Archive for July, 2014

Proper 13/Ordinary 18, 2014 – John 6:8-9

Thursday, July 31, 2014

John 6:8-9One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?”

All four Gospels tell the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000, but it is in the book of John that the person identified as having the bread and fish is a boy. If a boy’s packed lunch can have such an impact, imagine what you can do for others.

Creator God, mold us and use us in ways that only you can imagine, to build your kingdom here on Earth. Amen.

Proper 13/Ordinary 18, 2014 – Matthew 14:14

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Matthew 14:14When Jesus went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick.

Despite the pain and sorrow Jesus must have felt for losing John the Baptist, he could not ignore the pain in front of him among the people. Jesus saw a need for healing, and he acted.

Almighty God, help us to take decisive action to help others in your name. Amen.

Proper 13/Ordinary 18, 2014 – Matthew 14:13

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Matthew 14:13Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.

Despite Jesus’ knowledge of the everlasting kingdom of God, Jesus wanted to be alone, away from the crowds, after learning of John the Baptist’s death. We need to carve out time in our days to bring God our joys as well as our sorrows.

Loving God, help us to find times of solitude when we can be alone with you. Amen.

Proper 13/Ordinary 18, 2014 – Genesis 32:22-24

Monday, July 28, 2014

Several very familiar texts are a part of our lectionary readings for this week. The selections include: Genesis 32:22-31 and Psalm 17:1-7, 15, Isaiah 55:1-5 and Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21, Romans 9:1-5 and Matthew 14:13-21. I don’t do this often, but I would also like to include John 6:1-14 which is his version of the Feeding of the 5,000.

Genesis 32:22-24The same night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maids, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and likewise everything that he had. Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.

You will recall that Jacob later realized he was wrestling with God. Whether we need time to “wrestle” with God or simply to talk something out with God, finding time when we can encounter God alone is important.

Gracious God, help us to find intentional time in our schedules to talk to you. Amen.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17, 2014 – Romans 8:38-39

Friday, July 25, 2014

Romans 8:38-39For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We began the week with Genesis 29 where Laban breaks his covenant with Jacob forcing him to marry Leah rather than Rachel at the end of his seven years of service. The other passages for this week reminded us of God’s never ending love for us. This favorite pair of verses from Romans is a fitting way to end our reflections this week.

Steadfast and ever-present God, we face challenges from others every day. Help us to remember that your love for us never wavers. Amen.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17, 2014 – Matthew 13:31-32

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Matthew 13:31-32He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

I love the imagery of heaven as a tree where birds can make nests. As people of faith, I believe we are called to create shelter for one another, to watch out for one another and, in a sense, create heaven here on earth.

Gracious God, help us to know the needs of our neighbors so that we can offer them the help and the shelter that they need. Amen.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17, 2014 – Romans 8:26

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Romans 8:26Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.

One thing you learn quickly working at the Church Health Center is that you have to be ready to offer a prayer if asked. The secret to offering prayer, if I may offer my opinion, is simply to be sincere. God will know what you are saying, and the person(s) listening will appreciate your being vulnerable in front of them.

Almighty God, you search our hearts and know our intentions better than we do. Help us to express ourselves more clearly to others. Amen.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17, 2014 – Genesis 29:18-20

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Genesis 29:18-20Jacob loved Rachel; so he said (to Laban), “I will serve you seven years for your younger daughter Rachel.” Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to any other man; stay with me.” So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days because of the love he had for her.

Patience is one of the virtues for which we look in one another at the Church Health Center. We also want everyone we serve to know that we are committed to caring for them, that we aren’t going anywhere.

Loving God, give us the focus of Jacob to reach our goals, and give us the patience we will need to overcome the challenges we will face. Amen.

Proper 12/Ordinary 17, 2014 – Psalm 105:1-2

Monday, July 21, 2014

Jacob is tricked into marrying Leah, Jesus continues to tell parables to his disciples and some of Apostle Paul’s most beloved passages in Romans are in our selections this week. Those selections include: Genesis 29:15-28 and Psalm 105:1-11, 45b or Psalm 128, 1 Kings 3:5-12 and Psalm 119:129-136, Romans 8:26-39, and Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52.

Psalm 105:1-2O give thanks to the LORD, call on his name, make known his deeds among the peoples. Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wonderful works.

Our faith is not to be expressed in silence. We are to be in conversation with God, and we are to tell others about how God is active in our lives.

Gracious God, for your steadfast love of us, we give you thanks. Give us the words to help us tell others about the amazing ways you are working in us. Amen.

Proper 11/Ordinary 16, 2014 – Psalm 86:15-16

Friday, July 18, 2014

Psalm 86:15-16But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Turn to me and be gracious to me; give your strength to your servant; save the child of your serving girl.

I can operate on a short fuse from time to time where I need to keep my anger in check. The Psalmist asks for God’s strength, and I can’t help but think that part of the strength is being slow to get angry, and offering steadfast love and faithfulness.

Loving God, give us a portion of your patience and help us to share it with those around us. Amen.

Proper 11/Ordinary 16, 2014 – Psalm 139:23-24

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Psalm 139:23-24Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Earlier this week, Jacob heard and followed God’s voice. The Psalmist sang of God’s intimate knowledge of each us. Today, we are reminded that our life should be an ongoing conversation with God.

Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. Amen. (Psalm 86:11)

Proper 11/Ordinary 16, 2014 – Psalm 139:1-3

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Psalm 139:1-3O LORD, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away. You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.

I have been blessed with a number of friends. Some of them have become close enough through the years that I consider them best friends. This passage is a nice reminder that God is our very best friend.

Loving God, you are a parent and a friend. Continue to nudge us so our path is the path you would choose for us. Amen.


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