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Midweek Meditation – October 27, 2021

What Does It Mean to Follow God?

Psalm 146

Finding Our Hope in the Lord

 

Do not put your trust in princes, in mortals, in whom there is no help.  When their breath departs, they return to the earth; on that very day their plans perish.  Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God.

Psalm 146:3–5

 

Where do we find hope in this world?  Our culture makes it easy for one to find hope in celebrities, politicians, or athletes.  Yet this psalm reminds us that these people are just as human as you and me.  Therefore, we must not look for hope from those who are idolized in this world.  Any hope found in this world is temporary.  Eternal hope is found in God alone.  For our God created the world and actively intervenes in our lives.  It is our God who makes all things possible.  By finding our hope in God, we know that God’s justice, grace, and mercy will reign supreme no matter what we face in this world.  By finding our hope in God, we can join the psalmist in singing praises to our God all our life long.

 

God of Creation, help us to find our hope in you today.  Deliver us from the temptation of putting our hope in the things of this world.  Amen.

 

Will DeLaney, Boiling Springs, South Carolina

From “These Days”-October, November, December

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Midweek Meditation – October 27, 20212021-10-26T10:59:36-05:00

Midweek Meditation – October 20, 2021

The followers of Christ have been called to peace….And they must not only have peace but make it.  And to that end they renounce all violence and tumult.  In the cause of Christ nothing is to be gained by such methods …. His disciples keep the peace by choosing to endure suffering themselves rather than inflict it on others.  They maintain fellowship where others would break it off.  They renounce hatred and wrong.  In so doing they overcome evil with good, and establish the peace of God in the midst of a world of war and hate.

 

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Midweek Meditation – October 20, 20212021-10-18T09:20:23-05:00

Midweek Meditation – October 13, 2021

The Greatness of God

Isaiah 53:4–12

Bearing Together

 

Surely he has borne our infirmities

and carried our diseases; . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

and by his bruises we are healed.

Isaiah 53:4–5b

 

This past year, as a hospital chaplain for a COVID–19 intensive care unit, I’ve witnessed so much suffering. Those with severe disease have essentially suffocated to death, separated from family who can offer comfort only through a glass door or screen. I have listened to doctors and nurses bemoan their inability to help once the disease has progressed so far and have seen their bewilderment as they provide the only hand to hold as these souls take their final breaths. Isaiah prophesies that the greatness of Jesus is not reigning above us but bearing with us—and even for us—the supreme pains and perils of human experience. Suffering is in no way great; it’s utterly horrible and should never be romanticized. My faith is tested as I wrestle with the meaning and purpose of such suffering. Yet I do see my Savior, the Suffering Servant, take flesh daily in my colleagues who bear with and for one another and our patients; and even out of such anguish, there is light.

Continue to bear with us, Lord, giving us strength to bear with one another; as we do, may healing come. Amen.

 

Katherine Doehring, Houston, Texas

From “These Days”-October, November, December

Presbyterian Church (USA)

Midweek Meditation – October 13, 20212021-10-12T11:53:45-05:00

Midweek Meditation – October 6, 2021

PEACE

PEACE has come to mean the time when there aren’t any wars or even when there aren’t any major wars. Beggars can’t be choosers; we’d most of us settle for that. But in Hebrew peace, shalom, means fullness, means having everything you need to be wholly and happily yourself.

One of the titles by which Jesus is known is Prince of Peace, and he used the word himself in what seem at first glance to be two radically contradictory utterances. On one occasion he said to the disciples, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). And later on, the last time they ate together, he said to them, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27).

The contradiction is resolved when you realize that, for Jesus, peace seems to have meant not the absence of struggle, but the presence of love.

–        From Frederick Buechner

Originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words

Midweek Meditation – October 6, 20212021-10-04T09:58:47-05:00

Midweek Meditation – September 22, 2021

Prayers to a God Who Provides

 Psalm 19:7–14

God Sees the Heart

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

We live in a world that judges the book by its cover. Because the outward appearance means so much, we can be tempted to overlook or disregard our hidden flaws. Unlike people, however, God is foremost concerned with what is on the inside: our hearts and our minds. After all, every action begins as a thought or emotion. Thankfully, God has the power to govern and guard them both.

As a campfire unchecked can consume a forest, an unchecked heart can be equally dangerous. We are quick to avoid the sins of murder or adultery, but are we as troubled by anger, lust, or pride?

We may play the part and impress others. We may be in good standing with people and the law. But if God is not pleased, our good behavior means nothing. Take heart; the Lord offers forgiveness of our sins and graciously renews and redirects our hearts, if that be our prayer. May our hearts desire what is pleasing and good, inwardly and outwardly.

Amen.

From “These Days”-July, August, September

Presbyterian Church(USA)

 Tieler Giles, Washington, DC

Midweek Meditation – September 22, 20212021-09-22T09:26:39-05:00
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