Archive for October, 2014

Proper 26/Ordinary 31, 2014 – Matthew 23:11-12

Friday, October 31, 2014

Matthew 23:11-12The greatest among you will be your servant.  All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.

In a world where we are encouraged to get ahead, to outpace our neighbor, it is hard to imagine being a servant.  But God expects us to care for one another…to serve one another.  Imagine for a moment today how bold your personal ministry to others could be if you knew that you could count on all the rest of us.

Everlasting and loving God, bless our efforts to help each other in significant, life-changing ways.  Amen.

Proper 26/Ordinary 31, 2014 – Matthew 23:1-3

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Matthew 23:1-3Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach.”

It goes without saying that our actions matter.  And while all of us are human and prone to falling short, we should take care to act in ways that honor our faith as best we can.

Forgiving God, we want to be better than we act.  Thank you for forgiving us for all the times we fall short.  Amen.

Proper 26/Ordinary 31, 2014 – 1 Thessalonians 2:9

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

1 Thessalonians 2:9You remember our labor and toil, brothers and sisters; we worked night and day, so that we might not burden any of you while we proclaimed to you the gospel of God.

I have heard that Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inn, once said, ‘To be a success, you only have to work half a day.  It doesn’t matter if it is the first half or the last half of the day.’  I must admit that it never occurs to me that Apostles were bi-vocational, that they had to work hard like the rest of us AND preach, teach and heal…that they had to work their share of half days then some.

Gracious God, bless all of our work today.  May it put food on our tables and bring glory to you.  Amen.

Proper 26/Ordinary 31, 2014 – Psalm 107:35-37

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Psalm 107:35-37 He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water.  And there he lets the hungry live, and they establish a town to live in; they sow fields, and plant vineyards, and get a fruitful yield.

The Psalmist praises God for creating lush land where people can thrive together.  He praises God for making the establishment of communities possible.

Almighty God, thank you for the networks of friends and family that comprise the various communities in which we live.   Amen.

Proper 26/Ordinary 31, 2014 – Joshua 3:7-8

Monday, October 27, 2014

Our actions as people of faith is one of the themes of the lectionary this week.  The passages include: Joshua 3:7-17 and Psalm 107:1-7, 33-37, Micah 3:5-12 and Psalm 43, 1 Thessalonians 2:9-13 and Matthew 23:1-12.

Joshua 3:7-8 – The LORD said to Joshua, “This day I will begin to exalt you in the sight of all Israel, so that they may know that I will be with you as I was with Moses.  You are the one who shall command the priests who bear the ark of the covenant, ‘When you come to the edge of the waters of the Jordan, you shall stand still in the Jordan.'”

The Lord promises to elevate and uphold Joshua “in the sight of all Israel,” so they will know he has taken Moses’ place.  While most of us won’t have the opportunity to perform a miracle as evidence of God’s support of us, we will have ample opportunities to show others how God is active in our lives.

Loving God, may my actions today and every day reflect my faith in you.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 20, 2014 – 1 Thessalonians 2:8

Friday, October 24, 2014

1 Thessalonians 2:8So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us. 

What a great passage with which to end this week.  We are encouraged not only to share our faith in God with others, but we are also challenged to share ourselves.

Loving God, help us to witness to others in ways that bring honor to you.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30, 2014 – 1 Thessalonians 2:1-2

Thursday, October 23, 2014

1 Thessalonians 2:1-2You yourselves know, brothers and sisters, that our coming to you was not in vain, but though we had already suffered and been shamefully mistreated at Philippi, as you know, we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in spite of great opposition.

Our faith should change us in noticeable ways.  Today, we are reminded that our faith should give us a determination in our beliefs and in the decisions that come from letting God lead us.

Ever-present God, grant us courage to be witnesses to the strength you can provide to our lives when we rely on you.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30, 2014 – Psalm 90:16-17

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Psalm 90:16-17Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.  Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands — O prosper the work of our hands!

Faith is expressed in many ways: by praying to God, by singing our praises to God, by visiting the sick and those who are shut in, and by getting our hands dirty doing faith work.

Almighty God, bless our hands, bless our lives to your service.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30, 2014 – Deuteronomy 34:11-12

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Deuteronomy 34:11-12Moses was unequaled for all the signs and wonders that the LORD sent him to perform in the land of Egypt, against Pharaoh and all his servants and his entire land, and for all the mighty deeds and all the terrifying displays of power that Moses performed in the sight of all Israel.

The writer of Deuteronomy wanted to make sure there was no confusion as to where Moses stood among the prophets.  We can learn from this that we should recognize and honor those among us whose faith-led actions serve as a beacon of hope for us and others.

Prayer: Gracious God, we give thanks to you this day for those people around us whose faith moves us to bolder action.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30, 2014 – Deuteronomy 34:4-5

Monday, October 20, 2014

Wonderful scriptures are offered to us this week in the lectionary.  Those passages include: Deuteronomy 34:1-12 and Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17, Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18 and Psalm 1, 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 and Matthew 22:34-46.

Deuteronomy 34:4-5The LORD said to him, “This is the land of which I swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants’; I have let you see it with your eyes, but you shall not cross over there.”  Then Moses, the servant of the LORD, died there in the land of Moab, at the Lord’s command.

I have read this passage numerous times, and I have always felt bad for Moses that he didn’t get to enter the land for which he had worked so hard to deliver his people.  And yet, Moses got to see that his life work was not in vain…that his faith journey was going to bear fruit.  What a glorious gift from God.

Everlasting God, thank you for those times when we can see that our faith work helped others.  Amen.

Proper 24/Ordinary 29, 2014 – Matthew 22:19-21

Friday, October 17, 2014

Matthew 22:19-21Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought Jesus a denarius.  Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?”  They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”

As we close the week, we are again reminded that God’s desire is for us to live our lives in ways that genuinely reflect our faith: being prayerful, serving others, helping those less fortunate, to name a few.

Loving God, help us this and every day to do your will.  Amen.

Proper 24/Ordinary 29, 2014 – 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7

Thursday, October 16, 2014

1 Thessalonians 1:6-7And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for in spite of persecution you received the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

Today the Church Health Center and Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare will host the 13th Annual Faith & Health: Making the Connection Conference.  We will be exploring issues of mental health and how the faith community can move the needle on reducing stigma and encouraging those in need to seek treatment.

Gracious and merciful God, bless all of us in Memphis and around the world who are trying to imitate you by bringing healing to our brothers and sisters.  Amen.


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