Archive for February, 2016

Fourth Sunday of Lent 2016 – Psalm 32:3-4

Monday, February 29, 2016

Rebirth and forgiveness are the themes for this fourth Sunday of Lent.  The lectionary selections for this coming Sunday include: Joshua 5:9-12, Psalm 32, 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, and Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32.

Psalm 32:3-4While I kept silence, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

Guilt can be an enormous burden to bear.  For the psalmist, this guilt had clear physical consequences.  We are reminded again that mental, spiritual and physical health are intimately connected.

All-knowing God, give us the courage to bare our souls to you and unburden our guilt.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Lent 2016 – Isaiah 55:6

Friday, February 26, 2016

Isaiah 55:6Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.

Our faith life should lead us to actively seek God’s presence at all times.  In my own experience, when I am seeking God regularly in good times, I am better able to sense God’s presence during my times of hardship.

Ever-present God, open our ears so that we can hear you better.  Open our eyes so we can see you better.  Open our hearts and minds so we can understand your will for us better.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Lent 2016 – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Thursday, February 25, 2016

1 Corinthians 10:13No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. 

This is one of those difficult passages for me because I have a hard time seeing God as testing us, as intentionally bringing hardships on us.  Moving beyond that issue, this passage reminds us that God’s love for us is steadfast, that God is always there for us.

Gracious and merciful God, whether in our times of trial or our moments of joy, help us to sense your presence at our side.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Lent 2016 – Psalm 63:1

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Psalm 63:1O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

“Seek God without ceasing!” exclaims the psalmist.  One of the joys of working at Church Health is being around people who embody this verse every day.

Almighty God, thank you for surrounding us with special people whose public faith buoys our own faith.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Lent 2016 – Isaiah 55:8-9

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Isaiah 55:8-9For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

As I thought about these two verses, I began to appreciate how they sum up part of my faith.  We can’t fully understand who God is and what God wants of us.  Obviously, the Bible gives us significantly important information, but we process the meaning of those scriptures through our very human brains.

Forgiving God, grant us wisdom so that we can understand your will for both us and this world with more clarity than we had yesterday.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Lent 2016 – Isaiah 55:2

Monday, February 22, 2016

For years our CEO, Rev. Dr. Scott Morris, has been quoted as saying what is a basic rule of the road for the Church Health Center: “Keep the main thing, the main thing.”  Our passages for this third Sunday of Lent offer this same instruction.  The lectionary selections include: Isaiah 55:1-9, Psalm 63:1-8, 1 Corinthians 10:1-13, and Luke 13:1-9.

Isaiah 55:2 – [The LORD says,] “Why spend money on what does not satisfy?  Why spend your wages and still be hungry?  Listen to me and do what I say, and you will enjoy the best food of all.” (TEV)

On the wall of our meditation chapel are the words from Matthew 6 that speak to the same idea as in today’s passage from Isaiah.  It instructs us to seek God’s life-giving Word, and strive to live in constant communion with God.

Gracious God, we live in a world full of distractions.  Help us to live our lives in ways that give honor to our faith in you.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Lent 2016 – Psalm 27:4

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Psalm 27:4One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.

The psalmist wants to be in the presence of God at all times.  The passage reminds us that the life of faith is one of attempting to live in constant engagement with God through worship, praise and learning.

Loving God, help us to live our lives according to your will and with the assurance that we are always in your presence.  Amen.

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February 2016
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