Archive for September, 2014

Proper 22/Ordinary 27, 2014 – Exodus 20:12

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Exodus 20:12Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.

I have known many people like me who share wonderful relationships with their parents.  Others I know have had difficult family stories.  So whether your parents are biological or you have been fortunate enough to have honorary but non-biological parents, our passage today instructs us to maintain a connection to those good people in our past.

Parent God, help us to honor those who came before us whose goodness continues to influence us today.  Amen.

Proper 22/Ordinary 27, 2014 – Exodus 20:4

Monday, September 29, 2014

Vineyards and those who tend them play a prominent role in the passages this week, but our selections begin with the Ten Commandments.  Our scriptures include: Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 and Psalm 19; Isaiah 5:1-7 and Psalm 80:7-15; Philippians 3:4b-14; and Matthew 21:33-46.

Exodus 20:4You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

What are the idols that you place between you and your full relationship with God?  Do you feel good about your work/life balance?  Does a loved one have to repeat themselves to you because you are more concerned with updating your status on any number of social media sites?

Understanding God, help us to live our lives more focused on service to you and to our brothers and sisters around us.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26, 2014 – Philippians 2:5-7

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Philippians 2:5-7Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness.

As I thought about this passage, I remembered that whenever Jesus instructed his disciples, he told them to preach, teach and heal.  Serve others by giving them the good news and by making them well.

Gentle God, help us to have the right attitude about ourselves so we are able to serve others more completely.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26, 2014 – Philippians 2:3-4

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Philippians 2:3-4Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Be humble at all times, and consider the needs of others ahead of your needs.  Imagine for a moment a world where all of us act as these verses instruct.

Loving God, let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me having the right attitude about myself and others.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26, 2014 – Philippians 2:1-2

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Philippians 2:1-2If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.

Paul speaks in earlier verses of the privilege or serving Christ, and he wanted the Philippians to live as one body, as one mind serving Christ.  Let our prayer today be for lives lived in community with this same unity of purpose as Paul desired.

Gracious God, help us to live together bound by a common love for you.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26, 2014 – Psalm 25:1, 4-5

Monday, September 22, 2014

There are a number of familiar passages for our consideration this week, but I am drawn to the passage from Philippians.  Our selections include: Exodus 17:1-7,  and Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16, Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 and Psalm 25:1-9, Philippians 2:1-13 and Matthew 21:23-32.

Psalm 25:1, 4-5To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul…Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.  Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

We read passages like this often in the Bible.  The psalmist has opened his heart to God, and he makes known his desire for his life to be a continual conversation with God.

Almighty God, open our hearts and our minds to your never-ending voice in our lives.  Amen.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25, 2014 – Psalm 145:34-35

Friday, September 19, 2014

Psalm 145:34-35 – Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; his greatness is unsearchable.  One generation shall laud your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.

As people of faith, we understand that we have responsibilities toward one another.  Today, we are instructed that we also have a duty to raise the next generation in a way that assures that they know the wonderful ways God has acted in our own lives.

Awesome God, help me to be a better witness of your wonderful love to those around me, especially to those who are younger.  Amen.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25, 2014 – Matthew 20:14-16

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Matthew 20:14-16“‘Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give this last the same as I give you.  Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?  Or are you envious because I am generous.’  So the last will be first and the first will be last.”

The vineyard owner hired people to work his vineyard throughout the day.  At the end of the day, everyone received a full day’s wage.  We are reminded that all of us are equal in God’s eye.

God of abundance, help us to be generous with others in ways that are pleasing to you.  Amen.

Have a blessed day,

Proper 20/Ordinary 25, 2014 – Jonah 4:11

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jonah 4:11“And should I not be concerned about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right hand from their left, and also many animals?”

“I created the Ninevites and all those animals there,” God is telling Jonah in today’s passage.  We are reminded that everyone and everything around us is part of God’s handiwork – that we should treat each other like fine crafts wearing signs reading: Precious.  Handle with care.

Gentle God, help us to be more mindful of one another.  Amen.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25, 2014 – Jonah 3:10-4:1

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jonah 3:10-4:1When God saw what the Ninevites did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.  But this was very displeasing to Jonah, and he became angry.

Jonah wanted God’s wrath on the Ninevites, but God offered forgiveness instead.  Forgiveness can be quite hard, but we are asked to be forgiving people who follow a forgiving God.

Patient God, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Amen.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25, 2014 – Exodus 16:2-3

Monday, September 15, 2014

One theme that is thread through the lectionary this week is living in community during times of adversity.  Our passages for this week include: Exodus 16:2-15 and Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45, Jonah 3:10-4:11 and Psalm 145:1-8, Philippians 1:21-30 and Matthew 20:1-16.

Exodus 16:2-3The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.  The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Through the biblical account of this story, we know how it ends, so it is easy to be critical of the complaining Israelites for their lack of trust.  Yet I dare say that when the going gets tough and it is hard to see the end result for which we are aiming, we are often just as guilty.

Gracious God, grant us patience and courage to follow your will even when doing so is difficult.  Amen.

Proper 19/Ordinary 24, 2104 – James 3:9-10

Friday, September 12, 2014

James 3:9-10With the tongue we bless the Lord and Father, and with it we curse those who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.

We began the week listening for God’s voice in the many ways it is offered to us.  We were instructed to value those who care enough about us to speak the truth to us.  And we have ended the week with a plea for us to speak to others as fellow children of God.

Gracious God, help us to the see the worth of everyone we meet today.  Amen.

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September 2014

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