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First Sunday of Lent 2017 – Matthew 4:3-4

This is my final post on this WordPress platform.  Thank you for years of likes and, from time to time, comments.  I hope you will follow me to Church Health’s website where I will continue to nurture my faith and hopefully nurture yours as well.  As I tell my coworkers who receive this post by email every day: “Have a blessed day.”  Butch

Friday, March 3, 2017 

Matthew 4:3-4The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

In the Karate Kid, Mr. Miyagi instructs Daniel to have “Balance!”  Jesus is instructing us in the same way in this passage.  For optimal health, we need both a measure of nutritional sustenance and a measure of spiritual sustenance.  Take both, daily.

Gracious God, may we feel your overflowing love in us today and every day.  Amen.

Proper 23 (28) 2016 – Luke 17:14-16

Friday, October 7, 2016 

Luke 17:14-16When Jesus saw the ten lepers, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”  And as they went, they were made clean.  Then one of them, when he saw he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice.  He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.  He was a Samaritan.

The Samaritan is the only one of the ten who shows his appreciation for the healing he was granted.  This passage reminds each of us to adopt an attitude of gratitude for both those around us and for God.

Patient God, you offer us so much, yet so often you get so little from us in return.  Give us more grateful hearts.  Amen.

Proper 23 (28) 2016 – 2 Kings 5:2-3

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 

2 Kings 5:2-3Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife.  She said to her mistress, “If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria!  He would cure him of his leprosy.”

Who would think a young girl could provide information that could lead to healing?  The passage reminds us that each of us can be a healing presence for others.  In our Congregational Health Promoter program we train a variety of people, lay and professional, to become reliable sources of health information so that they can minister to members of their faith community.

Loving God, bless all those people among us who seek to help us in our journeys toward healthier lives.  Amen.

Sixth Sunday of Easter 2016 – John 5:2-3

Thursday, April 28, 2016

John 5:2-3Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes.  In these lay many invalids–blind, lame, and paralyzed.

According to the belief, an angel would touch the water of the pool, and it would become agitated.  The first person to enter the water would be healed of whatever malady they had.  So while this image of so many suffering people haunts me, it is also an image of hope: hope for healing.

Healing God, no matter the severity of our situation, give us the strength to never give up our hope.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Easter 2016 -Acts 9:8-9

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Acts 9:8-9Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.  For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

There is physical blindness like that which afflicted Saul, but many of us suffer from blindness even though our eyes are fine.  This form of blindness makes it difficult for us to see the afflictions of our neighbors.

Loving God, help us to see the needs of our neighbors.  Give us the wisdom to know how to help them.  Amen.

Fourth Sunday of Lent 2016 – 2 Corinthians 5:16

Friday, March 4, 2016

2 Corinthians 5:16From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.

What a nice verse on which to end our week together.  We are reminded today that we should look at one another as the children of God we are.

Creator God, help us to see all those around us as your children, as our brothers and sisters.  We pray that regarding people from this point of view will help make our world a kinder and gentler place for all.  Amen.

First Sunday of Advent 2015 -Psalm 25:1, 4

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Psalm 25:1, 4To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.  Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.

With Thanksgiving upon us, I hope all of us can find a multitude of reasons to be thankful.  Be blessed friends.

Gracious God, in this season of thanks, keep us mindful of all your generous blessings in our lives.  Amen.

Proper 29/Ordinary 34 2015 – Revelation 1:8

Friday, November 20, 2015

Revelation 1:8“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.

With this we end the second of the three-year lectionary cycle.  Next week, we will start thinking about Advent, its’ promises and new hope.  Today, whether it is looking at the sun, feeling the wind in your hair, thinking about Niagara Falls again or gazing at the smile of a newborn child, consider the vastness of God’s wonderful creation.

Everlasting God, help us to be faithful stewards of all aspects of your wonderful creation.  Amen.

Proper 20/Ordinary 25, 2014 – Exodus 16:2-3

Monday, September 15, 2014

One theme that is thread through the lectionary this week is living in community during times of adversity.  Our passages for this week include: Exodus 16:2-15 and Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45, Jonah 3:10-4:11 and Psalm 145:1-8, Philippians 1:21-30 and Matthew 20:1-16.

Exodus 16:2-3The whole congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.  The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the fleshpots and ate our fill of bread; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

Through the biblical account of this story, we know how it ends, so it is easy to be critical of the complaining Israelites for their lack of trust.  Yet I dare say that when the going gets tough and it is hard to see the end result for which we are aiming, we are often just as guilty.

Gracious God, grant us patience and courage to follow your will even when doing so is difficult.  Amen.

The Church Health Center Turns 27 This Week – Matthew 18:19-20

Wednesday, September 4, 2014

Matthew 18:19-20“Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

The Church Health Center opened this week in 1987 with a handful of employees.  27 years later, you can attribute our success to good, faithful people at all levels of the organization gathering daily in common support of its mission…and God’s constant presence in our collective effort.

Gracious God, thank you for the ministry of the Church Health Center and for your constant presence in all of our lives.  Amen.

Proper 18/Ordinary 23, 2014 – Matthew 18:15

Tuesday, September 3, 2014

Matthew 18:15“If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.”

This has become a favorite passage of mine.  It reminds us that it is important to respect one another even when we have differences.  It is good advice for our congregations, for your workplaces, for our homes…for our world.

Understanding God, help us to see one another as your children so we will be more considerate of others when we have differences.  Amen.

Proper 16/Ordinary 21, 2014 – Matthew 16:16-18

Friday, August 22, 2104

Matthew 16:16-18Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.

It was just a few chapters earlier when we read about Peter’s doubt as he walked on the water toward Jesus. In a few more chapters, Peter will deny Jesus three times. And yet, Peter remains one of the most significant leaders of the Christian faith.

Loving God, help us to see ourselves with the same love and optimism that you see when you look at us. Amen.


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