Archive for October, 2015

Proper 26/Ordinary 31 2015 – Mark 12:29-31

Friday, October 30, 2015

Mark 12:29-31Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

For me, the work we do at the Church Health Center is fulfilling this second commandment, loving our neighbor through a whole-person approach to wellness.  As we set our sights on moving to Crosstown Concourse, our goal is to express our love more fully to even more neighbors.

God of all creation, bless our daily efforts to bring healing to our community, to your children.  Amen.

Proper 26/Ordinary 31 2015 – Ruth 1:16

Thursday, October 29, 2015 

Ruth 1:16 – But Ruth said to Naomi, “Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; Where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.”

Naomi had urged Ruth to return to her own mother, but Ruth would not consider it.  While we may not appreciate unprecedented depth of commitment Ruth is showing to Naomi, we are challenged today to consider our own loyalties, our own priorities, in our lives.

Steadfast God, you promise to never leave us.  Help us to remain steadfast to you in return.  Amen.

Proper 26/Ordinary 31 2015 – Psalm 146:8

Wednesday, October 28, 2015 

Psalm 146:8 – The LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous. 

We are well into football season here in the U.S.  On almost any game on any Sunday, you can see a player being helped off the field by a trainer or teammate whose arms are under the injured player’s shoulders so he can hobble off the field.  Close your eyes today, and sense God’s arms supporting you like the trainer supports the player.

Healer God, help us to sense your presence around us today and every day.  Amen.

Proper 26/Ordinary 31 2015 – Psalm 146:5, 6

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 

Psalm 146:5, 6 – Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God… who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free. 

God clearly cares for those less fortunate than we are.  Today, we are challenged to examine our own actions, and even inactions, toward these brothers and sisters.

Creator God, give us the courage to reach out to those who are least among us, and give us the wisdom to help them in meaningful ways.  Amen.

Proper 26/Ordinary 31 2015 – Psalm 146:3-4

Monday, October 26, 2015 

We begin our journey with Ruth and Naomi this week, and we consider the commandment that is first among all of God’s commandments.  The lectionary selections for this week include:  Ruth 1:1-18 and Psalm 146, Deuteronomy 6:1-9 and Psalm 119:1-8, Hebrews 9:11-14, and Mark 12:28-34. 

Psalm 146:3-4 – Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.  When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.

“When you die, there will be stuff left in your inbox for someone else to deal with,” a coworker reminded me years ago.  She was commenting on perspective and reminding me that there is only so much any one human can do.

Everlasting God, help us to be vigilant in our focus on discerning your will for us.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30 2015 – Psalm 34:19, 22

Friday, October 23, 2015 

Psalm 34:19, 22 – Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all.  The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

We are reminded this morning that our path through this life is not promised to be smooth and free of woe or trouble.  But, we can rest assured that God is always with us.

Ever-present God, help us to stay on the path that we sense you are placing before us.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30 2015 – Psalm 34:7-8

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Psalm 34:7-8The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.  O taste and see that the LORD is good; happy are those who take refuge in him. 

As I read those verses, one of those survivalist shows was playing on the television in the next room.  I imagined myself alone in the wilderness, but when I looked out of my shelter, everywhere I looked there was a tent with God in it.

Almighty God, help us to experience your never-ending presence in palpable ways.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30 2015 – Mark 10:46-48

Wednesday, October 21, 2015 

Mark 10:46-48 – They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside.  When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

This is a familiar situation in Jesus’ ministry.  Someone cries for help, and the well-meaning disciples try to protect Jesus from being bothered.  But Jesus always chooses to help, always chooses service over self.

Loving God, help us in our efforts to find more effective ways to care for our brothers and sisters.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30 2015 – Psalm 34:3-5

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Psalm 34:3-5O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together.  I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.  Look to the LORD, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.

I firmly believe that people catch a glimpse of God every time they look in our faces.  Our passage today suggests that the face they should see is one that is glowing, joyful, even beaming.

Gracious God, may people we meet today feel your grace and presence emanating from us.  Amen.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30 2015 – Job 42:1-2

Monday, October 19, 2015

God restores Job’s fortunes, and Jesus heals the blind Bartimaeus in our lectionary selections for this week.  Our scriptures include: Job 42:1-6, 10-17 and Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22), Jeremiah 31:7-9 and Psalm 126, Hebrews 7:23-28, and Mark 10:46-52.

Job 42:1-2Then Job answered the LORD: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”

Our week begins with the last chapter of Job.  It probably doesn’t matter how well you know the story of Job, you at least know Job had a really hard time.  Yet, Job’s faith in God held steadfast.

Almighty God, help us to remain connected to you even when we find it hard to hear your voice.  Amen.

Proper 24/Ordinary 29 2015 – Psalm 104:24

Friday, October 16, 2015 

Psalm 104:24 – O LORD, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.

I chose this verse to end our week together so that we can begin our weekend with praise.  As you encounter the vastness of God’s creation today, take time to thank God.  And be specific: for beautiful Fall leaves, for an amazing blue sky, for awesome coworkers.

Everlasting God, thank you for surrounding us with an abundance of evidence of your creative love for us.  Amen.

Proper 24/Ordinary 29 2015 – Hebrews 5:1-3

Thursday, October 15, 2015 

Hebrews 5:1-3 – Every high priest selected to represent men and women before God and offer sacrifices for their sins should be able to deal gently with their failings, since he knows what it’s like from his own experience. But that also means that he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins as well as the peoples’.  (From The Message translation)

We are reminded by these verses that all of us are mortal, and all of us make mistakes.  As such, we should be gentle with one another understanding that all of us fail from time to time.

Awesome God, help us to see ourselves and our own failings more clearly so that we can be fair and patient with one another.  Amen.

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October 2015

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