Archive for August, 2014

Proper 17/Ordinary 22, 2014 – Matthew 16:24-25

Friday, August 29, 2014

Matthew 16:24-25Then 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.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22, 2014 – Romans 12:9-10

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Romans 12:9-10Let 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.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22, 2014 – Psalm 105:1-3

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Psalm 105:1-3O 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.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22, 2014 – Exodus 3:1-2

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 3:1-2Moses 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.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22, 2014 – Exodus 3:10-13

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.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21, 2014 – Matthew 16:16-18

Friday, August 22, 2104

Matthew 16:16-18Simon 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.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21, 2014 – Romans 12:4-5

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Romans 12:4-5For 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.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21, 2014 – Psalm 138:3, 8

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Psalm 138:3, 8On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul…Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies; you stretch out your hand, and your right hand delivers me.

These are two wonderful verses. God strengthens us so we can live our faith even when doing so might not be safe. God also blesses us by remaining by our side ready and able to help us.

Sustainer God, help us to sense your presence in our lives in the good times as well as the bad times. Amen.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21, 2014 – Isaiah 51:1-2

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Isaiah 51:1-2Listen to me, you that pursue righteousness, you that seek the LORD. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the quarry from which you were dug. Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who bore you; for he was but one when I called him, but I blessed him and made him many.

I love the imagery of this passage that advises us to look to the foundation on which our faith was built. Look to Abraham and Sarah, and acknowledge that we are children of God, each and every one of us.

Creator God, help us to remember those people in our lives who helped us form our faith in you. Amen.

Panoramic Views Celebrates Six Years on WordPress!

Readers and followers,

I just got the message from WordPress that I have been blogging here most every day for the past six years. I was actually surprised that I had been blogging here that long. Thanks for your support and encouragement!


Proper 16/Ordinary 21, 2014 – Exodus 2:9-10

Monday, August 18, 2014

The infant Moses, a favorite chapter from the book of Romans and Peter are featured in this week’s lectionary selections. Those passages include: Exodus 1:8-2:10 and Psalm 124, Isaiah 51:1-6 and Psalm 138, Romans 12:1-8, Matthew 16:13-20.

Exodus 2:9-10Pharaoh’s daughter said to the Hebrew nurse, “Take this child and nurse it for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed it. When the child grew up, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and she took him as her son. She named him Moses, “because,” she said, “I drew him out of the water.”

Despite her father’s wish that all male children be thrown into the Nile, Pharaoh’s daughter had pity on the little boy. This small act of both defiance and compassion changed a life, and changed the world.

Almighty God, give us strength so that we can always do what is right, especially when it is difficult or dangerous. Amen.

Proper 15/Ordinary 20, 2014 –

Friday, August 15, 2014

Matthew 15:25-28But the Canaanite woman came and knelt before Jesus, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

The woman had great faith to be sure, but she also displayed great persistence in seeking help for her daughter. The passage reminds us that as people of faith, we should seek to be a voice for the voiceless among us.

Gracious God, help us to be better advocates for those people among us who need help getting the care they need. Amen.

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August 2014

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