Posts Tagged 'Proper 17'

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Romans 12:13-15, 18

Friday, August 26, 2011 – Proper 17 & Ordinary 22, Year A

Romans 12:13-15, 18Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Romans 12 is such a rich chapter, and Paul’s rules for living together don’t disappoint. Be a genuine presence to all, including strangers, and do the best you can to live in peace with everyone.

Prayer: God of understanding, living together as neighbors can be hard work. Stand beside us in our efforts to be the people you would have us be. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Romans 12:9-10

Thursday, August 25, 2011 – Proper 17 & Ordinary 22, Year A

Romans 12:9-10Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; Love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.

What a wonderful pair of verses. As I am writing this and listening with one ear to the baseball game on the TV in the other room, it is easy to imagine how peaceful our world would be if all of us competed to outdo one another in showing honor.

Prayer: God of peace, each of us is as unique as a fingerprint, yet you made each of us. Help us respect that tie that binds us. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Jeremiah 15:16

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 – Proper 17 & Ordinary 22, Year A

Jeremiah 15:16Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart; for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.

When we fail to eat sufficient food, our bodies tell us in sometimes dramatic ways. This scripture reminds us that we also need spiritual sustenance. Eat your fruits and vegetables, and feast on God’s word.

Prayer adapted from a favorite hymn: Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, early in the morning and throughout the day, may our songs rise to thee. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Exodus 3:4-5

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 – Proper 17 & Ordinary 22, Year A

Exodus 3:4-5When the LORD saw that Moses had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then God said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”

I think we stand on holy ground throughout the day. Each time we are with someone else, a fellow child of God, we are on holy ground. Whether you are with a family member or a person seeking services from you, honor the time and God’s presence there.

Prayer: Loving God, help us recognize your presence in those around us. Help us walk faithfully on the holy ground surrounding your children. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Exodus 3:1-2

Monday, August 22, 2011 – Proper 17 & Ordinary 22, Year A

The lectionary texts for this week include Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 105:1-6, 23-26, 45c; Romans 12:9-21 and Matthew 16:21-28. Alternate scriptures include Jeremiah 15:15-21 and Psalm 26:1-8.

Exodus 3:1-2Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There an angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.

I have known folks who have heard God in dramatic, crystal clear ways like Moses. But I suspect most of us are left wondering if we are actually hearing God or simply projecting our own thoughts. Our prayer today is for the wisdom to know the difference.

Prayer: Gracious God, listening for your still small voice requires intentionality. Give us both patience and wisdom as we seek to discern your will in all we do. AMEN.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 – Mark 7:14-15, 21a

From Mark 7:14-15, 21a – Then [Jesus] called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile…For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come…”

There were so many directives related to the handling, preparation and consuming of food. Jesus reminds us that how we act toward one another, what we say and what we do, are so much more important in defining us as people of faith.


Understanding God, grant us wisdom and patience, and help us keep you in the forefront of our minds. AMEN.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 – Mark 7:1-2

From Mark 7:1-2 – Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around [Jesus], they noticed that some of the disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them.

The Pharisees weren’t concerned with the swine flu, and in a few verses Jesus will chide them for focusing so much on issues such as hand washing. With that said, we are approaching the return of flu season, and this is a good scripture to remind us that one simple preventive measure to help avoid the flu is to practice frequent hand washing.


Healer God, may we remain healthy so that we might serve those who aren’t so fortunate. AMEN.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 – James 1:27

From James 1:27 – Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

One synonym for pure is undiluted. I found that an interesting word for this passage since diluting often makes something weaker or less reactive. So, be strong and work to rise above the fray of this world, and care for those less fortunate.

Prayer from Rev. Dr. G. Scott Morris’ final line in his blessing over food (Dr. Morris is the Founder and Executive Director of the Church Health Center):

Gracious God, keep us mindful of those less fortunate than we are. AMEN.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 – James 1:19-20

From James 1:19-20 – You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.

I was reminded of that wisdom of Thomas Jefferson that goes something like this: ‘When angry count to ten before you speak. When very angry, a hundred.’ But this scripture also holds up the importance of being a good listener. Listen more. Talk less. Be patient with one another.


Gracious God, help us be better listeners so that we might better hear what is actually being said. AMEN.

Proper 17/Ordinary 22 – Deuteronomy 4:9

We are fast approaching the end of August. The lectionary selections for this week include: Song of Solomon 2:8-13, Psalm 45:1-2, 6-9; James 1:17-27 and Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. Alternate scriptures include Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 6-9 and Psalm 15.

From Deuteronomy 4:9 – But take care to watch yourselves closely, so as to neither forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children…

We learn from our life experiences. Sometimes those lessons are found in times of laughter, but other are found in times of great anguish. This scripture reminds us that we owe it to others, especially our families, to share those life lessons.


Loving God, may we grow in our wisdom, and may others benefit from our passing on of that wisdom. AMEN.

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