Archive for June, 2015

Proper 9/Ordinary 14 2015 – 2 Samuel 5:3-4

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2 Samuel 5:3-4So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel.  David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. 

At thirty years old, David was young to be a national leader.  And yet, one of the outstanding qualities of David was already apparent: he was a good listener.  His covenant, while not described here, suggests he carried on a dialogue with those who were going to be his people, and he was constantly seeking God’s counsel.

Gracious God, open our ears so we can hear your voice in our lives.  Incline our ears to our neighbors, and keep us mindful of their voices.  Amen.

Proper 9/Ordinary 14 2015 – 2 Samuel 5:1-2

Monday, June 29, 2015

How do you identify someone a leader?  Our selections this week allow us to consider that topic as we look at David, Jesus and Paul.  The passages include: 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10 and Psalm 48, Ezekiel 2:1-5 and Psalm 123, 2 Corinthians 12:2-10, and Mark 6:1-13.

2 Samuel 5:1-2Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, “Look, we are your bone and flesh.  For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in. The LORD said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.”

The word “shepherd” caught my eye today.  Shepherd is such a rich term to describe someone for it can mean guardian or guide, depending on the context in which it is used.  David was known as a military leader first, and our shepherd Jesus is clearly the latter.

Gracious God, all of us are shepherds to someone.  Help us to be the kind of shepherd you want us to be.  Amen.

Proper 8/Ordinary 13 2015 – Mark 5:38-39

Friday, June 26, 2015

Mark 5:38-39When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.  When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.”

Jesus enters the house full of people mourning over the death of the little girl, but in a few minutes she will soon be walking around and eating.  In God’s world, things are not always as they seem – ends can become new beginnings.

God of endless possibilities, it is easy for us to impose human limitations on you.  Deepen our faith so that our minds can grasp your limitlessness.  Amen.

Proper 8/Ordinary 13 2015 – Mark 5:28-30

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mark 5:28-30 – …for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.”  Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.  Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”

The story of the women with the hemorrhage is a rich and powerful healing story.  In these verses Jesus feels the power leaving him, and I have come to see this aspect of the story as reminding us that helping others can be taxing, even when we are called by God to help.

Understanding God, help us remember to take care of ourselves so that we may offer ourselves more fully to others from our abundance rather than our scarcity.  Amen.

Proper 8/Ordinary 13 2015 – Lamentations 3:22-24

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lamentations 3:22-24The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

As I read this passage, I kept looking at the words “…says my soul…”  It is a phrase that speaks of a trust in God that is grounded in the depth of the writers being.

Steadfast God, when we are walking through the dark chapters of our lives, help us to remember that you have never left us, that your hand is always outstretched to us.  Amen.

Proper 8/Ordinary 13 2015 – Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living.  For he created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth.  For righteousness is immortal.

The Wisdom of Solomon is not in the Bible of my tradition, but it does appear in those of several other Christian traditions.  I am moved by this acknowledgement that the truly life-giving forces of our world are good, healthy, and nourishing.

Life-giving God, help us to be generative forces in the lives of those people who are around us today and every day.  Amen.

Proper 8/Ordinary 13 2015 – Psalm 130:5-6

Monday, June 22, 2015

David mourns the death of Saul and Jonathan, and Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter in the lectionary selections for this week.  The passages include: 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27 and Psalm 130, the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15, 2:23-24 or Lamentations 3:22-33 and Psalm 30, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, and Mark 5:21-43.

Psalm 130:5-6I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.

To try and imagine what a sunrise was like to the psalmist, I remembered my own trip where I camped out in the Sonoran Desert in Texas.  Road runners and small lizards ran about harmlessly during the day.  But at night, there was darkness like I have never seen coupled with coyotes and rattle snakes on the hunt.  To the psalmist, the dawn of the new day signaled safety and life.

Creator God, help us to embrace you in our times of abundance as we do when we are desolate and scared.  Amen.

Proper 7/Ordinary 12 2015 – Mark 4:39-40

Friday, June 19, 2015

Mark 4:39-40Jesus woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.  He said to the disciples, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

I can identify with the disciples in this passage.  The boat is “being swamped” (v. 37), and the disciples are understandably scared.  That said, the passage reminds us that we are called to have radical faith in God…a deep and abiding trust in God.

Understanding God, we come to you as people with weak places in our faith.  Strengthen us so that our faith survives all the storms in our lives.  Amen.

Proper 7/Ordinary 12 2015 – Mark 4:35-36

Thursday, June 18, 2015 

Mark 4:35-36 – On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”  And leaving the crowd behind, the disciples took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him.

Rest is so important for all of us, and it is often easy to ignore rest when your work is a calling.  But we are reminded today that even Jesus had to get away from the crowd and just be with those closest to him.

God of our nights as well as our days, give us the strength to admit when we are tired so that we may rest in order to serve you even more.  Amen.

Proper 7/Ordinary 12 2015 – 1 Samuel 18:14

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

1 Samuel 18:14David had success in all his undertakings; for the LORD was with him.

David, the youngest brother and the shepherd, was an unlikely king, but he had a keen sense of God’s calling him into service.  He listened for God voice, and he trusted God presence in his life.

Everlasting God, help us to listen to you, to trust you, and to go where you lead us.  Amen.

Proper 7/Ordinary 12 2015 – 1 Samuel 17:38-39

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

1 Samuel 17:38-39Saul clothed David with his armor; he put a bronze helmet on his head and clothed him with a coat of mail.  David strapped Saul’s sword over the armor, and he tried in vain to walk, for he was not used to them. Then David said to Saul, “I cannot walk with these; for I am not used to them.” So David removed them.

If you are like me, sometimes you just don’t feel comfortable in your own skin.  As I reflected on this, I began to think of people who spend years, even lifetimes feeling awkward, or unattractive, or even worthless.

God of us all, help us to shine a little bit of your love on each person we meet today.  Amen.

Proper 7/Ordinary 12 2015 – 1 Samuel 17:4

Monday, June 15, 2015

Our lectionary selections this week include the familiar David and Goliath battle as well as Jesus calming the stormy water: 1 Samuel 17:(1a, 4-11, 19-23), 32-49 and Psalm 9:9-20 or 1 Samuel 17:57-18:5, 18:10-16 and Psalm 133, Job 38:1-11 and Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32, 2 Corinthians 6:1-13, and Mark 4:35-41.

1 Samuel 17:4And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span.

As I reflected on this passage, I began to think about the goliath’s in our own lives.  Then I read this phrase on a wooden block my wife keeps in a prominent location in our home: “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

Gentle God, help us to remember that everyone is aching in some way.  Amen.

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,308 other followers

June 2015

%d bloggers like this: