Thirsting for God

Wednesdays: The Psalms
Psalm 42

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Take time for your inner person to become quiet. Be as the deer thirsting for water brooks until you sense the deep longing for God that lies at the base of your being. Every person thirsts for God with great intensity. However, if the pangs of thirst are anesthetized, then life goes on searching for the dry riverbeds of the world—wealth, fame, pride, human respect. It is easy to thirst for these, missing the deeper brook that flows within—the Living Waters of the Spirit in Christ Jesus.

Read the opening verse of this psalm slowly, repeatedly, until your soul awakens to its thirst for God. Then let the rest of the psalm carry you along the “stream” of images that will lead you more and more to the source of your life in God who alone can quench your thirst.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
As a deer, I long for You. v. 1
Pouring out my soul to You v. 4
By day, Your love; by night, Your song v. 8
Hope in God; I’ll praise again.v. 11

Click or touch the image for the version for children and families.

This is the eighth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms,
one each week over the three-year cycle.

Image Courtesy of http://paintgodintoyourday.blogspot.com

Repentance

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

2 Samuel 11—12

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Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter.

Instead of being a leader with his men in battle, David is idle at home being a voyeur—gaping at Bathsheba bathing. David’s sin of lust and murder ushers in a future laden with the same and similar sins in his descendants.

David repents and becomes purer and greater. Greater too than your sin is Jesus risen. Repent of your sinfulness. The sins of your family’s past need no longer cripple the future. Jesus ended this on the cross. The power of the Lord’s resurrection is to have you break with areas of sin in your life that bring grave consequences such as death.

David … you … Jesus … reflect upon your life in the light of this episode. Go deeper into repentance, total forgiveness, and joy.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Lifting up the ones bowed down v. 7
Living with You within me v. 12
Feeding on the Bread of Life v. 11
Your loving kindness in me

Click or touch the image for the version for children and families.

This is the eighth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

 

Highway of Holiness

Mondays: The Prophets
Isaiah 35

Click or touch “Firestarter”
Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

This chapter concludes the first part of Isaiah, making a joyous ending to the judgments against those nations who refuse to follow the Lord’s way. Many verses will draw you into the feeling of Advent. The ending of God’s year of grace has strong similarity with its beginning; the theme “What Is Coming?” pervades them both.

Read these verses with faith knowing that God will protect you and give you prosperity, as long as he finds you responding to grace by being on the Highway of Holiness.

If you were to imagine the movement of your life as a journey down a road, how would you describe the road? What do you sense spiritually about what is coming? Are you cruising along the road or have you broken down on its shoulder, needing help?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Being strong and not in fear v. 4
The lame leaping like a deer v. 6
Springs gushing in the desert v. 6
The Highway of Holiness v. 8

Click or touch the image for the version for children and families.

This is the eighth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets; in this season, we continue reading Isaiah.

Image courtesy of http://www.hosanna-tod.com

Sin and the Seed of Promise

Saturdays: The Sabbath Torah Portions – Genesis 2:4—4:26

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Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter.

A second story of creation is told, this time from the tradition that clusters around the covenantal name of God: Yahweh. The focus of creation is that of man and woman. With tender love, God gathers the moist clay of the earth, forming a nose as a sculptor, and breathing God’s life into it. Inspirited earth: that is what you and I are. We live because the breath of God lives in us. Woman is made from the side of man, suggesting the intimate and equal relation that she has with him.

Read the familiar story of the Fall by placing yourself there at that moment of grave temptation and tragic yielding. Sin is original—yet it bears the seed of redeeming promise as the lines of Jesus’ coming are traced here in the very beginning of the Bible.

Linger in prayer with your thoughts and feelings as you conclude the reading.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
You breathing the breath of life 2:7
Discerning good from evil 3:1ff
We are dust; to dust return 3:19
I am by brother’s keeper. 4:9

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Michelangelo – Sistine Chapel

Responsive

Fridays: The Gospels
Matthew 25

Click or touch “Firestarter”
Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


This is the last chapter in Matthew’s Gospel before the Passion of Jesus. It consists of two parables and the description of the final judgment. They are as three murals that fill the wall of a great hall. Your imagination will creatively continue the stories and the images before you.

If there is one word that gives unity to the three scenes, it is responsibility. Take the word in the sense of “being responsive.” The wise virgins, the persons with five and three talents, and those at the final judgment who were compassionate to the needy—each of these were responsive to the demands and the details of the presence of Jesus as Bridegroom, Master, and Son of Man.

Meditate on where you find yourself in each of these stories, noting the changes needed in your responsiveness—before it is too late.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Oil for my inner lamp v. 4
Awakened to Your presence v. 13
My talents offered to You v. 14ff
Done for th’ least, doing for You v. 45

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the seventh of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We continue reading the Gospel of Matthew.

Photo Courtesy – http://skyranchskymoms.blogspot.com

Standards for Marriage

Thursdays: The New Testament
1 Corinthians 7—8

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Paul seeks to reorient the Corinthians according to moral principles, especially about sexuality. His understanding rests on the power of the Christian life to make holy a marriage with an unbeliever. Greater is the power of holiness than the power of unbelief. This holy fidelity can result in the conversion of the unbeliever. Both faith and love can move mountains.

There is strength, yet gentleness in the teaching of Paul. Perhaps you have come to a place in your life and are sharing it with someone, without having previously adhered to these standards. Live the standard now, by the grace of the Lord. Renew your repentance for past sin, asking the Lord to let holiness of life flow through you to all those who depend upon the commitment of your love.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Standing balanced in the Lord v. 12
Ne’er tempted beyond my strength v. 13
No way out: You make a way v. 13
With Your strength, I will endure. v. 13

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the seventh of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.

Betrayal

Wednesdays: The Psalms
Psalm 41

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Pray this psalm aware of David and Jesus. The “friend” in verse 9 was perhaps Ahithopel, a close associate of David’s (2 Sam. 17:23). For Jesus, this friend was, of course, Judas.

If you have ever experienced betrayal in some form or other, turn this special suffering over to the Lord Jesus who has been with you in the most painful of betrayals. You are not alone in anything that you suffer. There is simply no pain that you or I can ever experience that was not first lived by Jesus.

Consider this in some detail. What are those sufferings that tend to consume your spirit’s energies? Look in the Gospels, and you will find some connection with the essence of that suffering with Jesus’ own. This will be prayer. Be bonded to the Lord in deeper communion with him. What awaited Jesus at the end of his suffering, awaits you—the resurrection and the life.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Joy in kindness to the poor v. 1
You heal and forgive my sins. v. 4
Prayer for those who are betrayed v. 9
Your presence always with me v. 12

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the seventh of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms,
one each week over the three-year cycle.

Image Courtesy of https://friendshipsoflove.wordpress.com