Monday, April 22, 2019

Believe

John 20:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)

Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead.

It was a beautiful Easter here. New life was everywhere.  The birds were our accompaniment for our sunrise service.  The flowering trees were just a gorgeous backdrop.  Nature seemed to be singing and dancing with the good news of Easter! 
In our scripture this morning, the other disciple saw and believed.  I can just imagine that as he saw the empty tomb, Jesus’ words played back in his ears.  He believed but he didn’t quite understand yet what it meant.  He wasn’t singing and dancing with nature just yet.  I imagine he was walking back home dazed and confused. 
Sometimes, I think we are a lot like that in our faith. There are so many competing ideas and theologies out there, it’s no wonder!  But I think we can all agree that this Easter Story is a beautiful one and one worthy of remembering not just every year, but every day.  We can believe in the Resurrection story and know and understand God’s love for each and every one of us.

Holy God,
Thank you for the Easter story that brings us Hope and New Life. Help us to be like nature, singing and dancing the Good News, every day.  Amen. 
If you find this devotion to be a blessing, please share it with a friend.
Share
Tweet
Forward

Friday, April 19, 2019

It's Friday... but it's not over yet!

 

Mark 15 Common English Bible (CEB)

Trial before Pilate

15 At daybreak, the chief priests—with the elders, legal experts, and the whole Sanhedrin—formed a plan. They bound Jesus, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate. 2 Pilate questioned him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus replied, “That’s what you say.” 3 The chief priests were accusing him of many things.
4 Pilate asked him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? What about all these accusations?” 5 But Jesus gave no more answers, so that Pilate marveled.
6 During the festival, Pilate released one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7 A man named Barabbas was locked up with the rebels who had committed murder during an uprising. 8 The crowd pushed forward and asked Pilate to release someone, as he regularly did. 9 Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” 10 He knew that the chief priests had handed him over because of jealousy. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas to them instead. 12 Pilate replied, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call king of the Jews?”
13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!”
14 Pilate said to them, “Why? What wrong has he done?”
They shouted even louder, “Crucify him!”
15 Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd, so he released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus whipped, then handed him over to be crucified.

Jesus is tortured and killed

16 The soldiers led Jesus away into the courtyard of the palace known as the governor’s headquarters, and they called together the whole company of soldiers. 17 They dressed him up in a purple robe and twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on him. 18 They saluted him, “Hey! King of the Jews!” 19 Again and again, they struck his head with a stick. They spit on him and knelt before him to honor him. 20 When they finished mocking him, they stripped him of the purple robe and put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
21 Simon, a man from Cyrene, Alexander and Rufus’ father, was coming in from the countryside. They forced him to carry his cross.
22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means Skull Place.23 They tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he didn’t take it. 24 They crucified him. They divided up his clothes, drawing lots for them to determine who would take what. 25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The notice of the formal charge against him was written, “The king of the Jews.” 27 They crucified two outlaws with him, one on his right and one on his left.
29 People walking by insulted him, shaking their heads and saying, “Ha! So you were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, were you? 30 Save yourself and come down from that cross!”
31 In the same way, the chief priests were making fun of him among themselves, together with the legal experts. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down from the cross. Then we’ll see and believe.” Even those who had been crucified with Jesus insulted him.
33 From noon until three in the afternoon the whole earth was dark. 34 At three, Jesus cried out with a loud shout, “Eloi, eloi, lama sabachthani,” which means, “My God, my God, why have you left me?”
35 After hearing him, some standing there said, “Look! He’s calling Elijah!”36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, and put it on a pole. He offered it to Jesus to drink, saying, “Let’s see if Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 But Jesus let out a loud cry and died.
38 The curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who stood facing Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “This man was certainly God’s Son.”
40 Some women were watching from a distance, including Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James (the younger one) and Joses, and Salome. 41 When Jesus was in Galilee, these women had followed and supported him, along with many other women who had come to Jerusalem with him.

 


 

If you find this devotion to be a blessing, please share it with a friend.
Share
Tweet
Forward

Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Passover Meal

Luke 22:14-23 Common English Bible (CEB)

The Passover meal

14 When the time came, Jesus took his place at the table, and the apostles joined him. 15 He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. 16 I tell you, I won’t eat it until it is fulfilled in God’s kingdom.” 17 After taking a cup and giving thanks, he said, “Take this and share it among yourselves.18 I tell you that from now on I won’t drink from the fruit of the vine until God’s kingdom has come.” 19 After taking the bread and giving thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” 20 In the same way, he took the cup after the meal and said, “This cup is the new covenant by my blood, which is poured out for you.
21 “But look! My betrayer is with me; his hand is on this table. 22 The Human One goes just as it has been determined. But how terrible it is for that person who betrays him.” 23 They began to argue among themselves about which of them it could possibly be who would do this.

Today is Maundy Thursday. The day we remember and reflect on the Last Supper.  If you are unable to attend a special service for this I hope as you sit down for your supper this evening, you will think of Jesus and this meal with his disciples. May your dinner this evening be a special time of communion. 

Lord,
As we eat our meals today, may they be for us a meal that draws us into closer communion with you and all those we hold dear.  Amen.
If you find this devotion to be a blessing, please share it with a friend.
Share
Tweet
Forward

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

One Heart and Mind

John 17:20-23 Living Bible (TLB)

20 “I am not praying for these alone but also for the future believers who will come to me because of the testimony of these. 21 My prayer for all of them is that they will be of one heart and mind, just as you and I are, Father—that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.
22 “I have given them the glory you gave me—the glorious unity of being one, as we are— 23 I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one—so that the world will know you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me.
 
This is Jesus’ prayer for us, the future believers.  He prays that we will be of one heart and mind, that we would come together in him and know how much God loves us – as much as he loves Jesus.  What a beautiful thought.  I can’t help but wonder how we are doing in this.  Are we one in him or are we still trying to single ourselves out, this group is better than that, are we still in a “we vs. them” mindset?  How might we learn to be of one heart and mind? Perhaps the answer is Love, diving deeply into the love he is calling us to each and every day.

Loving God,
Fill us so full of your love that it overflows out of us onto all those around us, showering them in the love you offer each of us so freely. May we always offer that love you offer us, to everyone around us without 
judgment, without even a second thought.  Amen. 
If you find this devotion to be a blessing, please share it with a friend.
Share
Tweet
Forward

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

If Only...

Luke 19:41-42 Common English Bible (CEB)

41 As Jesus came to the city and observed it, he wept over it. 42 He said, “If only you knew on this of all days the things that lead to peace. But now they are hidden from your eyes.

Jesus came and turned his faith tradition upside down.  He tried to show the people what the Kingdom of God looked like.  He tried to explain to them what it meant to live it here on earth but they had a hard time letting go of their old ways.  As He came into Jerusalem and looked over the city, he was sad. They still don’t get it and nothing he SAYS will make them understand.

Gracious God,
Forgive us when we can’t hear what you are teaching us.  Forgive us when we cling to the old ways.  Help us, Lord, to let go of the old and find our new life in you.  Amen. 
If you find this devotion to be a blessing, please share it with a friend.
Share
Tweet
Forward

Monday, April 15, 2019

Be Made New

Mark 2:21-22 Common English Bible (CEB)

21 “No one sews a piece of new, unshrunk cloth on old clothes; otherwise, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and makes a worse tear. 22 No one pours new wine into old leather wineskins; otherwise, the wine would burst the wineskins and the wine would be lost and the wineskins destroyed. But new wine is for new wineskins.”

Often during Lent, we try to break old habits and form new ones, but do we continue the new ones after Lent? Our lives can be a little like the old wineskins.  When we try to add new habits into the old way of doing things, into our old life, they don’t always stick.  I hope during this season of Lent maybe we started letting go of the old ways and started creating a new life for ourselves so that our new habits can better fit so that they can grow and expand together.

Lord of life,
Help us to embrace a new life in you, a life with a slower pace so that we have time for all the truly important things in life.  Time with You, time with our family, friends, and neighbors, time for lots more of the loving you are calling us to.  Amen. 
If you find this devotion to be a blessing, please share it with a friend.
Share
Tweet
Forward

Friday, April 12, 2019

Psalm 104

Psalm 104:19-23 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

19 Lord, you made the moon to show us when the festivals begin.
    And the sun always knows when to set.
20 You made darkness to be the night—
    the time when wild animals come out and roam around.
21 Lions roar as they 
attack,
    as if they are asking God for the food he gives them.
22 When the sun rises, they leave
    and go back to their dens to rest.
23 Then people go out to do their work,
    and they work until evening.


 
Amen.



 

If you find this devotion to be a blessing, please share it with a friend.
Share
Tweet
Forwar