Archive for September, 2015

Proper 22/Ordinary 27 2015 – Mark 10:13-14

Wednesday, September 30, 2015 

Mark 10:13-14 – People were bringing little children to Jesus in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them.  But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” 

You don’t have to be Biblical scholar to know that children are important to God.  Our preschool here at Church Health is named Perea, because it was in the region of Perea, the territory beyond the Jordan River, where Jesus spoke these familiar words.

Loving God, keep us mindful of how important children are to you.  Bless them, and help us be blessings to them.  Amen.

Proper 22/Ordinary 27 2015 – Psalm 8:3-5

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Psalm 8:3-5 – When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?  Yet you have made them a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.  

There was a blood moon over the weekend which has provided beautifully unique views of God’s heavens.  Take time today to marvel at God’s creation around you, and be reminded that part of our role is to be the caretakers of this creation.

Creator God, help us to understand your creation and our intimate connections to it so that we can preserve that which you have made.  Amen.

Proper 22/Ordinary 27 2015 – Psalm 26:1

Monday, September 28, 2015 

A rich collection of scriptures are offered for our consideration this week.  Remaining faithful to God during times of hardship is a major theme of the scriptures.  We are also reminded of how precious children are to God.  Passages include: Job 1:1, 2:1-10 and Psalm 26, Genesis 2:18-24 and Psalm 8, Hebrews 1:1-4, 2:5-12, and Mark 10:2-16. 

Psalm 26:1 – Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. 

I don’t know about you, but trusting the Lord without wavering has been a challenge in my life from time to time.  But even though I have pressed the pause button on my conversation with God at times in my life, I have always returned finding the ongoing connection to God healing.

Almighty God, give us the courage to trust you even when it is hard to sense your presence in our lives.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26 2015 – Mark 9:49-50

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mark 9:49-50“For everyone will be salted with fire.  Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

We advise people to watch their salt intake everyday at the Church Health Center.  In the right proportions, salt makes a significant difference in taste.  For instance, just compare salted to unsalted butter.  Our faith should make us noticeably different to those around us.

Awesome God, mold us into the distinctive people you want us to be.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26 2015 – James 5:15-16

Thursday, September 24, 2015

James 5:15-16The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.  Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

As people of faith, we are to be advocates for one another.  We are to live together in ways that allow us to unburden our souls to one another and to accept the prayers offered on our behalf.

Loving God, help us to be faithful, healing presences to one another.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26 2015 – James 5:14

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 

James 5:14 – Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 

The Church Health Center celebrated its 28th anniversary on September 1, and this passage has pointed us to the core of our mission that entire time.  Our mission is to engage congregations in healing ministries, from helping them to create substantive health ministries for their people to having them support our ministry through contributions and volunteers.

Creator God, continue to pour your blessings upon the Church Health Center and all ministries that seek to heal your people.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26 2015 – James 5:13

Tuesday, September 22, 2015 

James 5:13 – Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise. 

For people of faith, this passage clearly sets an expectation that we are to offer prayer and praise as an integral part of our overall practice of faith.  In my experience, the prayer warriors around me are also the people who are first to give God the glory.

Almighty God, work within us so that our faith is always growing deeper.  Hear our prayers and hear our praises.  Amen.

Proper 21/Ordinary 26 2015 – Numbers 11:25

Monday, September 21, 2015

Our selections for this week ask us to consider our actions together as people of faith.  Our passages include: Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22 and Psalm 124, Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 and Psalm 19:7-14, James 5:13-20 and Mark 9:38-50.

Numbers 11:25 – Then the LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again.

I was intrigued by this idea of Moses’ spirit being shared with others and strengthening them.  In the work we do together here at Church Health, I think that is, in part, what we do.  We share a bit of us with others to help make them better.

Creator God, help us to be healing presences to those people we meet today.  Amen.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25 2015 – James 4:1

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

James 4:1Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you?

There are certainly plenty of disputes to go around these days, and many people have reasons to be suspicious of those around them.  That said, our passage this morning reminds us that we should never forget to look honestly into our own hearts to make sure our motives and actions come from a place inside us that yearns for peace.

Loving God, cleanse our hearts so that we can serve you with our best intentions.  Amen.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25 2015 – James 3:16-17

Monday, September 14, 2015

Our passages this week challenge us to consider how our faith should make us different in our thoughts and actions toward one another.  Those scriptures include: Proverbs 31:10-31 and Psalm 1, Wisdom of Solomon 1:16-2:1, 12-22 or Jeremiah 11:18-20, Psalm 54, and James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8a, and Mark 9:30-37.

James 3:16-17For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind.  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 

A dear friend of mine and I were at odds with another coworker years ago.  Despite my desire to have my way prevail, it was clear it was going to be a difficult and painful journey.  “This is a battlefield on which I choose NOT to die,” were the sage words from my friend.  Sometimes the high road, the faithful road, is to realize that your opinion isn’t the only valid one.

Gracious God, grant us a measure of thoughtfulness and consideration so that our work together can still productively serve your ends.  Amen.

Proper 19/Ordinary 24 2015 – Psalm 19:14

Friday, September 11, 2015

Psalm 19:14Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

It is appropriate to end this week of reflection on the words we use with a prayer that opens many sermons and homilies each week.  While this verse is often heard in the course of an organized worship service, a take away from our study this week is that these are words that should open each of our days.

Loving God, help us as we try always to make our words, our thoughts and our actions enhance your creation.  Amen.

Proper 19/Ordinary 24 2015 – James 3:10-11

Thursday, September 10, 2015

James 3:10-11From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this ought not to be so.  Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and brackish water?

Having visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast where the fresh waters of our great river mix with those salty waters of the Gulf of Mexico, I have a wonderful visual for the last verse.  Paul tells us in Romans 12 that our faith should transform us.  Likewise, today’s passage reminds us that our faith should make us act differently.

Forgiving God, help us to be mindful of the words we use.  Help us to think before we speak.  Amen.


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