Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Clothed in Christ

Daily reading: Colossians 3:12-17
June 30, 2015

Focus scripture: Therefore, as God's choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12

We identify one another by the clothes we wear.  

I know that Chef Roman at The Mustard Seed Cafe is ready to work when he has his hair net on and he has on his chef's shirt.  I know that a doctor is working when they walk down the hall in their scrubs.  I know that a police officer is on duty when she is wearing her uniform.

Clothes say a lot about us.

What do you like to wear?

The author of Colossians is more concerned with how we clothe our personalities than by what we wear on the outside.

If we are to clothe ourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience we will need to take off our prejudice, pride, and intolerance to make room for the Spirit's movement in our lives.

Will others through our actions today recognize the risen Christ?  

Prayer:  God clothe me today in compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Amen.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Serving Others

This week I am on a mission trip with Disciple Summer Mission in Albuquerque. The devotions from Monday through Friday will mirror the devotions our team will use together.

Daily reading: Romans 12:1-2
June 29, 2015

Focus scripture: So brothers and sisters, because of God's mercies, I encourage you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice that is holy and pleasing to God. Romans 12:1

Eugene Peterson translates the passage this way "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you:  Take your everyday, ordinary life - your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life - and place it before God as an offering."

We are to take every moment in our day and offer it to God.

Take a moment to think about how your actions and words either reflect or do not reflect the presence of God.

In what areas do you struggle?

Prayer:  God I pray that my entire day can be a reflection of your presence in my life.  Amen

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Life



Daily reading: Mark 5:21-43
June 28, 2015

Focus scripture: Jesus crossed the lake again, and on the other side a large crowd gathered around him on the shore.  Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders, came forward.  When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded with him, “My daughter is about to die.  Please, come and place your hands on her so that she can be healed and live.” Mark 5:21-23

In Mark’s telling of the story of Jesus, he is in essence telling of God’s invasion into our world bringing life where all we see is death.
He is bold in his telling and he doesn’t mess around.  The pace is quick as Jesus immediately goes from place to place because he is on a mission to speak and bring life to as many places as possible.

In this story Jesus encounters two others who are just as bold and quick in finding Jesus so that he can bring about life.  Both Jairus and the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years need the help of Jesus and are not held back in approaching and letting Jesus know what they need.

They do the work of seeking him out.  We are called to do the same thing.  To be open to God working in our lives in a transformative, life giving way each and every day.

Prayer:  God help me to turn to you when I am in need.  Amen.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Wholeness



Daily reading: Matthew 8:1-4
June 26, 2015

Focus scripture: A man with a skin disease came, kneeled before him, and said, “Lord, if you want, you can make me clean.”

Jesus could have healed him by just saying some words he does not need to touch the man.  But he does, in effect exposing himself to that which might make him ill, to that which the community had taken such great lengths to keep away from those who were healthy.  Jesus does not just confront what makes us ill but also exposes himself to what makes us ill.
Jesus did not just heal the leper, but he is also made a statement that the social and religious order needed healing.  What areas of your life need healing?  Do you keep a wall between yourself and certain people?

Prayer:  God help me to seek your healing in my life where there is brokenness and illness.  Amen.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Foundation



Daily reading: Matthew 7:24-27
June 26, 2015

Focus scripture: “Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock.” Matthew 7:24

There is a big difference between saying something and actually living it out.

We can say we want to rearrange the furniture in our living room or that we are going to work on the garden or go to the lengths to make a home cooked meal or do the laundry or refinish a piece of furniture, it is entirely an another thing to actually do the work.

It is one thing to dream about what it would be like to go on a mission trip and it is entirely another thing to participate in one.  It is one thing to dream about being a parent than it is to be one.

We might say we love Jesus but it is another thing to go out and be that loving presence in our community, in our neighborhoods and in our homes.

Jesus offers us a parable of two men setting out to build houses.

The first builds his house on rock and despite everything , the weather and flash-floods can throw at it – it remains standing.

The second man builds his house on sand.  This time, the winds and flash-floods undermine the shallow foundations of the house and it collapses.

It isn’t enough to hear Jesus’ words, we also have to act on them.

Prayer:  God help me to fully live into your teachings so that they are not just words to think about but a guide for an faithful life.  Amen.


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Judging Others



Daily reading: Matthew 7:1-6
June 25, 2015

Focus scripture: Don’t judge, so that you won’t be judged. Matthew 7:1

It doesn’t get any more plain.  “Don’t judge.” Yet we Christians are known by the outside world by the negative trait of being a very judgmental group. 

It is one the main deterrents from those seeking Christ from wanting to become Christians.  And I can empathize with those on the outside, because I left the church for a time in my youth because of the horrible judgments that were being made in my faith community.

The opposite of judgment is compassion and connection.  It is a healing salve that brings us together and opens us up to new relationships and understandings of how our world works.  While we are all human and capable of failing one another, what I have come to find is that in Christian community, where grace, forgiveness, mercy and compassion are upheld, there is much room for growth and learning to move away from our judgmental ways.

Prayer:  God put a right Spirit within me, where I can see your people through your eyes and not through my own blurred sight.  Amen.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Trust



Daily reading: Mark 4:35-41
June 24, 2015

Focus scripture: Jesus asked them, “Why are you frightened?  Don’t you have faith yet?” Mark 4:40

I always find the stormy sea disciple stories to be rich with meaning.  On the surface they after all, for the most part, are fisher men who understand navigating the rough waters the sea more so than Jesus who grew up as a land lover. 

I am not sure if the situation is dire and they are in need of Jesus’ assistance.  But what it does remind me of is my constant need for the presence of Christ in my life, even when I am in familiar territory of situational storms that I have faced before.

As habitual as we are, we tend to have to work hard at breaking habits, even if they are damaging to us.  We may find comfort in the familiarity of our dysfunction.  But Christ calls us to trust in him and to not be afraid as we boldly move through the storms of life in a new way.

Prayer:  As I surely face storms in my day, God bring me the peace that I need to navigate them with your leadership.  Amen.

Easter ... ready ... set ... go!

Matthew 28:1-10 About three years ago I committed to the Narrative Lectionary.   It is a four-year cycle that takes the congregation t...