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Showing posts from 2017

Making time for God

Daily reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-21 Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Rather than squeezing God between appointments, only really having enough time to have a one way conversation with us doing all the speaking to God, we need to take the time to listen, to bear through the difficult silence, to quiet the noise in our own heads, so that we can hear that we all are called.  Our children are called to be children, to be brothers and sisters, to be grandchildren, nieces and nephews.   We are called in our daily work, we are called to be family members, to be students, to be neighbors, partners or spouses.  We are called to be friends, to be colleagues, to be citizens of God’s kingdom.  We are called to be the embodiment of God’s Spiritual fruits. 

Prayer: God, you call us out of our barrenness into places of abundance.  Help me today to embody your call so that I can be focused on your presence and a faithful witness to your abundant love in my life.  Amen.

Silence

Daily reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-21 Tuesday, October 17, 2017
In the silence Samuel hears, but at first thinks it is Eli, calling for him. In the silence we learn to listen but it is hard to find silence since we often have constant noise around us.  One of the central questions of this text is whether or not we want to be called.  Whether or not we want God’s guidance in our living, or do we want to forge a way forward on our own? Like in the story of Jacob and the stairway dream he had, Samuel hears God because he has slowed down and is listening. Fred Craddock once said, “that the voice of God in Jesus was not a shout.  In him, the revelation of God comes to us as a whisper.  In order to catch it, we must hush, lean forward, and trust that what we hear is the voice of God.” I wonder how often we miss the voice of God, as the voice of someone else, not so much intentionally but because we either have not learned to listen, or because we are too busy to listen and so we find another outlet to f…

Called in the middle of the night

Daily reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-21 Monday, October 16, 2017
When Samuel hears his name being called in the middle of the night, he assumes it has to be his aging mentor, Eli, who is calling him.  And what ensues is the stuff children’s Sunday school curriculum is made of.  You have repetition, you have counting, you have mystery, and you have a message for the children, you have easily memorized or repeated lines. It’s perfect. The story is fascinating and memorable, it is all quiet in the house there is a young Samuel lying down sleeping, who hears a voice, gets up and runs to Eli and says “I’m here.  You called me, ?” “I didn’t call, my son, go and lie down.” Samuel returns, falls asleep, a second time is woken by a voice, gets up and runs to Eli and says “I’m here.  You called me?” “I didn’t call, my son, go and lie down.” Samuel returns, falls asleep, a third time is woken by a voice, gets up and runs to Eli and says “I’m here.  You called me?” Eli now realizes that God must be calling him…

Barrenness

Daily reading: 1 Samuel 3:1-21 Sunday, October 15, 2017
Out of a barren situation, we find God working in Hannah, the mother of Samuel.  It begins in the first chapter of 1 Samuel where Hannah weeping and fasting and praying because she is barren. In a remarkable way she is able to rise above the barren situation she found herself in. There is a barrenness of understanding when the priest Eli supposes Hannah to be drunk when she is praying to God.  There is, if you will, a barrenness of faithfulness in the story when we look at the priest Eli and his sons.  In the midst of heart break and sorrow, in a place where she is not understood by her family or even by the priest Eli, God hears and God responds.  Her interaction with Eli is a microcosm of what is happening in Israel, where there is barrenness of faithfulness and barrenness of hearing the voice of God.    Into this barrenness Hannah prays, “remember me God.  Re-member me.  Put me back together God.  Re-member my disjointed family Go…

Provision

Read: Exodus 16:1-18 Friday, October 13, 2017
God responds to their complaining by giving them what they need, quail and manna. For 40 years, God provides.  Now what we don’t know is if the quail and manna were already there before they starting mumbling, but out of their fear and lack of faithfulness they were unable to see it, in the same way that when we are panicked and looking for something that we have misplaced we are unable to see that it is right in front of us.  Maybe, just maybe, since it is not what they expected and they were fully enmeshed in scarcity thinking that they could not see the divine abundance all around.   
We like the wandering Hebrews, mirror their fears when we look at what was and compare it what is and expect life to be like it was.  We begin to doubt that the God who created the universe is able to meet our needs. God responds to their complaints and takes this opportunity to further mold and shape the people.   God gives them instructions that will help t…

Fear

Read: Exodus 16:1-18 Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Out of fear, they want to go back and they begin to convince themselves that the past wasn’t all that bad, they repaint it with a nostalgic glow, remembering the good ole’ days. The problem is that what they are held captive by is a past that didn’t exist. They have gone down the dangerous road of failing to trust in God, after they have begun the journey.  There really isn’t any turning back, yet much like the landscape of the 21st century, they cannot depend on yesterday’s certainties. 
God calls us to trust that God is out in front of us leading us forward, always making a way through our desert wanderings so that we can realize the abundance around us that we have often overlooked.

Prayer: Abundant God, help me to see your provision in my life, fill me with gratitude and purpose to be faithful in my love for you and for my neighbor.  Amen.

The story of the underdog

Read: Exodus 16:1-18 Monday, October 9, 2017
This passage begs us to acknowledge that this isn’t how we tell our story.  History is usually told by the winning side, yet Israel is determined to tell their story, warts and all, revealing that they are no better than anyone else; they even admit that there was a time when they couldn’t remember to be faithful for even a month.  They tell the story because the lesson is in the journey, in the mistakes and miss-steps not in some blind faithfulness because ultimately the story is not as much about them as it is about the God they are following.  At a point where a parent might pull the car over to yell at the kids to stop whining and trust that they will eventually get to where they are going, God responds with provision.
Prayer: Abundant God, help me to see your provision in my life, fill me with gratitude and purpose to be faithful in my love for you and for my neighbor.  Amen.

Complaining in the wilderness

Read: Exodus 16:1-18 Sunday, October 8, 2017
Our passage begins with the narrator establishing that it is the second month of the Hebrew’s journey out of Egypt and the people are complaining against Moses and his brother Aaron and ultimately against God because they are hungry.  Their journey to freedom proves to be more challenging than they ever imagined.  Each time they complain and desire to go back, God responds with provision.  And their satisfaction with God’s provision does not last long.  We read, "The entire congregation of the Israelites complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness. The Israelites said to them, 'If only we had died by YHWH's hand in Egypt, when we sat down by the flesh-filled pots and ate bread until satiation. But you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill the whole assembly with hunger!'"  Wow, how quickly they have rewritten their narrative.  It is almost laughable and maybe it is supposed to be.  The reality is that…

Continuation

Daily reading: Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-15; 4:10-17Saturday, October 7, 2017
God in effect says to Moses, I was Abraham’s God, I was also Isaac’s God and Jacob’s God and I am your God.  Each generation needs to know that God was faithful to the past generation and the past generations were faithful to God but that God is also faithful to your generation and you are called to be faithful to God.  Meaning that our relationship with God is not stagnant, we are not called to replicate the past, but to actively partner in community with God, to respond to the deep needs and solutions that are available to us in this place in this time.  God will continue to reveal Godself to us and God will continue to speak in extraordinary ways and also in quiet ordinary ways, in the midst of everyday living, in the midst of suffering and oppression, God sees and God invites us into the struggle. 
We then are called to cultivate practices that allow us to see and hear the presence and voice of God in our live…

Noticing God

Daily reading: Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-15; 4:10-17Friday, October 6, 2017
Moses, in living into his call, turned aside, stopped his daily activity and noticed the presence of God.  Unlike most if not all of us, Moses struggled with what God was calling him to do and to be.  Our call to follow God is something we grow into.  We grow into our call to be faithful stewards of our household resources, of our income, of the shared resources our congregation has in common, and in our collective call to embody the gospel.
As we enter into this season of stewardship, I encourage you to take time to notice what you have, what can you offer to our community so that we can more fully live out the call that God has placed in our lives.  

Prayer: God who reveals Godself in extraordinary ways within our ordinary days, help us to stop and notice you, help us to stop and notice those who are suffering, and may we partner with you in your call to liberate our world from bondage.  Amen.

Sight

Daily reading: Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-15; 4:10-17 Thursday, October 5, 2017
Notice the emphasis on sight in this passage of scripture.  Moses saw the bush and decided to check out this amazing sight, then the LORD saw that Moses was coming and called out to him and God introduces Godself relationally as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Moses then hides his face because he is afraid to look at God.  Then God says “I have seen my people oppressed in Egypt.”
There is such power in seeing, in noticing, in looking at what is happening around us.
It is why at the end of our inter-generational class I insist that we look at one another in the eyes as we say our blessing.  Moses, in this instance, is captivated by the mysterious burning bush and God is there because God has seen the oppression of God’s people and God remembers the covenant God made with them and chooses to remain faithful to that promise.

Prayer: God who reveals Godself in extraordinary ways within our ordinary days, help us to s…

Excuses instead of faithfulness

Daily reading: Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-15; 4:10-17Wednesday, October 4, 2017
We come up with a lot of excuses as to why we shouldn’t partner with God in God’s continual work to liberate the world from bondage.  Maybe we don’t want to seem to be too political, or we don’t want to offend someone, or we really just don’t believe we are qualified and there has to be someone more qualified.  What happens is that we convince ourselves that our gifts and talents, as meager as we may believe they are, are ours and ours alone.  What happens when we don’t believe we are enough and that our worth is based on our inabilities rather than on the reality that we are beloved children of God, that we as the Genesis poet says are “good” before we have ever done anything?  
What I find fascinating is that God does not ignore what Moses says, instead God responds to each objection that Moses gives.  Even his speech disability isn’t a barrier to being the voice of God to Pharaoh.  God isn’t looking for perfec…

No quick fix

Daily reading: Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-15; 4:10-17Tuesday, October 3, 2017
As the story plays out, we see that there is no quick fix to the problem, even for God.  We have all been there, life is full of situations that offer no quick solutions.  We ponder and pray and stumble our way forward when life gives us lemons.  If only it was as easy as turning them into lemonade!  And we also walk along side one another when someone we love has found that there is no easy solution.  Complex problems require time, attention and collaboration. 
What is compelling about this story is that God does not devise a solution by Godself, instead God seeks out someone to partner with and that says volumes about the nature of God.  In the first creation story we are told in poetic form that God partners with us to care for creation.  We are entrusted with the earth to care for it along with God and this partnership extends into complex problems between one another. God calls Moses to partner with Godself to …

Suffering Seen

Daily reading: Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-15; 4:10-17 Monday, October 2, 2017
The story of the Exodus can be summed up in Exodus 3:7-8, which repeats the core of the passage I just read.  “Then the LORD said, “I’ve clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt.  I’ve heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters.  I know about their pain.  I’ve come down to rescue them from the Egyptians in order to take them out of that land and bring them to a good and broad land, a land that’s full of milk and honey …”
In this moment something profound happens and it is no coincidence that this is the pivotal story in the Hebrew Scriptures. God knows the suffering of God’s people and God willingly enters into the suffering and seeks out a way to end the suffering.

Prayer: God who reveals Godself in extraordinary ways within our ordinary days, help us to stop and notice you, help us to stop and notice those who are suffering, and may we partner with you in your call to liberate our world from bondage…

The call of Moses

Daily reading: Exodus 2:23-25; 3:1-15; 4:10-17 Sunday, October 1, 2017
We have been exploring the stories of the Hebrew Scriptures through the lens of the providing God.  Two weeks ago we explored the story of God promising Abraham and Sarah to become the patriarchs and matriarchs of a great nation, to live in a land of promise and for their family to be a great blessing.  The family has grown in three generations to be quiet large; Jacob had a total of 12 sons.  Joseph is one of the youngest and is sold into slavery by his jealous brothers.  Despite the famine that hit Canaan, the family is preserved through the work of their brother Joseph.  We read in the beginning of the book of Exodus that the family of Abraham has grown numerous and strong, the new pharaoh doesn’t know Joseph and sees the growing people as a threat rather than a blessing and enslaves them.  For close to 400 years, the people cry out to God to deliver them.
We then jump to Moses who is born into the family of Levi, …

God is present

Daily reading: Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17 Saturday, September 30, 2017
Just when we think we know where we will encounter God, and how God will respond to us when we show up, Jacob’s story throws us a curve ball.  We cannot fence God in, we cannot control our encounters with God by simply carving out time in our busy schedule. We run and find God outside of the places that we have conveniently placed God.  God will show up when God wants to show up, the question is will we be open to see God when God arrives? 

Prayer: Faithful God, help me to see you in the ordinary moments of my day, guide my words and my actions.  Amen.

Blessing

Daily reading: Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17 Friday, September 29, 2017
Jacob is able to hear God’s blessing that his father had given him on behalf of his family and God.  In that moment, Jacob is given the certainty of the future, of children, of land, and of God’s presence.  Jacob sees in this moment that God is present in his life, even out in the middle of nowhere, even when he is running away, even when he is running toward, even when he is in the in-between space in his life, God is present.
The miracles is not so much that God showed up in Jacob’s dream so much as it is that Jacob stopped running long enough to experience God’s presence in his life.
When he wakes up he is surprised to realize that God was present.  After all, he did not camp out in a sanctuary for the night.  There are no ruins of an ancient Canaan temple, no markers in the ground indicating that the place is religious site, no pilgrims making their way toward the same destination, no there is nothing about this…

The threshold

Daily reading: Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17 Thursday, September 28, 2017
Jacob is in the in-between, a place that does not need a name.  He is away from the conflict in Beer-sheba and not yet at his destination in Haran.   He is away from the familiar and the named and in the unknown.   He is on the threshold, which is a place of excitement and fear.  It is in this in-between space that transformation happens. 
Jacob runs until he can run no further, the sun is setting, his body is fatigued and so he stops, finds a rock for a pillow and surrenders to sleep.  It is in this moment, when Jacob is no longer running away, or running toward that God is able to get his attention.  God is able in the darkness to illuminate Jacob’s mind and to show him something that he would have missed had he continued to run.

Prayer: Faithful God, help me to see you in the ordinary moments of my day, guide my words and my actions.  Amen.

On the run

Daily reading: Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17 Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Jacob heads out, leaving behind the mess that he has created.  Most of us probably know what it is like to live life on the run.  We cram more things into our calendar than there are hours in the day.  We over schedule ourselves and our children because we have somehow come to equate success and control with activity; which at times causes us to make quick decisions without taking the time to realize the full implications of our choices.  We run past conversations and moments with family and friend or perhaps with co-workers as our minds race onto the next appointment or task at hand.
And we may find that we hide in our busy-ness so that we do not have to face or address the mess we have made in all of running around.  Some of us run away from past mistakes, from regret, from guilt, from brokenness, from fear, from failure.  We may know all too well how it feels to be Jacob.
So we convince ourselves that we are r…

God's faithfulness

Daily reading: Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17 Tuesday, September 26, 2017
God has already committed Godself to this family, and we have seen how this family has struggled and grabbed and tried to live into the covenant and have failed in some pretty epic ways.  What we also can see is what it looks like for God to remain faithful when the situation is less than ideal.
Trust that God is faithful to you in every moment of your life.  Take time today to seek God’s presence, even in the moments when you make mistakes.

Prayer: Faithful God, help me to see you in the ordinary moments of my day, guide my words and my actions.  Amen.

The trick

Daily reading: Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17 Monday, September 25, 2017
The plan is set, Esau is set out to hunt game and make his father’s favorite stew and offer it to him and receive the blessing.  While Esau is out hunting, Rebekah already has the stew ready and has a costume for Jacob to wear and some of his brother’s things to put on so he feels and smells like his older brother.  And as absurd as the plan sounds, it works. Jacob and his mother act out of a belief that there just isn’t enough to go around so they don’t weigh the cost of their decision and how it will ultimately affect every member of their family.  Siblings often feel this way and are keen to point out how unfair any given situation is if they get a slightly smaller piece of dessert, or allowance, or time with a parent.  We somehow convince ourselves that there are limits on love and attention. 
Take time today to consider that God has enough love for you and for everyone.  As you live into that belief, see how t…

Jacob the Grabber

Daily reading: Genesis 27:1-4, 15-23; 28:10-17 Sunday, September 24, 2017
Our story begins today in the waning years of their father’s life, when Isaac’s eyesight was failing, when the expectation is that the oldest will receive the father’s blessing and the patriarchal baton if you will is passed, containing the promise that God will bless that family, make it numerous, protect it and give it land.  It is the continuance of the covenant that God had made with Abraham that then was passed to Isaac, and then onto the first born in the family, to Esau.  Grabby Jacob desired this blessing so much that he goes along with his mother Rebekah’s plan to grab it right out from under Esau. 
The rest of the story as it unfolds reveals how we create brokenness in our families and our communities when we seek gain for ourselves at the expense of others.  Join us this morning in worship as we explore this story that reveals God’s faithfulness despite all of the mess we make.

Prayer: Faithful God, help…

In the beginning

Read: Genesis 1:1-2:4a Friday, September 15, 2017

In the beginning … God was present and brought our interconnected web of creation into existence.  We are more than our thoughts, we are complex, interconnected beings, who are humbled by our connection to creation and blessed by our connection to God.  When we disconnect ourselves from creation or from God the result is disaster. 
The Spirit in each of us helps us to realize what we already know, that we were born with this deep connection to God and to creation.  Our life’s journey is a continual revealing of this fundamental truth; we are designed to be connected. 

Prayer: Creator God, may I be mindful of your gracious invitation to partner with you in the unfolding of your creation today.  Amen.

Called to partner

Read: Genesis 1:1-2:4a Thursday, September 14, 2017

Nowhere does it say that after the day of rest that God checks out or that creation is complete and so the poem reflects a strong message of hope that we are all invited into the creative process of God.  Another way to say it is that God is not done with us and built within the fundamental nature of God’s relationship with us is room for growth and grace.
How might your community be called to actively participate in God’s good creation?

Prayer: Creator God, may I be mindful of your gracious invitation to partner with you in the unfolding of your creation today.  Amen.

Who

Read: Genesis 1:1-2:4a Wednesday, September 13, 2017
This week I came across a theologian that suggests that it is a hymn, a song of praise, how differently we approach the words and their meaning, through this lens.   Like a good poem, the point isn’t how God did it all, the story isn’t about how but about who.
Take time to re-read the passage and make note of who this God is that is sung about in this passage of scripture.
Prayer: Creator God, may I be mindful of your gracious invitation to partner with you in the unfolding of your creation today.  Amen.

Creation

Read: Genesis 1:1-2:4a Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Poetically, we are led through a vast visualization of creation unfolding from very basic elements to more complex structures.  The one thing that drives the movement forward is God.
With the creation of light follows a separation of light from darkness; followed by a separation of waters from waters, then waters from dry land, then vegetation; the sun, the moon, the stars, sea creatures and winged creatures; creepy , crawling things and animals.  This poetic story is not meant to be understood literally, or scientifically, or historically but rather it is a song of praise to God and stands as a fundamental statement of faith that we believe that God was part of creation, is part of creation and will be part of creation. 
The counting of days and repetition of God’s response of seeing how good creation is; is the foundation of good oral tradition.  We can imagine parents telling the story to their young children, or communities gathered …

Chaos and order

Read: Genesis 1:1-2:4a Monday, September 11, 2017

This story isn’t buried within the pages of our bible but stands at the beginning of our canon of scripture. Some scholars say during the exile the Priests placed this creation story front and center, needing to know and be reminded when all that had been familiar and holy had been taken away that God takes the mess of our world and creates something good and beautiful.
Much like a housekeeper tending to the laundry separating the darks from the lights, then moving onto the mess in the kitchen rising off the remnants of breakfast, washing, drying and stacking things of similar shapes and sizes together, God is imagined to exist in the primordial chaos of pre-creation and speaks our world into existence. Take time this week, while cleaning, sorting or organizing to think of God’s presence in your work.  May your active meditation be a time of sorting out the chaos of your week.
Prayer: Creator God, may I be mindful of your gracious invitatio…

Our story

Read: Genesis 1:1-2:4a Sunday, September 10, 2017
We long to know our beginnings and to know we are connected; that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, we long to know that we are able to make a difference and that our lives matter and have meaning.  Our Genesis begins in the beginning with these words, “In the beginning.”  This is our story.  Join us today as we explore the story of Genesis 1, first in our education hour at 9:30 and then in worship at 10:40 a.m.
Prayer: Creator God, may I be mindful of your gracious invitation to partner with you in the unfolding of your creation today.  Amen.

Sabbath

Daily reading: Matthew 12:108 Friday, September 8, 2017
Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6 when he questions the Pharisees’ condemnation of the disciples’ actions of taking a very meager meal for themselves on the Sabbath.  He says “I want mercy and not sacrifice.”    The Common English bible translates it this way, “I desire faithful love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God instead of entirely burned offerings.”
The intention of Sabbath is liberation from enslavement.  At the core of the passage is Jesus’ defense of his disciples finding nourishment, which is grounded in the understanding that basic needs should be met.  Meeting those needs is then grounded in mercy and compassion.
Prayer:  Holy God, creator of all, center me today.  Help me to remember that you alone are God.  Guide my thoughts, my words and my actions today.  Amen.

Sabbath

Daily reading: Matthew 12:1-8 Thursday, September 7, 2017
We are called to keep the Sabbath holy.  Holy means set apart or dedicated to God.  Holiness isn’t just reserved for church.  Holiness is everywhere; it happens specifically in times when we choose to love God and love neighbor. 
Sabbath practice is set apart; it is a reset for us all.  It is grounded in the unconditional love and mercy and of our God.  It is not just resting, but intentionally resting in God’s presence so God can work on us.  It is about realigning ourselves with this belief that Milton Brasher – Cunningham puts quiet succinctly, “The call of the Sabbath is to remember the fundamental core of our faith: there is a God and we are not it.” 

Prayer:  Holy God, creator of all, center me today.  Help me to remember that you alone are God.  Guide my thoughts, my words and my actions today.  Amen.

Sabbath

Daily reading: Matthew 12:108 Wednesday, September 6, 2017
What the Hebrew people find at Mount Sinai is that the emancipation that God has in store for them is much larger and holistic than simply being freed from the tyranny of Pharaoh.  
Their emancipation is set within the context of new rules of governance for how they will now live as God’s people. The struggle is real.  As we follow their story through the wilderness, we find that the scope of slavery was larger than they or we could have ever imagined.  Because, breaking old patterns, even patterns that are life destroying, are hard to break; even when we are offered something new and life giving to hold onto. 
The gift of Sabbath is part of the entire package.  God imagines the day when they will reside in the Promised Land and they will be able to farm their own land and provide for their families and be part of a community network that protects and cares for one another and that takes a day a week to rest.

Prayer:  Holy God, c…

Sabbath

Daily reading: Matthew 12:1-8 Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Rather than something that is placed upon us, Sabbath, in its truest form, is about offering freedom and it is deeply grounded in the story of the Exodus, when God freed God’s people from slavery in Egypt and led them to the Promised Land. 
Sabbath is rooted in a regime change from suffering under the oppressive rule of Pharaoh to thriving under the liberating rule of God.
Sabbath then is all about pushing back against a culture and world that tells us that our worth is based on what we can produce and what we can accomplish.  It is about stepping back from living in a world that demands our output and participation 24/7.

Prayer:  Holy God, creator of all, center me today.  Help me to remember that you alone are God.  Guide my thoughts, my words and my actions today.  Amen.

Sabbath

Daily reading: Matthew 12:1-8 Monday, September 4, 2017
Jesus’ response to the Pharisees is this, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those with him were hungry?  He went into God’s house and broke the law by eating the bread of the presence, which only the priests were allowed to eat.”
In good rabbinic tradition, when Jesus is questioned by the Pharisees as to why he allowed his disciples to pluck and eat grain on the Sabbath; he reminds them of the story of David and how he and his hungry soldiers ate the bread reserved for the priests while they were being hunted by King Saul and famished.  In short, the Sabbath was created to serve humanity, not for humanity to serve the Sabbath. What Jesus is arguing is that legalism isn’t the end goal of faithfulness because it can blind us. 

Prayer:  Holy God, creator of all, center me today.  Help me to remember that you alone are God.  Guide my thoughts, my words and my actions today.  Amen.

Sabbath

Daily reading: Matthew 12:1-8 Sunday, September 3, 2017
It is important to know that Sabbath is a concept that is widely revisited and tweaked throughout the scriptures. 
In today’s passage, Jesus and his disciples are walking through wheat fields on the Sabbath.  The disciples are hungry and so they begin to pick the heads of wheat and eat them.  The Pharisees see what the disciples are doing and are concerned that the disciples are breaking Sabbath law. 
It should not surprise us that the Pharisees come at the law this way.  They function as the legalistic guardians of tradition.  The problem with this is that they have, in essence, thrown the baby out with the bath water.   Allow me to explain. Yes, following Sabbath is one of the 10 commandments; however when it is followed blindly and becomes too enmeshed in legalism, the essential life giving intention of the gift of Sabbath is lost.  This week we will take time exploring Sabbath.  Join us at 901 Arizona Ave. Sunday morning for wo…

The radical act of Communion

Daily reading: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Saturday, September 2, 2017
In his letter to the church in Corinth, Paul reminds us that there is something fundamentally broken and out of alignment in society that goes against the nature of God’s relationship with us and with one another.  When we participate in Communion, it is an act of prophetic proclamation.  It is a moment to proclaim the liberation we find in God through Christ Jesus, it is a moment in enact our fundamental belief that nothing can separate us from the love of God found in Christ Jesus. 

Prayer: God, help me to be mindful of your presence in my life: help me to see your presence in everyone I encounter today.  May my words and actions embody your radical welcome and love for Your creation.  Amen.

All are welcomed

Daily reading: 1 Corinthians 11:17-34 Friday, September 1, 2017
Four summers ago, at the General Assembly of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada, we voted to affirm our collective practice of having an open communion table. Our unique Christian movement, born on the frontier of our budding nation, sought to unify Christians. 
At that time, creeds and doctrine were used as tests of faith and our founders saw them as a means to divide the Christian body.  These tests of faith were also made known when congregations celebrated communion.  Those who were “in” were allowed at the table and those who were “not in” were denied bread and cup.  The founders of our movement sought ways to break down the barriers that had fractured the Christian community and began the process of practicing and open table.  Throughout our relatively short history the definition of an open table has had its own parameters around it, from congregation to congregation. 
The reso…