Friday, October 30, 2015
Mark 12:29-31 – Jesus 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Psalm 34:7-8 – The 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.