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Weekly Inspiration

Mark9_7

The Light of the Glory of God

Mark 9:2-9 By Sarah S. Howell The Transfiguration is a narrative in which revelation and mystery meet. Jesus’ place among the prophets is confirmed as he appears with Elijah and Moses, and a voice from on high declares his relationship to and authority from God. The disciples are bewildered, afraid, and unsure how to respond. Christian prayers and hymnody have strongly reinforced the idea of giving glory to God or glorifying God. Some traditions prioritize prayer or morality or social…
Isaiah40

God’s Freely Given Love

Isaiah 40:21-31 By V. Bruce Rigdon Have you ever felt as if there were no hope for anything good in your life to happen, as if every possibility for your dreams to come true had been destroyed? That was the plight of those to whom this passage is directed. Babylon had invaded Judah, destroyed the Temple, threatened all of the institutions from which the people expected God’s faithfulness to be manifested and had carried many of its inhabitants into a…
Psalm21-7

Hear and Heed

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 By Nancy Neal Transitions are challenging, whether it’s a new job, a new house, a new community, or a new church. We react in a variety of ways during transitions. Sometimes we are cranky, sometimes we quietly turn inward, and sometimes we just keep ourselves busy. In the uncertainty, we want certainty. While we cannot gaze into a crystal ball and know the future, this passage assures us that God will guide us and continue to speak to…
Jonah

Proceed toward Promise

Jonah 3:1-5 By Amy Persons Parkes Second chances often begin with someone covered in vomit. (See Jonah 2:10.) Perhaps our own second chances began with the nauseous feeling produced when truth and denial converged inside of us. In this way, Jonah’s story is similar to our own. The first time God spoke to Jonah and called him to the onerous task of offering grace and forgiveness to his nation’s archenemy, Jonah ran from the promise of a second chance for…
Water1620

Faces of Revelation

1 Samuel 3:1-9 By J. DANA TRENT Thousands of messages inundate us daily. It’s no wonder we sometimes feel we don’t know God. The constant noise that surrounds us can muffle even God’s powerful voice. It often takes repeated attempts and the wisdom of others to help us discern our Creator’s call. First Samuel is set in the early life of Israel, a precarious time when the “word of the Lord was rare.” Though the Israelites had known strong leaders…
Psalm8

What God Imagines

 Psalm 8 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 by Carolyn Whitney-Brown I want to propose a challenge for the New Year: Memorize Psalm 8 and Ecclesiastes 3:1-13. Psalm 8 offers a perspective both calming and energizing, especially in these pre-Epiphany days. As Christmas lights disappear from homes and businesses, the psalm speaks of a different kind of epiphany. Consider the creation around you, the amazing perfection of each exquisite, interconnected piece. Deeper than our wisdom is the mystery of God the Creator. In…

Sing a New Song

Ecclesiastes 3:1-13 By Roland Rink As the clock ticks toward midnight, the song that is this old year rapidly begins to fade. The writer of Ecclesiastes senses and exposes the turmoil of our human condition. As we reflect on the past twelve months, life seems to have oscillated from one extreme to the other. In retrospect, it seems as if there really has been a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven. We have planted, we…
John1_1

Unwrap the Gift!

John 1:1-14 By Hazelyn McComas The apt symbol of the evangelist John is the eagle, for throughout the Gospel his words soar. They climb ever higher, ever closer to the reality of the Mystery Who ls God. Some say that the eagle can fly so high because it is the only creature that can look directly at the sun and not be blinded. Fact or fiction, it is an appropriate symbol, for John looks at Jesus and sees God. Not…
Romans1-5

A Long Wait for Christ’s Coming

Romans 1:1-7 By Michael O’Laughlin Paul loses no time laying out Jesus’ messianic qualifications. We have heard the words that Paul employs so often that for us they may have lost their punch, but let us try to imagine how serious, even audacious, this passage might have sounded to Paul’s first readers. “Christ,” used here as part of the name of Jesus, means “anointed one”; thus it is itself a messianic title. Also, Jesus descends from David, a claim vividly…
Isaiah35

Slow Down

Isaiah 35:3-10 By Lesley Powell Cooper I woke up crabby this morning. A restless night, troubled by worries about today’s responsibilities, has left me feeling grouchy. I turn on the Christmas lights and try to read today’s Advent meditation, but I worry about getting everything done. I have to set up tables at the nursing home for my handbell choir. The Christmas cards need to be mailed. Did I remember to pay the power bill? Tonight is the last rehearsal…
Isaiah 11 1

The Way and Practice of Peace

Isaiah 11:1-5 By Pamela D Couture Read this passage again aloud. Breathe in and out with each phrase. Pray its cadence. Then focus on the meaning of the words – the beauty of the royal image. Jesse’s royal lineage is remembered for its reach toward goodness; a new king will grow from its stock. This king will embody the most important virtues for leadership – wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, and the fear of the Lord. His personal qualities will…
Psalms122-1

Places of Holy Mystery

Psalm 122:1-9 By Benoni Silva-Netto Many childhood memories fill the cloistered spaces of my consciousness with genuine joy and great thanksgiving. Growing up as a preacher’s kid, the ritual of early Sunday mornings included my father’s compelling voice saying, “It’s time to go to church.” For a long time I thought that my father got carried away in his religious practices. But in retrospect I realize that those invitations to “go to the house of the Lord” have directed my…