Posts

Grounding ourselves

Daily reading: Psalm 84 Monday, August 21, 2017

Psalm 84 specifically is a psalm of the pilgrim, it speaks of God’s dwelling place as a place that is set apart and is holy.  The pilgrim seeks the living God “who is not static or trapped in endless cycles of death and rebirth as some of the Canaanite deities” were thought to be.
So it is not so much the physical place that is the destination, as much as it is, the one who dwells there.  The pilgrim seeks to be in the presence of God.  Along the way there, they travel through the Baca Valley, a place unknown.   If we were to imagine it to be a desert landscape, then the mention of springs water and rain bring about a much desired blessing, as we know.  Much like those in the exodus found springs of water and sustenance from God in the desert, so do those on pilgrimages. 
While the faithful knew that God was not solely in the temple, the psalm reminds us that there are certain places and moments that we define as holy and set apart.  These …

Is grace cheap?

Daily readings: Psalm 84 and Romans 6:1-11 Sunday, September 20, 2017

Romans is thought to be one of Paul’s final letters that he wrote that  had been compiled along with other letters that are part of the canon of our scriptures.  As you may know these letters give us a glimpse into a conversation that Paul was having with a variety of faith communities, many of which he had a hand in starting, so they act like text messages or emails that you might send to a mentor that you have worked with after they have left town and are working somewhere else.  However, in this case we only have Paul’s letters, we do not have the letters that Paul received.
The letter to the community in Rome was unique in that Paul had yet to visit the community, so he did not have a hand in starting it.  In chapter 1, verse 10 we read, “I’m always asking that somehow, by God’s will, I might succeed in visiting you at last.”  And then in verse 13, “I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that I planned to visit …

Grace as promise

Daily reading: Psalm 46 & Acts 2:37-42 Friday, August 18, 2017
Focus passage: 37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.” 40 With many other words he testified to them and encouraged them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day.
42 The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. (Acts 2:37-42)
Grace is both abrasive and amazing because it fundamentally is grounded in release and turning toward God. …

Release

Daily reading: Psalm 46 & Acts 2:37-42 Thursday, August 17, 2017
Focus passage: 37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.” 40 With many other words he testified to them and encouraged them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day.
42 The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. (Acts 2:37-42)
Grace allows for a continual breaking open and peeling back of the areas of our lives where we are resist…

Grace infused life

Daily reading: Psalm 46 & Acts 2:37-42 Wednesday, August 16, 2017 Focus passage: 37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.” 40 With many other words he testified to them and encouraged them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day.
42 The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. (Acts 2:37-42)
Do you understand baptism, receiving forgiveness and the Holy Spirit as linear action, making baptism a …

Turn Around

Daily reading: Psalm 46 & Acts 2:37-42 Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Focus passage: 37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.” 40 With many other words he testified to them and encouraged them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day.
42 The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. (Acts 2:37-42)
As a sacrament, baptism is both a sign and a source of God’s grace in our lives. Our lives are lived as a …

Water

Daily reading: Psalm 46 & Acts 2:37-42 Monday, August 14, 2017
Focus passage: 37 When the crowd heard this, they were deeply troubled. They said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” 38 Peter replied, “Change your hearts and lives. Each of you must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 This promise is for you, your children, and for all who are far away—as many as the Lord our God invites.” 40 With many other words he testified to them and encouraged them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” 41 Those who accepted Peter’s message were baptized. God brought about three thousand people into the community on that day.
42 The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. (Acts 2:37-42)
Water is so very necessary for our lives.  Without it we die.  It nourishes us, it cleans us, it sustains u…