Archive for March, 2016

Second Sunday of Easter 2016 – John 20:24-25

Thursday, March 31, 2016

John 20:24-25But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”

Seeing is believing.  I imagine this is a phrase that most of us have used at least once.  A quick search about Thomas revealed that he is believed to have travelled to India to spread the Gospel.  Despite his moment of doubt, his faith remained strong, and he started churches as far away as India.  Among Christians in India he is often considered their Patron Saint.

God of the seen and unseen, we believe, but our faith can be weak at times.  Forgive our moments of doubt, and help us continue to serve you.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Easter 2016 – Acts 5:27b-29

Monday, March 28, 2016

I hope you had a renewing Easter weekend.  We now begin the season of Easter.  For the second Sunday of Easter we are offered the following passages from the lectionary: Acts 5:27-32, Psalm 118:14-29 or Psalm 150, Revelation 1:4-8, and John 20:19-31.

Acts 5:27b-29The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.”  But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority.”

As people of faith, we acknowledge that we answer to a higher authority.  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. seems to have echoed today’s verses when he said, “One has a moral obligation to disobey unjust laws.”

Loving God, give us the wisdom to see injustice in this world and the courage to fight it within our abilities.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Easter 2016 – John 20:20-21

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

John 20:20-21After Jesus said this, he showed the them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.  Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

As people of faith, as believers, as disciples, I believe God is sending us out too.  Consider the many ways you are serving God, and ask God to bless your efforts.

Loving God, into our imperfect world we bring our best efforts which are often imperfect.  Bless our efforts anyway.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Easter 2016 – John 20:19

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

John 20:19When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”

Can you imagine how the disciples felt after Jesus’ crucifixion?  They were obviously scared for their own lives.  They were probably questioning the point of the previous three years they had spent following Jesus.  But into this fear, shame and doubt, Jesus walked right in.

Gracious and merciful God, you accept us with all our faults.  Help us to be more accepting of ourselves.  Amen.

Easter Sunday 2016 – Isaiah 65:25

To my readers on WordPress, Facebook and Twitter:  May you be filled with God’s Spirit this weekend, and may you be challenged to find a new way to make a difference, to make your world more kingdom-like.  Butch

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Isaiah 65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox; but the serpent–its food shall be dust! They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the LORD.

Of all the images of God’s kingdom in the Bible, this is the most powerful for me.  It shouts, “We will be enemies no more!”  For me, our work begins at home, and I am proud to labor with each of you as we try to create a holy mountain here on the bluffs of the Mississippi River.

Holy God, give us patience and strength to persevere as we seek to create your kingdom on Earth.  Amen.

Easter Sunday 2016 – Isaiah 65:22

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Isaiah 65:22They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

While slavery in its formal application in our history has been technically abolished, slavery continues to be a reality for many in the world, including people in Memphis.  As an economic distribution center, people work in and pass through Memphis every day, and some are doing so against their will.

God of us all, open our eyes to the many ways people live in servitude in our community. Grant us the wisdom to make our city and this world safer and freer for all.  Amen.

Easter Sunday 2016 – Isaiah 65:20

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Isaiah 65:20No more shall there be in it an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live out a lifetime; for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth, and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed.

As I read this verse, I realized how death would have been a regular, intrusive presence in the lives of the first readers of this text.  God’s abundance defined in part in years lived, meant safety, nutrition and health for all.

God of all life, help us find ways to share ourselves as well as our medicines, technology and engineering in ways that allow more people to live an abundant, healthy life.  Amen.

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March 2016
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