16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 17 Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.
Do these words not mean something more to us this year with what has been happening because of Covid 19?. For those in long term care homes must have felt lonely and afflicted – others too. Do we pray as the psalmist does, for God to act in our lives?
Lord, whether it be in times of loneliness and affliction or in moments of joy, lead us to come to you and be with you that your presence may be known by the leading of the Spirit through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
12 You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. 14 And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. 15 The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful.
God chose us. The very thought of God choosing me is beyond my understanding. The fact that my wife chose me for a husband is beyond my understanding too. The lesson does not end there. It says because God has chosen us there is a need to live with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience – be tolerant and forgive one another...and to all these qualities add love. To grow any relationship this is a necessity. May we live all our days with love.
Lord, to know that you choose us is truly Good News. May we live as those who are chosen and care for your chosen with compassion, kindness, humility and patience. May tolerance and forgiveness flow from us as they do from you and may we love as you love through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the LORD showed him the whole land— from Gilead to Dan, 2 all of Naphtali, the territory of Ephraim and Manasseh, all the land of Judah as far as the Mediterranean Sea, 3 the Negev and the whole region from the Valley of Jericho, the City of Palms, as far as Zoar. 4 Then the LORD said to him, “This is the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob when I said, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over into it.” 5 And Moses the servant of the LORD died there in Moab, as the LORD had said. 6 He buried him in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is. 7 Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. 8 The Israelites grieved for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days, until the time of weeping and mourning was over. 9 Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses had laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the LORD had commanded Moses. 10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face, 11 who did all those signs and wonders the LORD sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. 12 For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel.
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.
Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death — they are like the new grass of the morning:
In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered.
13 Relent, LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.
You know, brothers and sisters, that our visit to you was not without results. 2 We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 3 For the appeal we make does not spring from error or impure motives, nor are we trying to trick you. 4 On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts. 5 You know we never used flattery, nor did we put on a mask to cover up greed—God is our witness. 6 We were not looking for praise from people, not from you or anyone else, even though as apostles of Christ we could have asserted our authority. 7 Instead, we were like young children among you. Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, 8 so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 “What do you think about the Messiah? Whose son is he?” “The son of David,” they replied. 43 He said to them, “How is it then that David, speaking by the Spirit, calls him ‘Lord’? For he says, 44 “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ 45 If then David calls him ‘Lord,’ how can he be his son?” 46 No one could say a word in reply, and from that day on no one dared to ask him any more questions.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
The answer to the question is that there is nowhere we can go that we will not meet God. He is present with us as the hymn writer says at home, at school, at play. He is with us 24/7 but we are not always in tune with that understanding. We wander away and lose sight in our own vision that God is here, there and everywhere…
Lord we don’t have to do so much as dial 911 to have you address our emergencies or simply to get in touch with you. We simply need to be aware, open, and willing to receive your love and grace. Amen.
Blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble. 2 The Lord protects and preserves them — they are counted among the blessed in the land — he does not give them over to the desire of their foes. 3 The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness.
We are all called to care for the poor. It seems poor is defined in many and various ways. There are different ways people can be poor. Do we need to judge poor or simply respond to need when we see it?
Lord, we are all poor in terms of our relationship with you. We are all sinners who need the salvation your son brings. We thank you that you provide for all the poor through your Son Jesus, Amen.
1 Do not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; 2 for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. 3 Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. 4 Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: 6 He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. The Psalmist knew where to find meaning in life. It was/is found in looking to God, and finding delight in all he is and does, and committing all that we are to God and his ways.
Lord, we turn to many temporary things to find delight in our lives. The real delight in life is found in looking to you and enjoying your presence, This leads us to share your presence with all who want to share in that delight through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
6 Then the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to sound them. 7 The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down on the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. 8 The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, 9 a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. 10 The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water— 11 the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter. 12 The fourth angel sounded his trumpet, and a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them turned dark. A third of the day was without light, and also a third of the night. 13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: “Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!”
John tells a vision of trumpet players – 7 in total. This starts in these few verses and will continue in the next three chapters. Many different happenings occur telling us of some of the wonder of the end time. Of course, a singer cannot help but think of Handel’s Messiah: The trumpet shall sound based on the words of 1 Corinthians 15: 52-53 “The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Lord, the vision, the promise of these words create a vision in our own minds of how wonderful it will be and the glory that will be revealed in that day. We live each day here waiting for the trumpet to sound and to put on immortality through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one…’
Debts. debtors, trespasses, trespassers….and so the debate begins. When we become so concerned with a word in a prayer, rather than what it is we are trying to say in prayer, we are in trouble. Let us come to God with what it is we need to address him with at the time we come to him and let it come from our hearts and our heads working together and it will come out right….remembering that if it doesn’t, the Spirit will interpret it for us. Thanks be to God that he knows what is on our hearts at all times.
Lord sometimes we think with our heads that we need to get prayer right. How foolish we are. Whether we use rich words, poor words, long words, short words, lots of words or no words…you are always present to hear our prayers, and you knowing all, know what we are moved to do at that moment – praise, confession, thanksgiving, prayers for others, prayer for ourselves. Thank you for all prayer is, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2 who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.
The disciples believed that Jesus was going to return soon and that they must be ready for his return. We know 2 millennium later that it was not as soon as they might have expected but that should not give us complacency and mean that we are not preparing for his return. We need to listen to the words of verse 3 and act on them “3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.”
Lord, we have heard Jesus and the apostles and preachers speak about the day he will return and we need to not only hear it but live it. May we live each day as it if were our last and be thankful and willing to serve all our days expecting Jesus’ return. Amen.
12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13 If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.” 14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” 17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” 18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” 19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” 21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
1 The LORD reigns, let the nations tremble; he sits enthroned between the cherubim, let the earth shake. 2 Great is the LORD in Zion; he is exalted over all the nations. 3 Let them praise your great and awesome name— he is holy. 4 The King is mighty, he loves justice— you have established equity; in Jacob you have done what is just and right. 5 Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his footstool; he is holy. 6 Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the LORD and he answered them. 7 He spoke to them from the pillar of cloud; they kept his statutes and the decrees he gave them. 8 LORD our God, you answered them; you were to Israel a forgiving God, though you punished their misdeeds. 9 Exalt the LORD our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the LORD our God is holy.
Paul, Silas and Timothy, to the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace to you. 2 We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. 3 We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. 4 For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, 5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake. 6 You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit. 7 And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 8 The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it, 9 for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. 16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. 17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?” 18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? 19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius, 20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?” 21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” 22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away.