Posts Tagged 'Christianity'

Transfiguration Sunday 2017 – 2 Peter 1:18-19

Friday, February 24, 2017

2 Peter 1:18-19We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.  So we have the prophetic message more fully confirmed.  You will do well to be attentive to this as to a lamp shining in the dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

For most of my life, my faith has been a conversation between God and me.  It may seem odd since I have been writing devotions for ten years, but sharing my faith with others has not come naturally.  The passage from 2 Peter reminds us that our faith should be shared both in word and deed.

Loving God, you work within and through us in marvelous ways.  Help us to be better sharers of our faith with others.  Amen.

Transfiguration Sunday 2017 – Psalm 2:10-11

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Psalm 2:10-11Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear, with trembling kiss his feet, or he will be angry, and you will perish in the way; for his wrath is quickly kindled.  Happy are those who take refuge in him.

Our world is in such turmoil…there is so much healing needed.  Our passage today reminds us that our God is also the God of our leaders.  Pray today for our leaders to hear God’s will.

Almighty God, help our leaders hear your voice in their lives so that they can lead as you would want.  Amen.

Seventh Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Matthew 5:44-45

Friday, February 17, 2017 

Matthew 5:44-45But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and send rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

Throughout the week, we have been exploring our care for one another.  Our concluding passage for this week reminds us that we are all in this world together…that we are all precious children of God.

Loving God, help us to recognize each person we meet today as our neighbor, as our brother or sister.  Amen.

Seventh Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Leviticus 19:17-18

Thursday, February 16, 2017 

Leviticus 19:17-18You shall not hate in your heart anyone of your kin; you shall reprove your neighbor, or you will incur guilt yourself.  You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

“Love your neighbor as yourself,” is surely one of the most recognized passages in scripture.  The Golden Rule, or the ethic of reciprocity as it is also called, is found in some form in nearly every world religion.  This provides us with a common reference point for all people of faith.

Almighty God, help us better recognize our neighbors and treat them as we would like to be treated.  Amen.

Seventh Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Leviticus 19:9-10

Monday, February 13, 2017

We explore caring for one another in the passages for the seventh Sunday of Epiphany.  Our passages include: Leviticus 19:1-2, 9-18; Psalm 119:33-40; 1 Corinthians 3:10-11, 16-23 and Matthew 5:38-48.

Leviticus 19:9-10When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest.  You shall not strip your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the alien: I am the LORD your God.

We are instructed to consider the needs of those less fortunate than we are.  We are further told that what “the poor and the alien” are to get from us is not simply that which misses our harvest buckets but some of the first fruits of our labor.

Gracious God, bless our work offered to others this day.  May all our efforts be our best efforts.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Epiphany 2016 – 1 Corinthians 1:9

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 

1 Corinthians 1:9 God is faithful…

When I read this brief passage it occurred to me that we often speak of having faith in God, but I rarely think of God as having faith in me.  We are children of God, made in God’s image, and God has faith in each of us.  What a blessing!

Faithful God, you love us, you know us by our first name, and you hear us.  Help make our faith in you stronger.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Psalm 40:1

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 

Psalm 40:1I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined his to me and heard my cry.

Not only does God know us by our first name, but God hears us, too.  I admire the “prayer warriors” among us.  Prayer warriors are people who fervently believe God hears and answers prayers, and they pray diligently for themselves and for those around them.  Who is a prayer warrior in your life?  Take a moment to thank God for that person today.

Loving God who inclines an ear to us, hear our prayers today, both those we speak aloud and those we carry in our hearts.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Isaiah 49:1

Monday, January 9, 2017

We approaching the second Sunday during the season of Epiphany.  I hope you were able to stay warm this weekend.  The lectionary passages for this week include: Isaiah 49:1-7; Psalm 40:1-11; 1 Corinthians 1:1-9 and John 1:29-42.

Isaiah 49:1Listen to me, O coastlands, pay attention, you peoples from far away!  The LORD called me before I was born, while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.

One of my favorite sermons of all time was titled, “God Knows You by Your First Name.”  Isn’t that a beautiful way to think of God’s relationship with us?  We are numbers in so many aspects of our life…social security numbers, employee identification numbers, even ticket numbers when we are standing in lines at stores.  But our God knows us well enough to call us by our first names.  Think about this as you talk to coworkers, family members and other “first-name basis” friends today.

All knowing God, you know us better than we know ourselves.  Mold each of us to be the person you want us to be. Amen.

Baptism of Jesus 2016 – Matthew 3:16-17

Friday, January 6, 2016

Matthew 3:16-17And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.

When I was 12, I lived in Upstate New York and attended an American Baptist Church which practiced Believer’s Baptism.  I made a decision to join this church.  This decision, which my Presbyterian parents supported, meant I was baptized a second time, this time by immersion.  While I have never placed this second baptism above the first in importance or necessity, the fact that my parents allowed me to make my own spiritual decision at such an early age still to influences my life today.

Trusting God, however we may publicly show our faith in you, may our efforts be pleasing in your sight.  Amen.

First Sunday of Epiphany 2017 – Isaiah 42:5

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Isaiah 42:5Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it:…

God created us as spirit-filled beings.  When our bodies are sick, our spirits are affected, and when our spirits ache, we often have physical manifestations of that pain.  In caring for ourselves, we must be mindful of this and offer ourselves whole-person care.

Creator God, help us to better care for both our bodies and our spirits.  Amen.

First Sunday of Epiphany 2016 – Isaiah 42:1

Wednesday, January 4, 2016 

Isaiah 42:1Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.

While we usually hear the word justice in a context of handing out punishment, synonyms for justice include integrity, fairness, impartiality and my favorite evenhandedness.   Consider today how your work, in whatever form that work takes, helps to bring justice to your community.

Steadfast God, stand beside us in all we do as we seek to make this world more just.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Christmas 2016 – John 1:10-11

Friday, December 30, 2016

John 1:10-11He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him.  He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him.

As this second Sunday of the Christmas season passes, we know that ahead of us are the seasons of Epiphany, Lent and Easter.  We begin to follow what is to become the very short yet amazingly influential life of Jesus.

Steadfast God, help us better understand the life and teachings of Jesus so that we can become the people you want us to be.  Amen.

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