Posts Tagged 'Ordinary 32'

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 25:13

Friday, November 4, 2011 – Proper 27 & Ordinary 32, Year A

Matthew 25:13Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Would I recognize Christ standing in front of me today? This question haunts me, because unless Christ looked like the person in the picture that hung on my Sunday school wall, I doubt I would. Consider for a moment our world if all of us treated each other as though we were God incarnate.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us in our daily walk with you to remember that we are joined in our walk by a host of others in the world also struggling to walk faithfully. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Amos 5:23-24

Thursday, November 3, 2011 – Proper 27 & Ordinary 32, Year A

Amos 5:23-24Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Worship and praise obviously have a place in our ongoing relationship with God, but this passage reminds us that our faith should make us different. To the point of these verses, our faith should cause us to be seekers and doers of justice.

Prayer: God of Justice, help us act in ways that are pleasing to you and helpful to the larger community of our brothers and sisters. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-13

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 – Proper 27 & Ordinary 32, Year A

From the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-13Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself known to those who desire her.

I have never been part of a tradition that utilizes the apocrypha, but I have Roman Catholic friends who would be familiar with this passage. I was drawn to the idea in this passage that finding wisdom can be as simple as seeking it.

Prayer: God of our beginning and our end, help us be better seekers of your will. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 78:1-4

Tuesday, November 1, 2011 – Proper 27 & Ordinary 32, Year A

Psalm 78:1-4Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done.

While November 2012 seems a long way off, the race for President has already begun. Election season is a time when arrows are flung and promises abound. It is a time when it is easy to forget that regardless of the outcome, God will still be ultimately in charge, as has been the case from the beginning of time.

Prayer: God of Promise, you have remained steadfast throughout time. Help us remember you will be with us for all of our tomorrows. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Joshua 24:14-15

Monday, October 31, 2011 – Proper 27 & Ordinary 32, Year A

This week the lectionary offers numerous scriptures including: Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25; Psalm 78:1-7; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Matthew 25:1-13. Alternate selections include the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon 6:12-16 and Amos 5:18-24 or Wisdom of Solomon 6:17-20 and Psalm 70.

Joshua 24:14-15“Now therefore revere the LORD, and serve him with sincerity and in faithfulness…Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this whom you will…but as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

I have friends who post the last of this verse at their front door. I always have a sense of comfort as I knock on their doors. If you are like me, you try to serve God at all times but often feel as though your efforts have fallen short

Prayer: Patient God, we come before you as imperfect beings with generally good intentions. Bless and give strength to our households so that we might serve you more completely. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Proper 27 & Ordinary 32, 2010 – Psalm 98:1a, 4

For the twenty-fourth Sunday after Pentecost, the lectionary offers the following passages: Haggai 1:15b-2-9; Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21 or Psalm 98; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 and Luke 20:27-38. Alternate passages include Job 19:23-27a and Psalm 17:1-9.

Psalm 98:1a, 4O sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things…Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises.

This passage reminds me a common scene that has been shared among several Broadway musicals I have seen. One person begins to sing, and during their solo, they get a new outlook on life. This changes their song, often to one of hope and optimism. Their change transforms the cast who then join the soloist on stage and joyfully sing this new song.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us shine your light toward others so that they might join us in a new song of life. AMEN.

Proper 27/Ordinary 32 – Mark 12:42-44

From Mark 12:42-44 – A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then [Jesus] called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

This has been an interesting week in the scriptures where we are challenged to a radical trust in God – placing God first, especially in our most vulnerable moments. May each of us find the strength to stand firm in our trust of you if we are called to such trials.

Prayer:

Gracious God, you are our strength. Help us sense your unending presence in our lives so that we might be the faithful disciples you would have us be. AMEN.

Proper 27/Ordinary 32 – Psalm 146:5, 7-8

From Psalm 146:5, 7-8 – Happy are those whose help is in the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God…who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry, the LORD sets the prisoners free; the LORD opens the eyes of the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.

I will be spending a good part of my day today thinking about this connection between faith and health, the interrelationship of our bodies and our spirits. These verses make it clear that healing ministry is every bit as fundamental to faithful living as is caring for the poor, the oppressed and the hungry.

Prayer:

Creator God, thank you for the gift of these wonderful bodies. Help us learn to care for them as we seek to achieve our highest level of wellness. AMEN.

Proper 27/Ordinary 32 – 1 Kings 17:12, 14

Elijah has asked a widow to give him a piece of bread. We pick up with 1 Kings 17:12, 14 – But [the widow] said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a jug; I am now gathering a couple of sticks, so that I may go home and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” Elijah instructs the widow to not be afraid and to make a small cake for him in addition to something for her and her son saying, “For thus says the LORD the God of Israel: The jar of meal will not be emptied and the jug of oil will not fail until the day the LORD sends rain on the earth.”

I can only imagine the pain this widow must have felt as she was gathering those few sticks to prepare her final meal for her son. It is precisely at this moment that she is offered the chance to make a leap of faith, to have hope amidst her hopelessness. In our times of greatest need, may we hear God as clearly as she did.

Prayer:

Gracious God who gives us hope, give us ears that hear your voice gently guiding us throughout the day. AMEN.

Proper 27/Ordinary 32 – Psalm 127:1

From Psalm 127:1 – Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.

Put God first! Sounds simple enough. Yet putting God first means being willing to take chances. Putting God first isn’t always covered by corporate liability insurance. Putting God first won’t always make your family and friends happy. Yet putting God first is what people of faith are called to do each and every day.

Prayer:

Understanding God, we want to do what is right, yet we know we often fall short of the mark. Bless our efforts and forgive our mistakes. AMEN.

Proper 27/Ordinary 32 – Ruth 14:13, 16-27

There are some great passages for us this week including: Ruth 3:1-5, 4:13-17; Psalm 127; Hebrews 9:24-28 and Mark 12:38-44. Alternate selections include 1 Kings 17:8-16 and Psalm 146.

From Ruth 14:13, 16-17 – So Boaz took Ruth and she became his wife. When they came together, the LORD made her conceive, and she bore a son. Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse. The women of the neighborhood gave [the child] a name, saying, “A son has been born to Naomi.” They named him Obed; he became the father of Jesse, the father of David.

I had a chance to see my grandsons this weekend. Every time I see them I wonder what is ahead for them. Will they live lives in which they feel richly blessed? Will they maintain the essential joy as adults they have as children? Reading this passage made me think of the unknown potential that resides inside each child. Obed, resting on his grandmother’s chest and depending on others to care for him, will grow up to be King David’s grandfather.

Prayer:

Loving God, we offer a special word of thanks for children, and we ask that you help us be a blessing to any child who comes before us today. AMEN.

Picture for Proper 27/Ordinary 32 – Ruth 14:16

Then Naomi took the child and laid him in her bosom, and became his nurse.

My wife holding one of our grandchildren.


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