Posts from January 2022

Posts from January 2022

Daily Devotions

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” vs. 5 Jeremiah 1:4-5 We like to believe that we are the masters of our own destinies, that we can pick and choose among a multitude of professions and careers in the course of our lives–that some could even decide to become preachers! Jeremiah would have laughed at such a notion! He believed that…

Daily Devotions

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free…” vs. 18                                                   Luke 4:17b-21 When Jesus was handed the scroll of Isaiah he chose to read a portion of chapter 61. It was the scripture that had come to his mind as he had wrestled with ministry…

Daily Devotions

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him.” vss. 16-17a Luke 4:14-16 Synagogues began to be built in the towns of Galilee and Judea just prior to the time that Jesus began his ministry. They were places of prayer and study and for the reading and exposition of…

Daily Devotions

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret? But strive for the greater gifts.” vss. 29-31a 1 Corinthians 12:27-31a As Paul describes the Church, using the human body as a metaphor, he tells the Corinthians that together we are the Body of Christ, and individually members of it. Within that one body each one has been equipped by the Spirit for…

Daily Devotions

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” vs. 14 Psalm 19:7-14 These words from our psalmist will resonate with any faithful preacher called to proclaim the gospel to any gathered assembly, whether on Zoom or in person. The psalmist had listened to the words of creation and studied the Law with conviction, and he knew that what he had learned would have great value…

Daily Devotions

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.” vs. 12 1 Corinthians 12:12-26 Paul believed that the human body was the perfect metaphor for the Church and took care in describing the similarities. In fact, it’s likely because of his influence that we now speak of the Church as the Body of Christ. His primary purpose in using this image…

Daily Devotions

The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.” vss. 1-2 Psalm 19:1-6 The psalmist had an advantage over most of us. In his time, there was no smog to obscure vision in the day, and no light pollution at night. No wonder he’s ecstatic about sky-watching–every time he looked up, day or night he grew in his knowledge of God. Everything he…

Daily Devotions

So they read from the book, from the law of God, with interpretation. They gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.” vs. 8 Nehemiah 8:1-3, 5-6, 8-10 When the people of Jerusalem wandered back to their home after the time of exile in Babylon, it wasn’t empty. Only the upper classes and nobility had been sent away–the ordinary folks had remained, but not much had been done to repair what had been destroyed. It took many months…

Daily Devotions

Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.” vs. 11 John 2:6-11 As we move through the season of Epiphany we are being treated to a passages from our scriptures that show a number of “eureka” moments in the lives of Jesus and his disciples. These are the times when, out of the blue, new and life-changing insights and revelations flash into our consciousness. Even though…

Daily Devotions

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.” vss.1-2 John 2:1-5 The opening prayer in the Lutheran marriage service begins with these words, “Eternal God, as you gladdened the wedding in Cana of Galilee with the presence of your son, so by his presence now bring your joy to this wedding.” What it doesn’t say is that Jesus…

Daily Devotions

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” vs. 7 1 Corinthians 12:7-11 Paul believed that within each congregation there were a variety of gifts, services, and activities that were sparked by the presence of the Spirit. Moreover, since no one individual could do everything, each person had been equipped with particular gifts. In his words, “to each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” In a healthy congregation everyone would…

Daily Devotions

Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers and sisters, I do not want you to be uninformed.” vs. 1 1 Corinthians 12:1-6 Paul had written to the Corinthians to address a multitude of problems, but took a couple of chapters to address the issue of spiritual gifts, something that had become hugely divisive in that congregation. Some had begun to flaunt their spirituality, claiming a kind of superiority because they could speak in tongues, what they called a special gift of the…