Christian, devotion, faith, Hebrews, Letter to the, Mark, Presbyterian Church (USA), Uncategorized, United Church of Christ (UCC)

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for July 26, 2017

Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Mark 4: 35-41

Text:  “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?!” (v. 38b)

Have you ever had a time in your life when you wondered if God existed, let alone cared about you? I have. There have been many dark days too complicated to explain and too painful to relive for a mere blog post or podcast. So I think that I have a sense of how the disciples felt on that storm-tossed sea in today’s reading. Their words, you see, are my words spoken too often. That is why I added an exclamation point to their question.

Here’s the thing to remember. Jesus cared for the disciples. God still cares today–for you and for me. But caring does not mean that we have some kind of exemption from life’s trials and tribulations. Often these trials and tribulations are of our own making. Sometimes they aren’t. In in either case, we are neither exempt nor given a protective shield.

But that does not mean that God does not care. God cares enough to walk with us in the very shadow of death. God cares for us enough to die for us on the Cross and forever remove the “sting of death”.

In the letter to the Hebrews the author wrote that Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen. Anything less is Proof and Proof is not Faith. I have come to believe that Faith is a matter of mind over matter. Faith leads us to the edge of life and tells us that we will be okay. Faith is both a gift and a a muscle to be exercised.

Lord, give me the faith that I need for this moment and the living of these days. Amen.


Christian, devotion, Hebrews, Letter to the, Lenten Devotion, Presbyterian Church (USA), Sabbath, Uncategorized

Glimpses of Grace for the 40th Day of Lent, 2017

Devotional Reading: Hebrews 4: 1-16* . Morning Psalm 43; Evening Psalm 31.

Text: So then, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God; for those who enter God’s rest also cease from their labors as God did from His. Let us therefore make every effort to enter into that rest, … (vss. 9,10,11a)

While coming home from an out of town meeting I made a quick stop at a McDonalds for a hamburger and a soft drink. A couple about my age was in line ahead of me. They called over to their 20-something son to see if he wanted something to eat or drink. Engrossed in a video game on his I Pad, he didn’t raise his dead as he shook his head.

The couple got their food and sat down across from their son. Waiting for my order I looked over at them and saw that despite various attempts at conversation, their son never took his eyes off of the I Pad nor did his thumbs ever quit moving. The young man seemed to be addicted to his electronic device.** Now I don’t know the family or their situation but their image got me to thinking about the Sabbath.

The letter to the Hebrews encouraged that community to keep a sabbath. We have been created to both work and rest, play and rest. The most durable muscle in a healthy person is their heart. It has been estimated that the heart beats, on average, 42,048,000 times a year and 3,363,840,000 times in a life time. The only way that it can do this is by having a balance between work and rest.

On this 40th day of Lent, take time to consider whether you have a balanced life. All work and no play not only makes Johnny a dull boy but it destroys family and social life.

Lord, motivate me to keep a sabbath and send people into my life who will hold be accountable. Remind me that only by living a balanced life can I truly glorify you. Amen.

*The Common Lectionary does not assign a Gospel text for the Saturday before Easter.

**It is easy for us to become addicted to our electronic devices. Like Pavlov’s dogs we respond to the ding of an incoming email or tweet or… Consider taking an internet or electronic device sabbath for half a day, or even a whole day.