Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Psalm 100 – Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come into his presence with singing. Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name. For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness for all generations.
A favorite and familiar hymn based on this Psalm known as Old 100th:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise him all creatures here below;
Praise him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. AMEN.
Thomas Ken, 1674
Prayer: Gracious God, as we near Thanksgiving Day, may our thoughts turn to you in thanks for all your wonderful works. Amen.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Philippians 4:5 – Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.
What a wonderful verse for us to consider this morning. There are so many symbols of status like wealth, material possessions and academic degrees, but it is our gentleness, the way we treat one another, that God wants us to show.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us be gentle to all the people we meet today. Amen.
Monday, November 25, 2013
We turn our attention this week to Thanksgiving Day. The lectionary selections for Thanksgiving include Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 100, Philippians 4:4-9 and John 6:25-35.
Deuteronomy 26:3, 10 – You shall go to the priest who is in office at the time, and say to him, “Today I declare to the LORD your God that I have come into the land that the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us…So now I bring the first fruit of the ground that you, O LORD, have given me.”
Give the first fruits of your labors to the Lord. We are reminded by today’s passage that all we possess, all we create, is a gift from God.
Prayer: Almighty God, we will express thanks for many people and things this week, but we are especially thankful for your steadfast presence in our lives. Amen.
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Psalm 46:8-9 – Come, behold the works of the LORD; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
Behold the works of the Lord: All wars will end and all the implements of war will be destroyed allowing for a lasting peace. Come Lord, come.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us bring peace to our neighborhoods and our cities so that we can help bring peace to this world. Amen.
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Luke 1:76-77 – “…And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins…”
Zechariah, the soon-to-be father of John the Baptist, was visited by an angel who foretold the birth of his son. Because his initial reaction was disbelief, he was struck mute until his son was born. These verses are part of the prophecy uttered by Zechariah right after he named his son, in what is sometimes called the Bededictus, the song of Zechariah.
Prayer: Almighty God, grant us discerning spirits so that we can understand your will for us. Amen.
Monday, November 18, 2013
This Sunday will mark the end of the three-year lectionary cycle. This last Sunday of the year is also known as Reign of Christ Sunday, and our scriptures for this week begin to anticipate the beginning of Advent. The scripture selections for this week include: Jeremiah 23:1-6; Luke 1:68-79 or Psalm 46; Colossians 1:11-20 and Luke 23:33-43.
Jeremiah 23:1-2 – Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD.
We often think of the Hippocratic Oath taken by physicians as having the phrase, ‘Do no harm.’ While not found in the Oath in that way directly, the thought is certainly there. I thought of this familiar phrase after reading this passage, as it does speak to the damage and the alienation we can cause one another.
Prayer: Merciful God, keep us mindful of the needs of others and help us be good shepherds to one another. Amen.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Luke 21:6-7 – [Jesus is speaking.] “As for these things that you see [the Temple], the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them.”
Have faith in our mighty and wondrous God. Let the outward expressions of your faith be worthy of imitation. These are two themes of the passages for this week. This passage reminds us to have faith in our faith…to trust our understanding of our faith amid the challenges that seek to pull that faith out from under us.
Prayer: Steadfast God, give us strength and wisdom to be faithful servants to both you and one another. Amen.