Saturday, October 31, 2015

God in the center



Daily reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-5 & 6:1-5
Saturday October 31, 2015

Focus passage: David and all the troops who were with him set out for Baalah, which is Kiriathjearim of Judah, to bring God’s chest up from there - the chest that is called by the name of the LORD of heavenly forces, who sits enthroned on the winged creatures. 2 Samuel 6:2

David arranges the transport of the Ark to the new capital Jerusalem.  In essence he moves it figuratively and literally from the fringe into the center.  

Jerusalem is also to be the home of the king that has united the nation.  It will also be the future location of the temple that will be built under David’s son, Solomon’s rule.

Jerusalem then becomes the foundational place where order is restored from chaos.

God desired to be placed in the center of the nation, in the same place where the king resides who ultimately should place God in the center of their own life.

What does it mean to put God in the center of all that we do?

Even when life gets messy?

What does it mean for households, relationships, and congregations to put God in the center of all that they do?  What would that look like?
What if in every moment we asked God to infuse our collective lives with the fruits of the Spirit?  For everyone to embody love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?

Prayer: God who brings order to chaos, who names and claims us as Your own, guide us this day, help us to experience your presence throughout our day.  Amen.

Friday, October 30, 2015

God chooses you



Daily reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-5 & 6:1-5
Friday October 30, 2015

Focus passage: In the past, when Saul ruled over us, you were the one who led Israel out to war and back.  What’s more, the LORD told you, You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will be Israel’s leader. 2 Samuel 5:2

On the day of your infant dedication God chose you.  Your parents sought God’s blessing on your life and your congregation pledged to help raise you in the Christian faith.

On the day of your baptism, God chose you.  As you entered the watery chaos of the baptistery and died to your old life and took on the life of Christ, God chose you.

The tribes of Israel chose David as their king because God has chosen David.  

God also chooses each of us, to follow, to learn and to serve together.  This is our privilege and it is our calling.  

How can you serve God today?

Prayer: God who brings order to chaos, who names and claims us as Your own, guide us this day, help us to experience your presence throughout our day.  Amen.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Defeating our Giants



Background passage: 2 Samuel 5:1-5 & 6:1-5
Daily reading: 1 Samuel 17
Thursday October 29, 2015

Focus passage: But David told the Philistine, “You are coming against me with sword, spear, and scimitar, but I come against you in the name of the LORD of heavenly forces, the God of Israel’s army, the one you’ve insulted.” 1 Samuel 17:45

This familiar story of David defeating Goliath reminds us that even in the messiness of life, even when the odds are stacked against us, with God’s help we can find a way forward.

We all have giants that loom in our life.  Maybe it is that small voice that leads us to doubt our abilities and causes us to remain where we are rather than boldly move forward.

Do you believe that God can find a way forward even when the odds are stacked against you?

Take time to write down the things that are big challenges in your life.  Be in prayer about them and invite someone to join you in prayer as you discern a way forward.

Prayer: God who brings order to chaos, who names and claims us as Your own, guide us this day, help us to experience your presence throughout our day.  Amen.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Choosen



Background passage: 2 Samuel 5:1-5 & 6:1-5
Daily reading: Joshua 24:14-24
Wednesday October 28, 2015

Focus passage: “ …choose today whom you will serve …my family and I will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

Before entering the Promised Land under the leadership of Joshua, Joshua says to the people, “So now, revere the LORD.  Serve him honestly and faithfully.  Put aside the gods that your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates and in Egypt and serve the LORD.  But if it seems wrong in your opinion to serve the LORD, then choose today whom you will serve.  Choose the gods whom your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live.  But my family and I will serve the LORD.”

We easily turn our priorities, our possessions and our routines into idols.  If you don’t believe me, just watch how people react when things have been moved or schedules have been changed.  Congregations have divided over changing the hour of worship on a Sunday morning. 
Joshua challenges those who are about to leave the wilderness and
enter into the Promised Land, “choose who you will serve.”  The struggle is real as evidence in the larger reading for today.  We may say we choose God, but our actions and words suggested otherwise. 
If you pick God, then your choice will lead you to growth and service to God and to neighbor.

Take time to consider how when you choose God it infuses your day.
Prayer: God who brings order to chaos, who names and claims us as Your own, guide us this day, help us to experience your presence throughout our day.  Amen.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Creating order centered on God



Background passage: 2 Samuel 5:1-5 & 6:1-5
Daily reading: Exodus 20:1-17
Tuesday October 27, 2015

Focus passage: I am the LORD your God who brought you out of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You must have no other gods before me. Exodus 20:2-3

How do you create order in your world?

In the wilderness after the Hebrew slave escape slavery in Egypt, God forms them into a people with God as their leader.  God provides the 10 commandments as the foundation for their society.  Once again the chaos of wilderness is answered with the future hope of returning to their homeland the Promised Land, where God will be the center of their lives, their community, and their families.  They will not need a king or a Pharaoh, because God will be their king.

Even in the messiness of life in the wilderness God gives the people a template that will allow them to love God and to love neighbor.

God desires to be in the center of our lives, even in the messiness of life.
Take time to be mindful of what you doing throughout your day and think of how God is present in the moment.

Prayer: God who brings order to chaos, who names and claims us as Your own, guide us this day, help us to experience your presence throughout our day.  Amen.

Waiting

Daily reading: Isaiah 40:1-11 Monday December 10, 2018 Focus passage:  Go up on a high mountain, messenger Zion!  Raise your voice a...