Archive for January, 2016

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – Luke 4:24

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Luke 4:24And Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown.”

For me this passage speaks to how we listen (or don’t) to one another.  Jesus was the son of a carpenter, a blue collar laborer, and unfortunately many people would have had trouble hearing the truth he spoke because of this context.  We are encouraged by Luke’s passage to listen more carefully to one another, to hear the truth in what is being said, to allow for the chance that each of us can be a prophet, at least sometimes.

Gracious God, help me to be a better listener to those around me.  Amen.

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – Psalm 71:1

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Psalm 71:1In you, O LORD, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame.

For the last couple of months, I have been watching a lot of shows that are being filmed in Alaska.  This means I have seen many bald eagles on the television screen.  As I read today’s passage, the first visual I had was one of being wrapped in eagle’s wings.

All-powerful God, wrap me in your arms today.  If I feel cold, warm me.  If I feel scared, embolden me.  If I feel powerless, strengthen me.  Amen.

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – Jeremiah 1:7-8

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Jeremiah 1:7-8But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, says the LORD.”

Jeremiah felt inadequate for the task God have given him.  God instructs Jeremiah that if he listens, he will know what to say to the people.

Ever-present God, grant us wisdom so that we can understand your voice in our lives.  Amen.

Fourth Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – Jeremiah 1:4-5

Monday, January 25, 2016

God appoints Jeremiah, the people of Nazareth want to throw Jesus off a cliff, and we consider Paul’s “Love Chapter” this week.  Those selections include: Jeremiah 1:4-10, Psalm 71:1-6, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, and Luke 4:21-30.

Jeremiah 1:4-5Now the word of the LORD came to me saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

We begin this week with scriptural affirmation that God has always been with us and that we can count on that presence forever.

Creator God, open our hearts, tune our ears and sharpen our vision so that we can sense your presence in our lives today and every day.  Amen.

Third Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – 1 Corinthians 12:12

Thursday, January 21, 2016

1 Corinthians 12:12For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

Time and time again when I have thought about teamwork and cooperation, I have turned to 1 Corinthians 12.  Each of us is a precious gift from God to the rest of the world.  All of us are valued and needed assets to God.

Awesome God, help us to value one another in the way you value each of us.  Amen.

Third Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – Luke 4:14-15

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Luke 4:14-15Then Jesus, filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee, and a report about him spread through all the surrounding country.  He began to teach in their synagogues and was praised by everyone.

In the verses preceding these, Jesus has been tempted by the devil for forty days during which time he had not eaten.  I am moved that after Jesus went through this dark time, he immediately gets back to his work of teaching others about God.

Loving God, help us to keep you at the center of our lives, especially during our most difficult times.  Amen.

Third Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – Psalm 19:1-2

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I hope you had a restful holiday weekend.  Paul discusses the body of Christ and Jesus reads from the book of Isaiah in the passages for this week.  The lectionary selections for this week include: Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10, Psalm 19, 1 Corinthians 12:12-31a, and Luke 4:14-21.

Psalm 19:1-2The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.  Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.

I have been thinking a lot about patience lately.  For me, part of patience is slowing down and taking time to listen for God’s voice – in the wind as it rushes by my head and in the voices of everyone around me.

Gracious God, help us to be more aware of all the ways you are present around us.  Amen.

Devotion for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

Originally posted January 17, 2011

Monday, January 18, 2016

1 John 4:7 – Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of the day when we would live in the beloved community. In Colossians 3:14 love is described as “the harmony which binds all.” As people of faith, I believe we are asked to act in ways that move us toward the realization of this dream of the beloved community.

Prayer: Loving God, help us as we work in numerous ways to create a beloved community at home and in the world.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Epiphany 2016 – 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Friday, January 15, 2016

1 Corinthians 12:7-11To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good…the utterance of wisdom…the utterance of knowledge…faith…gifts of healing…the working of miracles… prophecy…the discernment of spirits…various kinds of tongues…the interpretation of tongues.  All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.

How is the Spirit manifest in you, and are you exercising that gift in your life?  Those are the questions for us to consider today.

Gracious God, give us minds that can discern the gifts you have given us, and grant us the wisdom to use those gifts in service to you.  Amen.

Second Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – 1 Corinthians 12:4-6

Thursday, January 14, 2016

1 Corinthians 12:4-6Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone.

The Apostle Paul reminds us today that God is an active presence in each of us.  My gifts may not be your gifts, but God’s creative handiwork is evidenced in each of us.

Gracious God, bless the work of our hands, feet, minds and hearts to your service.  Amen.

Second Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – John 2:9-10

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

John 2:9-10When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.”

The familiar story of Jesus turning water into wine is considered the first miracle of Jesus’ ministry.  Jesus performed this miracle in front of his disciples.  He also revealed his God-given power to the servants, rather than the steward or the bridegroom.

God of all of us, help us to remember that your light can be found in anyone around us.  Amen.

Second Sunday after Epiphany 2016 – Psalm 36:5-6

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Psalm 36:5-6Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.  Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your judgments are like the great deep; you save humans and animals alike, O LORD.

There is a commercial on television reminding us that this winter there will be many pets harmed or killed by negligent owners who don’t protect their pets from the cold.  It is a compelling ask for financial support by a national sheltering agency.  Our passage today reminds us that we shouldn’t neglect any of God’s creation.

Creator God, grant us the courage to recognize all people as our neighbors and all of your creation as precious.  Amen.

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January 2016

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