When you look back at times when you have been brought low, how might God have been blessing you through that experience?
- Foolishness and Wisdom
Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31. This passage is a bit tricky to follow. Paul reminds us that no matter how smart […]
- Holy Living
Here, the psalmist gives their prescription for holy living.
- Justice, Kindness, Humility
To live according to God’s will, the expectation is simple: to work towards a just and equitable world; to be kind in the way that God is kind to them; and trade pride and ego for humility.
- Come and Follow
Jesus met people where they were, going about their daily lives, and called them to follow.
- Authority Issues
The issue of authority often underlies the divisions within our own churches.
- Safe Haven
The psalmist imagines God’s protection as a tent set high upon a rock.
- Light Bearers
Using the prophet as a light-bearer is a powerful image because we all know what it’s like to be in the dark.
- Come and See
How willing are you to invite Jesus to “come and see” every part of yourself?
- Gifted Community
While individual members do not have every spiritual gift, collectively, the whole body does.
Here, the psalmist affirms the positive outcome of waiting patiently for God to act in redemptive ways.
- Shining Light
How do you shine light into the lives of others?
- Seeking Hope
In what ways is your life a sign for others, pointing the way to Christ?
- Mystery of Grace
How do you proclaim the boundless riches of Christ in your life?
- Prayer for a Leader
I wonder if the type of leader a person desires depends on their station in life.
- Arise, shine!
In this glorious vision, we see the light of God breaking over the darkness of the world.
- In the Beginning
In the opening verses of John’s gospel, we read that Jesus is the giver of life and light.
- Reflection of Glory
Jesus is the reflection of God’s glory and the imprint of God’s very being.
- Joyful Noise
For many of us, the carols and songs of Christmas are an important part of what makes the season special.
- The Messenger
“How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation.”
- Softness of Heart
Humility, compassion, and mercy are the signposts of God’s kingdom, rather than pride and rigidity.
- Faith and Identity
For Paul, his identity informs every word he writes, every action he takes, and every sacrifice he makes.
- Restore Us
The Hebrew word for “restore” translates as “turn” or “repent.”
- Asking for a Sign
Have you asked God for a sign that might bring you a sense of peace?
- How Will I Know?
According to Jesus, the evidence of who he is lies in those who have experienced healing.
- God’s Timing
This passage reminds us that God’s timing is different from ours.
Both in Mary’s song and in Jesus’ ministry, we see the God who loves us as we are but does not leave us as we are.
- The Holy Way
The Holy Way will be so straightforward, even a fool cannot make a wrong turn.
- Prepare the Way
Baptism is about receiving a new identity and a new vocation.
Living in harmony is hard enough with people we’ve known our whole lives, let alone with those who have different perspectives and priorities from us.
- Reign of Righteousness
We can see Jesus as just this kind of king.
- Kingdom of Peace
Here, Isaiah is speaking of a leader who will usher in a season of peace.
- While We Wait
While we wait, signs of Jesus’ presence remain in beautiful moments that delight our senses and stir our hearts.
- Home for the Holidays
During the holidays, we go to a place where we can feel grounded and centered.
- Wake Up
Would you say, at this moment, that you are energized in your faith or feeling a little bit sleepy?
- Good Change
Isaiah shares the vision he has been given of the new thing that God will do for Israel.
- Forgive Them
I wonder how often we are harmed by someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing.
- Strength, Patience, Joy
Sometimes, we think we have it hard as Christians in our culture. We have no idea.
- Can’t Keep from Singing
Now that his mouth is opened, Zechariah cannot help but sing a song of thanksgiving and praise.
- The Days Are Surely Coming
God will execute justice and righteousness, and wise and equitable leadership is part of that.
- Paying Attention in the Now-Times
Our call in these verses is to hold the difficult and fearful realities in tension with the realities that are good and beautiful.
- Mere Busybodies
In Christian community, we must all do our part in growing the kingdom of God.
- This is the Day
Every moment is a gift, and an opportunity to grow and to learn.
- Perfect World
If you could design a perfect world, what would that look like?
- Blessings and Woes
Where Matthew’s beatitudes address spiritual hunger and thirst, Luke’s get down to the nitty-gritty realities of life.
- Spirit of Wisdom
The more we experience Jesus and incorporate the way of Jesus into our daily lives, the more we understand about ourselves, about the world, and about God.
- Big Worship
While I appreciate the value of quiet, contemplative worship, there is a place for “big” worship too.
Most of us have a fear that is overwhelming.
- Feeling Small
Are you carrying any guilt or shame that makes you feel small?
- Growing, Loving, Remembering
These verses suggest that the key to a thriving church are this: growing in the faith, loving one another, and remembering why they are doing what they are doing.
- Scripture: Comfort and Guide
These verses celebrate the gift of scripture in guiding and comforting.
- How Long?
The prophet’s question, “How long, O Lord,” echoes the question we might also be asking of God.
- Lord, Have Mercy
In this parable, Jesus speaks to any of us who, from time to time, feel just a little bit better than someone else.
- Never Alone
When have you felt like God was the only one on your side?
The final section of this hymn of praise draws upon images of God as not just Creator, but also caretaker of the earth.
We may feel like we are in a dry time. Yes, there is actual drought in our area, but perhaps there is also a feeling of emotional drought or spiritual drought.
In this parable, Jesus speaks to God’s generosity of spirit in terms of answering prayers.
- Scripture as Encouragement
Paul reminds his readers to use the utmost patience when using scripture to “convince, rebuke, or encourage.”
“O, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long” (Psalm 119:97).
The entire story of God and God’s people is one of a covenantal relationship: “I will be your God and you will be my people.”
What if, like that one leper, we had complete faith in what Jesus could do?
Our wrangling might be a stumbling block, preventing someone from taking that first step in their journey of faith.
- Spacious Place
When has God brought you to the “spacious place”?
Here, God is speaking through the prophet Jeremiah to the Hebrews who have been carried off into exile by their Babylonian captors.
- The Way of Christ
The disciples understand that to live the way of Christ takes much faith—and not just agreement to a certain set of principles, but to do the hard work of discipleship.
- Good Treasure
Paul urges Timothy to “guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.”
- By the Rivers
Sometimes when things are especially difficult, we find it hard to express joy, let alone be thankful.
The book of Lamentations is written as a musical and poetic expression of grief.
- Pride and Ego
It would seem that the rich man has been infected with pride and ego, sins that continue even after his death.
These verses have less to do with the evil of money and are more about being content with what you have.
This reading gives us helpful advice for those times when we are feeling overwhelming fear, anxiety, or despair.
- Buying Land
Obedient to the word of God, Jeremiah buys land in the presence of many witnesses.
- Money and Masters
This parable invites us to consider our relationship with wealth and how we use it.
- Praying for Leaders
Here, Paul is advising the community of faith to pray for their leaders.
- How Long?
How long will we have to pay for the mistakes of past generations?
Jeremiah warns Israel that the direction they are headed as a people is a sure path to destruction.
- All is Not Lost
In these two parables, we read of the foolish, reckless lengths one would go to find something that was lost.
- Immortal, Invisible, Wise
Only the wisdom of God would look at someone like Paul and see a vessel for the gospel.
- Looking for the Good
The psalmist pictures God searching for someone who is a wise seeker of God, only to be disappointed. “There is no one who does good, no not one.”
- Scorched Earth
Think about the landscape of our culture. What areas are desolate and scorched? Where can you see life and new growth?
- Weighing the Cost
In this reading, Jesus reminds his listeners that discipleship is not all about what Jesus can do for them.
- Letters Between Friends
In this letter, Paul is trying to convince Philemon to welcome back Onesimus, a runaway slave.
- Knit Together
Here, God is imagined as an artist who knits and weaves us into who we are to become.
Unlike fired clay that is dry, hard, and often meant for one fixed purpose, we are soft and malleable in God’s hands.
- Welcome and Grace
Jesus calls us to extend welcome and grace to the ones who need it the most, rather than the ones who have something to offer back.
- Sacrifice of Praise
How often and in what ways do you offer a “sacrifice of praise”?
- strange gods
“There shall be no strange gods among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.”
- Stagnant Water
In this reading, the Lord contrasts living water with the stagnant water that seeps out of a cracked cistern.
- Mercy Matters
To Jesus, mercy outweighs tradition every time.
The heart of this reading has to do with the tangible and the intangible, with the physical and the spiritual.
In this prayer, the psalmist cries out for God to rescue and protect.
God, who knows more about Jeremiah than he knows about himself, has uniquely equipped Jeremiah for this work.
- Cost of Discipleship
In this reading, Jesus reminds his hearers that following him and aligning your life with his can be costly.
- Cloud of Witnesses
When we feel discouraged or we become tired of trying to do the right thing, we can imagine these heroes encouraging us and urging us to continue pressing forward in our faith.
- Restore Us, O God
The psalmist is reminding God of the days when Israel flourished, providing safety and rest for those already established among the people and for those seeking refuge.
- God’s Vineyard
This one from the prophet Isaiah begins with the image of a vineyard, carefully attended to by God.
- The Heart’s Treasure
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
- Faith and Hope
What are the things that you hope for in your life, in the church, in your community, or in the world?
- God’s Faithfulness
An important step in living as God’s people is giving thanks.
- Half-hearted Worship
God reminds the faithful that prayer and praise is not about changing God’s heart, but about changing ours.