Posts Tagged 'Proper 25'

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 22:39

Friday, October 21, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordnary 30, Year A

Matthew 22:39“And the second commandment is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”

I have lived on my street for over 20 years. Some of my neighbors have been here longer than I have. In reading this familiar verse, I am struck by the fact I barely know most of my neighbors. To be sure, I harbor no ill will toward any of them, but it is hard to love your neighbors, if you don’t make an effort to get to know them.

Prayer: God of Peace, it is easy for us to live under a veil of indifference toward our neighbor. Help open our hearts to one another. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Matthew 22:36-38

Thursday, October 20, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordinary 30, Year A

Matthew 22:36-38“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.”

This is certainly one of the most recognized passages in the Bible. ‘Love God with every fiber of your being – 100%.’ I imagine that for most of us, our typical commitment percentage is less than that.

Prayer: Loving God, we give you in part what you ask for in full. Give us the strength to be the servants you want us to be. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Thessalonians 2:5-7

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordinary 30, Year A

1 Thessalonians 2:5-7As you know and as God is our witness, we never came with words of flattery or with a pretext for greed; nor did we seek praise from mortals, whether from you or from others, though we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nurse tenderly caring for her own children.

I got stopped for speeding once while driving too fast through Alabama. With my wife and stepdaughter in the car, the police officer said to me, “Slow down son. You are carrying precious cargo.” I think God implores us to consider each other as precious cargo.

Prayer: Gentle God, you see each of us as your precious child. Help us treat each other with the gentleness and respect we readily offer our family members. AMEN.

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordinary 30, Year A

Psalm 1:1-3Happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law they meditate day and night. They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all they do, they prosper.

I have been struggling to keep a dogwood alive in my front yard for several years. Near-drought conditions and the clay-based soil in my yard have made it difficult to give my tree enough water. Our lives can suffer spiritual drought, and this passage reminds us to “get plenty of God in our lives” so our lives can be of full-service to God.

Prayer: Steadfast God, soften our hearts so that you might dwell in us more completely and make our service to you more fruitful. AMEN.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 90:16-17

Monday, October 17, 2011 – Proper 25 & Ordinary 30, Year A

The lectionary selections for this week include: Deuteronomy 34:1-12; Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17; 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 and Matthew 22:34-46. Alternate passages for this week include Leviticus 9:1-2, 15-18 and Psalm 1.

Psalm 90:16-17Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper for us the work of our hands – O prosper the work of our hands!

What a wonderful pair of verses with which to begin our week of service to God. May our faith in God be evident in all we do this week.

Prayer: Gracious God, may the work of our hands clearly show your work in us. AMEN.

Thoughts & Prayers for Proper 25 & Ordinary 30, 2010

Thought & Prayer for Monday, October 18, 2010
I will be enjoying a week of fun, sun and relaxation in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The lectionary for this week includes: Joel 2:23-32; Psalm 65; 2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 and Luke 18:9-14. Alternate selections include Jeremiah 14:7-10, 19-22 and Psalm 84:1-7.

Joel 2:23-24 O children of Zion, be glad and rejoice in the LORD your God; for he has given the early rain for your vindication, he has poured down for you abundant rain, the early and the later rain, as before. The threshing floors shall be full of grain, the vats shall overflow with wine and oil.

My church parking lot has been turned into a farmer’s market every Saturday for several months. As we near the end of October, the market is also nearing the end of its seasonal run. Many urban neighborhoods are devoid of grocery stores. A famers market can be an oasis for such nutritional deserts in our communities.

Prayer: Creator God, help us creatively share your abundance with those less fortunate than we are. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Joel 2:27-29You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is no other. And my people shall never again be put to shame. Then afterward I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female slaves, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.

Anticipate the impossible! Expect the unexpected! We worship a limitless God who loves all of us.

Prayer: Almighty God, open our eyes and our minds to your love that knows no limits. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2 Timothy 4:6-7As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

I find Paul’s race analogy very helpful. First, Paul says he finished the race, but he didn’t say he won the race. Participation, not victory, is key. Second, I think of the stitch I get in my side after the simplest exertion. The race of faith in which we run can be difficult, even painful, at times.

Prayer: Steadfast God, in our race of faith, help us know your presence so that we may continue to draw on your strength when we are faltering. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Thursday, October 21, 2010

2 Timothy 4:16-17aAt my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it.

‘In my time of need, no one stood by me but you, God. Don’t think less of them, God.’ What a powerful statement of forgiveness Paul is making in this passage today!

Prayer: Gracious God, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. AMEN.

Thought & Prayer for Friday, October 21, 2010

Luke 18:10, 13-14 – [Jesus is speaking.] “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector…But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

“Keep things in perspective,” is advice often given to one who is not seeing the whole picture, when one is missing the forest for the trees. Today’s passage reminds us to keep ourselves in perspective, too.

Prayer: Loving and patient God, help us as we work to walk humbly with you. AMEN.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30 – Mark 10:48-49

From Mark 10:48-49 – Many sternly ordered [Bartimaeus] to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”

A blind man sitting on the side of the road calls out to Jesus for help, and the disciples try to silence him. “Don’t bother the Teacher,” they seem to be saying. Other times they seem to say, “This isn’t the proper place or the right time for healing.” This scene plays out with different characters, time and time again in scripture. People walking beside Jesus, hearing him firsthand, fail to understand him. Jesus asks us to care for one another. Jesus asks us to be healing presences for one another.

Prayer:

Patient God, we live by agendas and habits that are of our own making. Remain by us, gently nudging us toward your will. AMEN.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30 – Mark 10:46b-48

From Mark 10:46b-48 – As [Jesus] and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on my!” Many sternly ordered [Bartimaeus] to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

When I first read this passage, what struck me was not that Bartimaeus cried out the first time but that he cried out the second time as people were trying to silence him. Just as Bartimaeus cried out for his healing, we have to advocate for our own healing.

Prayer:

Healer God, give strength to our voice so that we can find the healing we need. AMEN.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30 – Psalm 34:19-20

From Psalm 34:19-20 – Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD rescues them from them all. He keeps their bones; not one of them will be broken.

Long after our flesh has gone, our bones will remain. This passage reminds me that God’s love and care for us transcends this world. While our lives will have pains and trials, we are never left to face those challenges alone.

Prayer:

Steadfast God, thank you for remaining by our side at all times. AMEN.

Proper 25/Ordinary 30 – Job 42:1-3

It is starting to get chilly, and I might have to turn the heat on this week.

The lectionary selections for this week include: Job 42:1-6, 10-17; Psalm 34:1-8, (19-22); Hebrews 7:23-28 and Mark 10: 46-52. Alternate passages include Jeremiah 31:7-9 and Psalm 126.

From Job 42:1-3 – Then Job answered the LORD: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

Living with the question – That is the phrase I thought of when I read these verses. Part of our leap of faith is being comfortable enough in our beliefs that we can leave some answers to God’s time.

Prayer:

God of mystery, give us patience so that your time is sufficient for us. AMEN.

Picture for Proper 25/Ordinary 30 – Job 42:5

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you.

www.publicdomainpictures.net

Proper 20/Ordinary 25 – Proverbs 31:10, 20

There are many passages from which to choose this week as we approach the seventeenth Sunday of Pentecost. Those scripture selections include: Proverbs 31:10-31; Psalm 1; James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a and Mark 9:30-37. Alternate scriptures include Wisdom of Solomon 1:16-2:1, 12-22; Psalm 54 and Jeremiah 11:18-20.

From Proverbs 31:10, 20 – A capable wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels…She opens her hand to the poor, and reaches out her hands to the needy.

The opening this chapter, Proverbs 31:1 reads: The words of King Lemuel. An oracle that his mother taught him, and verse 9 reads: Speak out, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. The King’s mother is beseeching him to care for the poor and needy, and find a wife who does the same. She is asking him to surround himself with people who are righteous.

Prayer:

Almighty God, help us find people who are called to similar service as we are, so that together we might do great things for your kingdom. AMEN.


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