Archive for September, 2014



Proper 19/Ordinary 24, 2014 – James 3:5-6

Thursday, September 11, 2014

James 3:5-6So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!  And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is placed among our members as a world of iniquity; it stains the whole body, sets on fire the cycle of nature, and is itself set on fire by hell.

What we say matters.  Our words can be source of great comfort to others.  Likewise, our words can permanently wound.

Loving God, grant us the wisdom to speak in ways that respect the feelings of others, even when the truth we speak might hurt.  Amen.

Proper 19/Ordinary 24, 2014 – Mark 8:27-29

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mark 8:27-29Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?”  And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”  He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.”

While we should listen for God’s voice in our lives each day, it is also important to have people who will listen to us and tell us the truth.  Jesus needed such people in his life, and each of us needs honest friends surrounding us, too.

Gracious God, thank you for those people around us who care about us enough to tell us the truth.  Amen.

Proper 19/Ordinary 24, 2014 – Psalm 19:1-4

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Psalm 19:1-4The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.  Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.  There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.

While we long to hear God’s voice, the Psalmist assures us we while we revel in the sights and sounds around us, we are reveling in God’s glory.  Look at a cloud today, look at the sun this afternoon, and hear God speaking!

Almighty God, thank you for surrounding us with this wonderful creation.  Amen.

 

Proper 19/Ordinary 24, 2014 – Proverbs 1:20-21

Monday, September 8, 2014

Congratulations to our Church Health Center Communications and Development teams for another successful Rock for Love.  As we ease into this second week of September, our lectionary passages include: Proverbs 1:20-33 and Psalm 19or Wisdom of Solomon 7:26 – 8:1, Isaiah 50:4-9a and Psalm 116:1-9, James 3:1-12, and Mark 8:27-38. 

Proverbs 1:20-21Wisdom cries out in the street; in the squares she raises her voice.  At the busiest corner she cries out; at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:

Listening and speaking is a theme in the passages for this week.  We begin with this reminder from Proverbs that we should always be listening for God’s ever-present voice in our lives.

Loving God, help us to develop an attitude of hearing that helps us hear your voice nudging us toward your will each day.  Amen.

Proper 18/Ordinary 23, 2014 – Romans 13:9-10

Friday, September 5, 2014

Romans 13:9-10The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.

We noted on Monday that the scriptures for this week centered on a theme of living in faithful community together.  Today we learn the bottom line, what really needs to happen – love.  It is that easy.  It is that hard.

Everlasting God, help us to be loving people.  Help us to love ourselves better.  Help us to love one another more.  Amen.

The Church Health Center Turns 27 This Week – Matthew 18:19-20

Wednesday, September 4, 2014

Matthew 18:19-20“Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

The Church Health Center opened this week in 1987 with a handful of employees.  27 years later, you can attribute our success to good, faithful people at all levels of the organization gathering daily in common support of its mission…and God’s constant presence in our collective effort.

Gracious God, thank you for the ministry of the Church Health Center and for your constant presence in all of our lives.  Amen.

Proper 18/Ordinary 23, 2014 – Matthew 18:15

Tuesday, September 3, 2014

Matthew 18:15“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.”

This has become a favorite passage of mine.  It reminds us that it is important to respect one another even when we have differences.  It is good advice for our congregations, for your workplaces, for our homes…for our world.

Understanding God, help us to see one another as your children so we will be more considerate of others when we have differences.  Amen.

Proper 18/Ordinary 23, 2014 – Exodus 12:3-4

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Living in faithful community with one another is a strong theme of the passages in this week’s lectionary.  Scripture selections include: Exodus 12:1-14 and Psalm 149, Ezekiel 33:7-11 and Psalm 119:33-40, Romans 13:8-14, Matthew 18:15-20.

Exodus 12:3-4Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household.  If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it.

This is a rich passage recounting the first Passover.  Some of the blood of the slaughtered lambs would be wiped on the doorposts as a sign that people of God inhabit those homes.  In God’s directions to Moses and Aaron, this instruction made sure that neighbors looked out for one another and that all participated in this literally life-saving observance.

Almighty God, give us the insight to recognize our neighbors and know when they need our help.  Amen.


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