Archive for July, 2015

Proper 11/Ordinary 16 2015 – 2 Samuel 7:12-14a

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

2 Samuel 7:12-14aWhen your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.  He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever.  I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me.

Like many of you, I suspect, I want the world to be a better place when I am gone because of my contributions.  But since most of us won’t have the privilege of a covenant the magnitude of the one given to David, the best chance to meet our collective dream will come from faithfully working together.

Gracious God, help us in our efforts as we work together to make your world more loving and more just for all.  Amen.

Proper 11/Ordinary 16 2015 – 2 Samuel 7:8-9

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

2 Samuel 7:8-9Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David: Thus says the LORD of hosts: I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep to be prince over my people Israel; and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.

With God speaking to Nathan, this is the beginning of God’s covenant with David.  As we meditate on the promise God is making with David, it is helpful to be reminded of David’s humble beginnings.  God can work through anyone.

Almighty God, help us to discern how we can be of greatest service to you and your kingdom.  Amen.

Proper 11/Ordinary 16 2015 – 2 Samuel 7:1-3

Monday, July 13, 2015

God makes a covenant with David, and Jesus tries to find a place where he and his disciples can rest in our lectionary selections for this week.  Those passages include: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a and Psalm 89:20-37, Jeremiah 23:1-6 and Psalm 23, Ephesians 2:11-22, Mark 6:30-34, 53-56.

2 Samuel 7:1-3Now when the king was settled in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies around him, the king said to the prophet Nathan, “See now, I am living in a house of cedar, but the ark of God stays in a tent.”  Nathan said to the king, “Go, do all that you have in mind; for the LORD is with you.”

Ships, temples and palaces were built with Lebanon cedar in David’s time.  It was a wood that would last through the ages.  It certainly makes sense that David would now be ready to create a permanent home for the ark of God, but we will soon learn that God has a different plan in mind.

Creator God, give us ears that can hear your voice and wisdom that can discern your will for us.  Amen.

Proper 10/Ordinary 15 2015 – Mark 6:14-15

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mark 6:14-15King Herod heard of it, for Jesus’ name had become known.  Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.”  But others said, “It is Elijah.”  And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.”

I couldn’t help but think about the spreading of rumors when I read this passage today.  Multitudes of people were seeing Jesus at work, and yet there were various explanations as to his identity.  There is no doubt in my mind that all of these explanations were offered as “facts” by some of the people who were speculating about them.

Forgiving God, we make false assumptions about one another that are based on insufficient evidence.  Help us to be aware of our own fallibility.  Amen.

Proper 10/Ordinary 15 2015 – Psalm 85:9-11

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Psalm 85:9-11Surely his salvation is at hand for those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land.  Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.  Faithfulness will spring up from the ground, and righteousness will look down from the sky.

In your movement times throughout the day, consider these words of the psalmist.  With every step, remember God’s steadfast love for you.  When able, look up and imagine God’s peace raining down on you.

Merciful and everlasting God, enfold us in your arms as we work to serve you and your people today.  Amen.

Proper 10/Ordinary 15 2015 – Psalm 85:8

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 

Psalm 85:8Let me hear what God the LORD will speak, for he will speak peace to his people, to his faithful, to those who turn to him in their hearts.

David was just a youngest child and a shepherd when we first meet him in scripture.  In this week’s reading from 2 Samuel, he is now King David and bringing the ark of God to its new home.  I believe one thing that distinguishes David is his intention both to listen for and talk to God in all he does.

Almighty God, help us to live each day as if we are in a conversation with you.  Amen.

Proper 10/Ordinary 15 2015 – Psalm 24:1-2

Monday, July 7, 2015

Psalm 24:1-2The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it; for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.

As a Boy Scout, I was taught that when you exploring, you should leave no trace of your venture behind, except your carefully placed footprints.  This ethic is rooted in being a good steward of the outdoors.  Our passage reminds us that we should observe similar caution when dealing with each other.

Creator God, all of us belong to you.  Help us to be good stewards of one another.  Amen.

Proper 10/Ordinary 15 2015 – 2 Samuel 6:5

Monday, July 6, 2015

I hope everyone reading this had a wonderful weekend.  In our lectionary selections for this week, David brings the ark of God to the city of David and John the Baptist is beheaded as King Herod keeps a promise given to his daughter.  The passages include: 2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19 and Psalm 24, Amos 7:7-15 and Psalm 85:8-13, Ephesians 1:3-14, and Mark 6:14-29.

2 Samuel 6:5David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the LORD with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.

Earlier in the passage David had gathered 30,000 men of Israel, so this scene must have been amazing to witness.  While many of us enjoy calm and predictable worship services, our passage today reminds us that worshiping with abandon is also encouraged.

Almighty God, help us feel the freedom to worship you as though no one is watching, except you.  Amen.

Proper 9/Ordinary 14 2015 – Mark 6:7

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Mark 6:7Jesus called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.

Delegating tasks, sharing the work load with others, is a requirement for successful organizations to thrive.  Yet I must admit that in my own work, too often I have been slow to allow others gifts to shine through.  Jesus sent his disciples out in pairs.  The example Jesus offers is one that starts with partnership, with collaboration.

Loving God, give us the wisdom and confidence to value the talents and gifts of all of those around us.  Amen.

Proper 9/Ordinary 14 2015 – Mark 6:4

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Mark 6:4Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.”

I have been thinking a lot about the respect we give to one another.  I don’t know that I believe the saying, ‘familiarity breeds contempt,’ but I think respect is more complicated than something that is just earned.  Respecting others requires intentional effort on our part, too.

Forgiving God, help us to see people as though we are looking at them through your eyes.  Amen.

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July 2015

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