to his brothers and sisters. And yet, I can’t help but think how much better the world would be if more of us cried out to God to help us like Habakkuk is doing in the passage.

Prayer: Almighty God, strengthen us so that we can be of more help those less fortunate among us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Timothy 4:16-17a

Thursday, October 24, 2013 – Proper 25/Ordinary 30, Year C

2 Timothy 4:16-17aAt my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.

‘In my time of need, no one stood by me but you, God. Don’t think less of them, God.’ What a powerful statement of forgiveness Paul is making in this passage today!

Prayer: Gracious God, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 18:10, 13-14

Friday, October 25, 2013 – Proper 25/Ordinary 30, Year C

Luke 18:10, 13-14 – [Jesus is speaking.] “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector…But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

“Keep things in perspective,” is advice often given to one who is not seeing the whole picture, when one is missing the forest for the trees. Today’s passage reminds us to keep ourselves in perspective, too.

Prayer: Loving and patient God, help us as we work to walk humbly with you. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Timothy 4:6-7

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 – Proper 25/Ordinary 30, Year C

2 Timothy 4:6-7As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

I find Paul’s race analogy very helpful. First, Paul says he finished the race, but he didn’t say he won the race. Participation, not victory, is key. Second, I think of the stitch you can get in your side after strenuous exercise. The race of faith in which we run can be difficult, even painful, at times.

Prayer: Steadfast God, in our race of faith, help us know your presence so that we may continue to draw on your strength when we are faltering. Amen.


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