Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Healing



Background passage: Genesis 12:1-4
Daily reading: Matthew 9:9-13
Wednesday September 30, 2014

Focus passage: When Jesus heard it, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do.”  Matthew 9:12

Here we have this beautiful passage that challenges us to see how the Kingdom of God is present when boundaries are crossed.  When outsiders are welcomed in and bread is broken and shared.

Stewardship is about recognizing the bounty that God has provided for us all.  God doesn’t offer to us only small amounts of love, grace, mercy, compassion and forgiveness.  No, God drenches us in them all, so that we are saturated.

The religious insiders do not realize that Jesus’ calling is to heal and restore what has been broken in society.  And so we seem Jesus going to places where sick people are kept sick, where the poor remain poor, where sinners remain on the outside un-forgiven and where the marginalized have no way in.

Jesus then is a good steward of the love, mercy, grace, compassion and forgiveness that God has showered into his own life that then becomes a blessing to the sick, the poor, the sinners, and marginalized, by meeting them in their sickness, poverty, sin and marginalization.
How can you use the bounty that is in your life to bring about healing and wholeness in your own community?

Prayer: God help me to begin from a place of deep gratitude.   May that gratefulness permeate me and fill me to the brim so I am overflowing with joy.  Amen.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Faith



Background passage: Genesis 12:1-4
Daily reading: Romans 4:13-22
Tuesday September 29, 2015

Focus passage: He didn’t hesitate with a lack of faith in God’s promise, but he grew strong in faith and gave glory to God. Romans 4:20

How often do you hesitate with a lack of faith?

God may plant a small seed of faithfulness in your heart and when it comes time to act on it, doubt seeps in and you question whether or not it is possible.

We can become paralyzed by fear of failure and so we refuse to take any sort of risk.

Abraham and Sarah took a huge risk in leaving behind everything they had and knew in order to follow God into the wide unknown.  The only constant they had was God’s presence.

When we hesitate and fear we prohibit ourselves from living in the joy of God and in God’s bounty that results in deep faithfulness.

Prayer: God help me to begin from a place of deep gratitude.   May that gratefulness permeate me and fill me to the brim so I am overflowing with joy.  Amen.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Now What?



Background scripture: Genesis 12:1-4
Daily reading: Luke 21:1-4
Monday September 28, 2015

Focus passage: “All of them are giving out of their spare change.  But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had to live on.” Luke 21:4

What do you offer to others?

Do you give away your spare change, or do you make offerings to others so that in your giving you feel joy and the movement of God?

While the translation as the poor widow giving everything from her “hopeless poverty,” I would rather it say she gave everything, her own bounty from her hope-filled faith.

Where is there bounty in your life?

What is it that you can offer to your community that will bless them with God’s presence?

It can be through volunteering your time, with sharing your home through hospitality, it can be with spending your time with someone else.

The widow gave everything she had, which in turn radically changed her.  When we only give what we can spare, we often are rarely changed.  

Think of ways to give out of your bounty and be ready for radical change.

Prayer: God help me to begin from a place of deep gratitude.   May that gratefulness permeate me and fill me to the brim so I am overflowing with joy.  Amen.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

What Is God Calling Me to Do?



Daily reading: Genesis 12:1-4
Sunday September 27, 2015

Focus passage: The LORD said to Abram, “Leave your land, your family, and your father’s household for the land that I will show you.  Genesis 12:1
In this passage it is pretty clear what God wants Abram to do.  God wants him to get up and go, to leave everything that is familiar, everything that allows him to feel comfortable and as an insider and go.  The only thing then that he has to hold onto is his faith in God and the promise for a hope-filled future.

As followers of Christ we need to ever be aware of that God is calling us out.  Following Christ implies movement.

Our movement should be based in a deep gratitude for what God has given us.  When we examine those gifts/strengths/bounty that we have in our lives the question then arises what am I to do with my gifts/strengths/bounty in my life?

How can I turn my gratitude and bounty into an offering to others that will bring them joy?

Take time to consider what you are grateful for.  

Where is there bounty in your life?

Pray for God to help you see a way to give an offering to your community.

Prayer: God help me to begin from a place of deep gratitude.   May that gratefulness permeate me and fill me to the brim so I am overflowing with joy.  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...