Friday, August 29, 2014
Matthew 16:24-25 – Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it.”
I have thought of this passage in different ways over the years. I believe that as people of faith we are obligated to search for the life to which God is calling us. In finding that life, we might very well lose the life we assumed was before us.
Ever-present God, help us to clearly hear your voice in our lives. Amen.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Romans 12:9-10 – Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
In our world where trying to get ahead of one another seems to be the rule, God asks us to consider a new reality: to love genuinely and reciprocally, to clutch that which is good and to compete to show the most integrity.
Loving God, help us to be the united people you want us to be. Amen.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Psalm 105:1-3 – O 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. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
I practice a quiet Christianity. I sit in my pew during worship, and I only speak at those designated times, like responsive readings. Yet we are instructed this morning to tell others of the wonderful works of God in our own lives, to rejoice and sing out loud.
Encouraging God, give strength to our voices so that we can give witness to your presence in our lives. Amen.
Monday, August 25, 2014
Moses appears for the first time in the lectionary selections for this week. We also continue to read through Romans 12 and Jesus instructs his disciples about his eventual crucifixion. Our passages include: Exodus 3:1-15 and Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45b, Jeremiah 15:15-21 and Psalm 26:1-8, Romans 12:9-21 and Matthew 16:21-28.
Exodus 3:1-2 – Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.
God appears to Moses in a dramatic way in today’s passage. Most of us won’t be so lucky to have such an experience. But since God in present in each of us, God appears to us each time we meet someone.
Loving God, help us to see you in the smiles and the tears of the people we meet today. Amen.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Exodus 3:10-12 – “So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” “But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”
Even Biblical heroes like Moses had bouts of self-doubt, so we are in good company when we question ourselves. But God reminds Moses, and us, that we are never alone.
Almighty God, may our faith in you push us to actions beyond our self-imposed limits. Amen.
Friday, August 22, 2104
Matthew 16:16-18 – Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
It was just a few chapters earlier when we read about Peter’s doubt as he walked on the water toward Jesus. In a few more chapters, Peter will deny Jesus three times. And yet, Peter remains one of the most significant leaders of the Christian faith.
Loving God, help us to see ourselves with the same love and optimism that you see when you look at us. Amen.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Romans 12:4-5 – For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.
One of the most influential things I have learned is that all of us should consider ourselves as ministers. In other words, we should see our various roles in life as outward reflections of our faith, regardless of our actual job descriptions or responsibilities.
Understanding God, help us to show our faith through our actions toward others. Amen.