Sunday February 11, 2018

GOD,
Collect our tears
Tears of sadness
tears of joy
Tears of anxiety
nervous tears
Tears that don’t know why they run like rivers down the face
Gracious God,
collect our tears in your bottle
And pour them back on us as life-giving water!

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Saturday February 10, 2018

WHAT HAS YOUR ATTENTION at this very moment? This reading? Perhaps, but we all know that we can give modest attention to several things at once. We eat, read, and listen for the phone all at the same time. When our search for something consumes all our energy and all our faculties, everything else fades away and disappears. Even a ringing phone goes unanswered when we are seeking to give answer to another call deep within. What are you searching for that consumes all your energy and attention? The quest for God is a search worthy of such all-consuming passion and energy

Wednesday February 7, 2018

2 Kings 2:1-12
2:1 Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal.

2:2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

2:3 The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”

2:4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here; for the LORD has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho.

2:5 The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha, and said to him, “Do you know that today the LORD will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; be silent.”

2:6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on.

2:7 Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan.

2:8 Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground.

2:9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.”

2:10 He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.”

2:11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.

2:12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

Psalm 50:1-6
50:1 The mighty one, God the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.

50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.

50:3 Our God comes and does not keep silence, before him is a devouring fire, and a mighty tempest all around him.

50:4 He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:

50:5 “Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”

50:6 The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge. Selah

Tuesday February 6, 2018

Mark 9:2-9
9:2 Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them,

9:3 and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no one on earth could bleach them.

9:4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, who were talking with Jesus.

9:5 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”

9:6 He did not know what to say, for they were terrified.

9:7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud there came a voice, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”

9:8 Suddenly when they looked around, they saw no one with them any more, but only Jesus.

9:9 As they were coming down the mountain, he ordered them to tell no one about what they had seen, until after the Son of Man had risen from the dead.

Sunday February 4, 2018

AS A PASTOR, I learned the hard way that weeping people need a quiet friend, a person who will simply stand by and listen. One day I was called to the hospital. A middle-aged woman in our church had died suddenly and unexpectedly. Her husband was in the hospital room, angry, upset, weeping.
“How could this have happened? She was getting better. I was preparing to take her home!”
I put my arm on his shoulder and listened. Then we sat down, and between sobs, he told me what a wonderful wife she was. I just sat and listened as he recalled the years of their lives together. It lasted a couple of hours.
Later, at the funeral, the man seemed calm. Soon he became a faithful leader in the church. Then he thrilled my pastoral heart when, one day, he said to me, “You were a great help to me when she passed away. Thank you for listening.”
Thank God for loving friends who simply, lovingly, stand by and listen. That helps us move through grief, through the “valley of the sahdow.” Thank the Lord for listening lovingly.

Saturday February 3, 2018

WHEN FEAR BEGINS to overwhelm us, we can think of the living Christ, whose heart and voice are God’s heart and voice, speaking to us inwardly:
“I am here. I will not leave you. Hold onto me. You are safe with me. Breathe slowly. Breathe deeply. My healing breath of life is flowing into you. Take my peace into your body. Take my peace into your heart.

Friday February 2, 2018

WITH REMARKABLE FREQUENCY, the first word God speaks to individuals and groups poised at the edge of momentous decision or holy encounter is this: “Do not be afraid. Do not fear.” What is intended goes beyond an attitude adjustment on our part. What is intended are lives empowered by that decisive word, so that “do not be afraid” finds its fullest expression when we do not live afraid. Faith does not call us merely to live without fear inside the sanctuary. Discipleship calls us to confront appeals to fear in the world around us and to live our lives and bear our witness accordingly.