Posts Tagged 'Ordinary 19'

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 14:28-31

Friday, August 5, 2011 – Proper 14 & Ordinary 19, Year A

A storm has moved the disciples’ boat out into the water, and our scripture picks up at the point when the disciples notice Jesus walking on water toward them.

Matthew 14:28-31 Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

I take comfort knowing that disciples walking close to Jesus had lapses of faith. We are imperfect beings, and our God understands that about us.

Prayer: Steadfast God, our faith is sometimes the size of a mustard seed, but you take that faith and do amazing things. May all our work glorify you. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 14:22-23

Thursday, August 4, 2011 – Proper 14 7 Ordinary 19, Year A

The following passage picks up after the 5,000 had been fed from five loaves and two fishes.

Matthew 14:22-23Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.

In what we read last week, Jesus had heard of the killing of John the Baptist and he retreated to be alone, but he was followed by more than 5,000 people. As today’s scripture indicates, Jesus finally gets to spend time alone with God, and we are reminded that despite the demands placed on us by those outside, we must seek time for ourselves…to be with our own thoughts and with our God.

Prayer: God of grace, our world can get so loud and confusing. Help us remember to take time to care for ourselves and our relationship with you. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Genesis 37:22-24

Wednesday, August 3, 2011 – Proper 14 & Ordinary 19, Year A

Genesis 37:22-24Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw Joseph into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him”—that he might rescue him and out of their hand and restore him to his father. So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with the sleeves that he wore; and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.

The robe was so much a part of Joseph’s self image that he wore it in front of his brothers despite knowing their feelings about it. I wonder how many people coming before us today will, in some way, feel stripped or robbed of that very thing which gives, or gave, meaning to their life. Since it is rarely as obvious as a coat of many colors, remember to treat those who come before you with gentleness.

Prayer: Merciful God, people will come before us today with hidden stories of pain and suffering. Give us gentle spirits so that we might be a source of comfort for all. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Genesis 37:14a, 18-19

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 – Proper 14 & Ordinary 19, Year A

We are studying the story of the “amazing technicolor dreamcoat” which was given to Joseph by his father Jacob. Joseph has a series of dreams where he sees his family bowing down to him as king. Having told his brothers and father of his dreams, he is now hated by his brothers, and he has been scolded by his father.

Genesis 37:14a, 18-19So Jacob said to Joseph “Go now, and see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me.” They saw him coming from a distance, and before he came near to them they conspired to kill him. They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer.”

I couldn’t help but think of the words from John Lennon’s song Imagine:
You may think I’m a dreamer,
But I’m not the only one.
I hope some day you’ll join us,
And the world will live as one.

Prayer: Loving God, today we simply pray for peace – peace at home, peace at work, peace in the world. AMEN.

Proper 14/Ordinary 19 – John 6:35

From John 6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Our society values people who are self-sufficient. But as people of faith, we are asked to live lives that are God-sufficient. Saying, “I trust God,” is easier than actually living into the trust.

Prayer:

Loving God, may our trust and faith in you deepen today in ways that are noticeable to you. AMEN.

Proper 14/Ordinary 19 – Ephesians 5:1-2

From Ephesians 5:1-2 – Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

In Romans 12, Paul asks us to offer ourselves as “living sacrifices.” If you read this passage with the passages earlier this week, you see that we are asked to give to those less fortunate, be kingdom builders in all we say and do, and to be forgiving of one another.

Prayer:

Gracious God, help us be the people you would have us be today and every day. AMEN.

Proper 14/Ordinary 19 – Ephesians 4:31-32

From Ephesians 4:31-32 – Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.

When I read this passage I thought of the scales on a snake as being wrapped around our hearts. We are asked to shed this seemingly protective layer from our hearts making ourselves vulnerable to one another. And like a snake shedding its skin, the process while necessary, is often arduous.

Prayer:

Almighty God, soften our hearts and make us forgiving people. AMEN.

Proper 14/Ordinary 19 – Ephesians 4:29

From Ephesians 4:29 – Let no evil come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.

Did you mother ever advise you, “If you don’t have something good to say, don’t say anything.” We are asked to be kingdom builders in all we do, including our speech.

Prayer:

Loving God, may our words, as well as our deeds, build up your Kingdom. AMEN.

Proper 14/Ordinary 19 – Ephesians 4:28

We are officially on the downhill side of 2009. Seems like the year is speeding by at lightning speed.

For this week, the lectionary offers us the following scriptures: 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33; Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2 and John 6:35, 41-51. Alternate readings include 1 Kings 19:4-8 and Psalm 34:1-8.

From Ephesians 4:28 – Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy.

I was struck by this verse. Of course thieves must give up stealing, but in this verse the virtue of honest work is having something to share with those less fortunate.

Prayer:

Gracious God, you ask us to be mindful of others at all times. Help us keep this as our focus. AMEN.


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