Monday February 27, 2018

PERHAPS MORE THAN any other person, the twentieth-century German theologian and martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer, hanged by the Nazis, helped us realize the profound connection to Jesus available through the Psalms. When we pray the Psalms, we not only say prayers that point to Jesus’ life but also say the prayer of Jesus; in praying the Psalms we become joined to the one great prayer that is Jesus himself.

Throughout Adolf Hitler’s reign as chancellor of Germany, Bonhoeffer opposed Germany’s anti-Jewish laws. When Hitler declared the church of Germany to be the state church, Bonhoeffer helped form the Confessing Church, a church that opposed the accommodated, national church. Though illegal, the Confessing Church continued to train pastors.

Bonhoeffer himself ran an illegal, underground seminary for several years before the Gestapo closed it. After the seminary was closed, Bonhoeffer wrote his classic book Life Together

Sunday February 26, 2017

Matthew 17:1-9
17:1 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves.

17:2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white.

17:3 Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him.

17:4 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

17:5 While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!”

17:6 When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear.

17:7 But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.”

17:8 And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

17:9 As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

Friday February 24, 2017

AS YOU BREATHE IN today while in the midst of your familiar surroundings, I hope you can release some of your anxiety, pain, and struggles to God. Breathing in reminds you that God has given you a new day – and with it many joys and triumphs.

As you read in the passage from the ancient Jewish prophet Joel [Joel 2:28-29], God pours God’s Spirit over your life today and every day. When you take time to notice your own breathing and God’s blessings, you may envision new paths or discover renewed energy. Feel God’s leading in these moments; know that God has not forsaken you or left you to face your illness alone. There is hope.

Breathe in today, and take in the joy of your own existence. Give thanks for your blessings. And once you have recalled these reminders of God’s love, seek a new strength for the day. You are still walking a difficult path, but you are not alone. God is with you.

Thursday February 23, 2017

RESTORE US, LORD. Once we prayed, knowing our help came from you. Once we defied injustice, knowing that you were on our side. Once we prayed all night ’til our help came. Once we apologized for calling someone a fool. Once we believed it was important to please you. Restore us as people who follow God even when no one is looking. Restore us, Lord.

Wednesday February 22, 2017

LET ME describe what it means to be truly present. Being present involves letting go of our constant preoccupations, immersing ourselves in the here and now, and giving ourselves wholeheartedly to whatever is at hand. … It’s about becoming more aware, alert, awake to the fullness of the immediate moment.

If we are with another person, it means engaging with him or her with all of our heart, our mind, our soul, and our strength. Such wholehearted attention requires patience, time, and disciplined effort. And it is one of the greatest gifts that we can give to those around us, especially our suffering neighbor

Tuesday February 21, 2017

MORNING PRAYER is a time of recognition that God, who never slumbers or sleeps, has been at work while we have been at rest. Morning prayer is not the beginning of the day. It is an act of anticipation–reorienting ourselves to God, affirming our faith, and renewing our intention to live for God in this new day.

…You never pray alone. God is right where you are and, as you pray, you are connecting with others all over the world who are also praying.

When you are ready, find your accustomed devotional place or another suitable location for this time of prayer, renewing your covenant with God.

“For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation” (Ps. 62:1).