Archive for August, 2015

Proper 18/Ordinary 23 2015 – Proverbs 22:2

Monday, August 31, 2015

Our lectionary selections for this week will encourage us to consider how we should act toward one another.  The passages for this week include: Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23 and Psalm 125, Isaiah 35:4-7a and Psalm 146, James 2:1-10, (11-13), 14-17, and Mark 7:24-37.

Proverbs 22:2The rich and the poor have this in common: the LORD is the maker of them all.

We begin our week of study together being reminded that as children of God, we are relatives of one another; we are brothers and sisters.

Almighty God, help us to recognize everyone around us as miracles of your ongoing creative presence.  Amen.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 2015 – James 1:27

Friday, August 28, 2015 

James 1:27 – What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of the orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world. (Today’s English Version)

Our faith clearly compels us to care for one another in genuine and helpful ways.  Our passage this morning also reminds us that we are to care for ourselves.

Loving God, help us to be mindful of our own weaknesses.  Strengthen us so that we can be the people you want us to be.  Amen.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 2015 – James 1:17

Thursday, August 27, 2015 

James 1:17 – Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 

How do you share God with others?  Our passage today reminds us sharing God doesn’t require an advanced degree.  Sharing God is as simple as offering random acts of kindness.

Gracious God, bless our gifts of kindness and compassion toward one another.  May they glorify you and help people come to know you.  Amen.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 2015 – James 1:19-20

Wednesday, August 26, 2015 

James 1:19-20 – You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. 

I have a bad habit of interrupting people when they are talking to me.  Part of the problem is that I start forming a response to their comments before they are finished talking indicating that I don’t listen to people well enough.

Understanding God, give us ears that are eager to hear the words of those who are speaking to us.  Amen.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 2015 – Mark 7:7-8

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 

Mark 7:7-8 – “’…in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’  You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.”

Jesus instructs us on God’s commandment, and it is echoed in Paul’s words: ‘Love God, and love your neighbor as yourself.’  It is that simple, and it is that hard.

Gracious God, help us to be more loving and forgiving toward one another.  Amen.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 2015 – Mark 7:5-6

Monday, August 24, 2015 

The lectionary selections for this week include: Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) 2:8-13 and Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9, Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 and Psalm 15, and James 1:17-27, and Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. 

Mark 7:5-6 – So the Pharisees and the scribes asked Jesus, “Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?”  He said to them, “Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;

There is no question that washing one’s hands is a healthy practice.  We will be reminded in our reflections this week that a central role for us as people of faith is not so much about following such rules but about caring for one another.

Gracious God, help us to be ambassadors of your love toward one another.  Amen.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21 2015 – Ephesians 6:19-20

Friday, August 21, 2015

Ephesians 6:19-20Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak.

I believe we call it a faith journey because our walk with God is expected to last a lifetime.  That means what we feel is truth today may be slightly different tomorrow.  Regardless, we are instructed to be bold in our practice of that faith.

Loving, gentle God, we are reminded that our faith calls us to be bold.  Give us the strength to be your ambassadors in our times of certainty as well as our times of doubt.  Amen.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21 2015 – Ephesians 6:13a-15

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ephesians 6:13a-15 Therefore take up the whole armor of God…As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

‘Whatever it takes,’ in my experience, has been a phrase offered for emphasis but not one meant to be taken literally.  And yet as we are putting on the armor of God, we are to prepare ourselves to boldly proclaim peace.

Almighty God, give us the wisdom to know your will and the courage to walk where you lead us.  Amen.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21 2015 – Ephesians 6:13-14

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 

Ephesians 6:13-14 – Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness.

Today we are urged to be honest with one another.  We are instructed to act with integrity toward each other and to be just in our dealings with our brothers and sisters.

Gracious God, help us to be strong in our faith so that our faith will guide us toward your will.  Amen.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21 2015 – Psalm 34:19-20

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 

Psalm 34:19-20 – Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all.  He keeps all their bones; not one of them will be broken.

The human skeleton is made up of 206 bones, 106 of which are in the hands and feet.  As you use your feet and hands today, take time to thank God for artistry which is your body.

Creator God, help us in our efforts to use our hands and feet in ways that minister to your children.  Amen.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21 2015 – Psalm 34:17-18

Monday, August 17, 2015 

King Solomon brings the ark of the covenant of LORD to Jerusalem and places it in the temple he has built, and we continue to read powerful messages in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians in our selections this week which include: 1 Kings 8:(1,6,10-11), 22-30, 41-43 and Psalm 84, Joshua 24:1-2a, 14-18 and Psalm 34:15-22, Ephesians 6:10-20, and John 6:56-69. 

Psalm 34:17-18 – When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.  The LORD is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.

Whether the people you meet today are suffering from a terrible illness, a broken heart, or even just a little blue, you know the Lord is near.  Remember that in your own efforts to help, you are actually partnering with God in the care of that brother or sister.

Creator God, help us in our efforts to bring hope and healing to your children today and every day.  Amen.

Proper 15/Ordinary 20 2015 – Ephesians 5:18b-19

Friday, August 14, 2015

Ephesians 5:18b-19…but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts.

I can sing, but it usually takes a lot get me up in front of a crowd.  Our passage today reminds us that we can come to God as soloists, singing joyously even if off key.

Precious Lord, hear the songs we sing, hear the prayers we offer to you today and every day. Amen.


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