Archive for April, 2014

Third Sunday of Easter 2014 – Acts 32:36-38

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Acts 32:36-38Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Peter is addressing a crowd that he has just accused of crucifying Jesus. Yet because God offers radical forgiveness, Peter is able to offer them, and us, a way to live in full relationship with God.

Almighty God, help us to be as forgiving to one another as you are to us. Amen.

Third Sunday of Easter 2014 – Luke 24:13-16

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Luke 24:13-16Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing, Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him.

I have often thought about these men on the road to Emmaus who were unable to recognize Jesus at first. As a Christian awaiting the return of Christ, I pray that I am given the privilege of discerning the presence of Jesus should I meet Jesus on my own path.

Loving God, help us to see your face in each person we meet today. Amen.

Third Sunday of Easter 2014 – Psalm 116:1-2

Monday, April 28, 2014

The lectionary readings for the third Sunday of this Easter season offer us the following passages: Acts 2:14a, 36-41; Psalm 116:1-4, 12-19; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24:13-35.

Psalm 116:1-2 – I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my supplications. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

The Psalmist rejoices that God has both heard and answered his prayers. Today, look for all the ways that God has answered your prayers.

Gracious God, thank you for revealing to us the many ways that you have answered our prayers. Amen.

Second Sunday of Easter 2014 – Psalm 16:5-6

Friday, April 25, 2014

Psalm 16:5-6The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; you hold my lot. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.

Earlier, David speaks of the sorrows of those who follow other gods. As I read this passage today, David is acknowledging that his faith serves him well as it directs every aspect of his life.

Ever-present God, continue to inform of each day of your will for us. Amen.

Second Sunday of Easter 2014 – Psalm 16:7-8

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Psalm 16:7-8I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

David speaks of seeking God’s advice morning and night. Today we are reminded that like David, we should be listening constantly for God’s voice in our lives.

Loving God, help us to hear your voice in our lives so that all our actions are consistent with your will for us. Amen.

Second Sunday of Easter 2014 – Acts 2:14

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Acts 2:14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say.

I love this speech by Peter not only for what he says in it, but for what it represents to me. Peter, who denied Jesus three times, who hid in fear in the days after the crucifixion, has found his voice and his purpose.

Gracious God, thank you for the patience you show in waiting for us to come to you. Amen.

Second Sunday of Easter 2014 – John 20:21-21

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

John 20:21-21Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Not only did Jesus appear to the disciples who were hiding in fear of their lives, he commissioned them to continue his ministry. While we have the benefit of hindsight today, it seems crazy that Jesus could trust God’s ministry to them.

Almighty God, you see the real people beneath our facades. Help us to be the people for your kingdom that you want us to be. Amen.

Second Sunday of Easter 2014 – John 20:19-20

Monday, April 21, 2014

The scripture selections for the second Sunday of Lent this year include: Acts 2:14a, 22-32, Psalm 16, 1 Peter 1:3-9 , John 20:19-31.

John 20:19-20When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

In those first days after Jesus’ crucifixion, the disciples were scared, and who among us wouldn’t be feeling the same way? After all, Jesus had suffered a heinous death. Despite their denials and their fears, Jesus still came to them after his resurrection.

Steadfast God, thank you for remaining by our side even when we are hiding from you. Amen.

Easter Sunday 2014 – Matthew 28:1-5

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Matthew 28:1-5After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified.

I enjoyed the television show Touched by an Angel, a show where angels appeared to people and helped them during times of hardship. While I know many consider this show a fantasy, it is my wish that during those times of the greatest trials ahead of me, an angel’s presence will help me discern the path I am to take.

Everlasting God, give us discerning hearts so that we can recognize the angels you have placed among us. Amen.

Easter Sunday 2014 – Psalm 118:17-19

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Psalm 118:17-19I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD. The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not give me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD.

I was a normal child growing up, and I was punished by my parents when it was deserved. That said, my love for my parents has never wavered. We are reminded by today’s passage that our love for God should be like that for a parent.

Loving God, help us to love you without hesitation. Help us to love you as our perfect parent. Amen.

Easter Sunday 2014 – Jeremiah 31:1-3

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Jeremiah 31:1-3At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus says the LORD: The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

I am comforted by these words from God to Jeremiah. God’s love for us is everlasting. God remains faithful to us.

Merciful God, thank you for remaining faithful to us even during those times when our faith in you wavers. Amen.

Easter Sunday 2014 – Acts 10:34-35

Monday, April 14, 2014

The bleakness and sadness of Holy Week leads us to the joy and hope of Easter Sunday. Our Easter scriptures for this year include: Acts 10:34-43 or Isaiah 25:6-9, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 or Acts 10:34-43 and John 20:1-18 or Mark 16:1-8.

Acts 10:34-35Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.
These verses are important to me in my own faith journey with others. These verses acknowledge that people can love God and live faithfully, even in ways that are different from me.

Understanding God, help us to be more tolerant of our brothers and sisters who might see you somewhat differently than we do. Amen.

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April 2014

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