May 22, 2020
We Are Loved… a meditation from Wendy Beckmann
The lesson outlined in the lectionary this week brought up part of the story of Noah from the book of Genesis. My takeaway is the sustaining knowledge that God cares about all living creatures of his creation. I don’t know about you, but that brings me great comfort during our uncertain times. The fact that God has created this beautiful world for us to live in and that his care and concern is all encompassing can give us hope for tomorrow. Several years ago while in Germany for a LutherFest 500 I met the two young women, who comprise “Alathea.” Below, I have shared their rendition of “His Eye is on the Sparrow” from their collection of hymns CD. The song, a favorite of mine, speaks to how much we are loved.
May 21, 2020
Daily Meditation from Julie Jones
The 23rd Psalm is perhaps the most beloved of all David’s songs of praise to the Lord. The Psalm reminds us that God cares for us as a shepherd cares for his sheep. And when we must face terrifying truths in our lives, turning to the 23rd Psalm can be comforting, reminding us that we are not alone – that God can give us strength to face life and it’s trials and tribulations with him just a prayer away.
Please find peace and comfort as Deb Warner sings this beloved hymn, ‘The Lord Is My Shepherd’ with wonderful pictures provided by Danny Burkhard of our Lord and Shepherd. Blessing to each of you today and always.
May 20, 2020
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” — Isaiah 6:8 NRSV
“Called” by Vanessa Storlie
Many of us, at some point in our lives, have felt drawn to be present in a certain place, seek out a certain vocation, or be in relationship with a person. We may even feel like we have been called by God to these places, vocations, and relationships.
I imagine, however, that none of us expected to be called to live and be God’s people in a time of pandemic. We didn’t expect to be called to a time where staying at home, wearing a mask when going to the store, and avoiding gathering in groups of more than 10 or 25 would be the norm. But this is where we are, and in the middle of all these upheavals to our ‘normal’ lives, we are still called to be God’s people in the world – to answer God’s call to love and serve our neighbors in various ways – to say, “Here I am, Lord.”
As you listen to one of my favorite hymns, “Here I am, Lord,” I invite you to pray and listen for how God is calling you to love and serve your neighbor in this time. And when you hear that voice or feel that little nudge calling you to show love and kindness to a neighbor, don’t let it pass by, say “Here I am, Lord.”
How have you heard God calling you these days?
May 19, 2020
“Golden Rule” a reflection from Wendy Beckmann
The reading from today’s lectionary gives us words to live by. When people disagree, it seems that it is easier and easier for definitive and hurtful language to be used and that it more accepted in our society. I believe we, as Christians, are charged to love first. Keeping in mind that “Golden Rule” (we were taught as kids) as we respond to what we see and hear. Using this time to embrace compassion for people irrespective of what they say or do, as hard as that is. As much as we need to stay inside, it is good for us to channel this compassion and direct it to those who need it. Listen to this familiar song sung by Alathea and feel the compassion of God’s care for us. How can we add this compassion to others in our daily life while staying safe?
May 18, 2020
“Peace,” a reflection by Verlyn Hays
“Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.” — John 14:27
During this time, it seems there are a lot of fear accusations being tossed about. I find it sad that there is a clear political divide in a pandemic and some of the things I’ve read and heard are absolutely outlandish. Those accusing others of fear seem to be the most fearful. I am troubled by slogans I read on signs of protesters claiming to be Christians, but willing to let others suffer and die so that they may get a haircut. I see comparisons to past dictators and horrors that are completely inappropriate and my heart is sad. I want to shake them and have them talk to my mother’s friend and neighbor who is a Nazi death camp survivor. I look at complaints of being cooped up and how hard it is and I laugh. Try being deployed on a submarine. No sunlight, no outside contact, one 40 character message from family that is check before being sent, confined inside a 33 foot diameter, 600 foot long steel tube in an environment that would instantly kill you if you were to be exposed. And you are submerged for three months. And then I am troubled by my being judgmental. I fear for the moral compass of the country to which I once pledged my very life when I see the Constitution twisted to support an elite few and when there are those willing to sacrifice the vulnerable so they can go to McDonald’s. I am angry when I read about a young black man gunned downed while out for a jog. And my heart is troubled.
And then I pray. I pray for understanding, compassion, and peace. And I see selfless acts from people trying to help. Caring for the sick, the poor, the imprisoned, and the naked. I see those feeding those who have lost their livelihood due to the closing of businesses. I see those with minimal means helping where they can. And I am no longer troubled; I am at peace. The Spirit envelops me. And I can suspend my anger and judgment and, hopefully, be gracious and kind.
May the peace of God surround you and give you comfort during this time for however you are affected. My we all know compassion, forgiveness, patience and restraint and show the love of Christ in our actions and lives.
May 15, 2020
In Matthew 11:28 we have Jesus’ comforting words that have sustained his followers for generations. You may be feeling weary today, carrying burdens of all kinds, and need restorative rest. It is important for all of us to find a good balance in our lives between work and play, rest and exercise, laughter and tears. I pray that your spirit will find rest in the Lord this day. Be gentle with yourselves, my friends.
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
May this hymn accompany your prayer this day: