Thursday, April 30, 2015
1 John 4:16 – So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.
This verse made me start singing a favorite hymn of mine that starts: “Abide with me Lord, fast falls the eventide.” This hymn is a prayer for God to remain present throughout your life. If you have a chance, you might listen to it here.
Loving God, help each of us to sense your never-ending presence in our lives today and every day. Amen.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
1 John 4:11 – Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.
We live in a world where the powerful can rule the powerless with impunity. We live in a world where some live trapped in a present that has no future. We live in a world that cries out for us to remember this passage.
Almighty God, help us to be brothers and sisters to everyone created in your image. Amen.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Psalm 22:30-31 – Posterity will serve him; future generations will be told about the Lord, and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn, saying that he has done it.
As people of faith, we aren’t able to live as though we are on an island. We are reminded by this passage that we are to perpetuate God’s message through our words and our actions.
Almighty God, help each of us to be an effective part of your creative presence here on earth. Amen.
Monday, April 27, 2015
There are three Sundays left in the Easter season before Pentecost. Our passages this week include: Acts 8:26-40, Psalm 22:25-31, 1 John 4:7-21, and John 15:1-8.
Psalm 22:26 – The poor shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD. May your hearts live forever!
In the New English Version I use, that last sentence of this passage reads, “May they prosper forever!” We are offered the chance to feast on God’s abundance – God’s mercy and forgiveness, God’s never-ending love for each of us.
Gracious and merciful God, be with us today and everyday as we seek to make your world kinder and gentler for everyone. Amen.
Friday, April 24, 2015
John 10:14-16 – I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Sheep from multiple shepherds stayed in a common pen at night, and in the morning the shepherds would call for their sheep. Recognizing the voice of their leader, the sheep would follow him to the pasture.
Loving God, give us ears to hear your true voice among the all chatter of our day. Amen.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
1 John 3:16-17 – We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us–and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help?
Helping is complicated for sure. What represents true help for someone and what is simply enabling further destructive behavior is separated by a razor-thin line in many cases. Yet as people of faith, we are called to help one another…to walk that difficult line as best we can.
Understanding God, help us to be helpful to one another in ways that always bring healing. Amen.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Psalm 23:5-6 – You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD my whole life long.
It is Tuesday afternoon in Orlando and I am writing this while at #NatCon15, the annual conference of the National Council for Behavioral Health. While in a shuttle bus, I heard a loud horn blaring to my left. I looked up and saw a woman who was asking for money on the side of road begin to tear up. She walked behind a tree and collapsed on the ground crying. I had no idea what the driver did in addition to honking, but I was nearly moved to tears myself. I then sat down to write the prayer for Wednesday morning. I read these words of scripture, and I hoped she knew the 23rd Psalm.
God of ALL of us, may everyone feeling lost and alone today feel your presence in their lives even when we do the best we can to shut those same people out of our lives. Amen.