May 23 Foot Washing Graduates

Concordia Seminary Graduates  Staff Photo

Concordia Seminary Graduates Staff Photo

2 Samuel 2:12-3:39;  John 13:1-30;  Psalm 119:1-16;  Proverbs 15:29-30

“When he [Jesus] had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done for you?  You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am.  If I then, your Lord and Teacher have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.  For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.”  John 13:12-15

* * * * *

Last night graduates of Concordia Seminary received their diplomas, but before doing so they were exhorted by the Commencement Speaker, Joseph Gorder, CEO of Valero Energy Corporation, to be humble servants of God; to be willing to be held accountable by wise members of the churches they will serve; and to actively engage team members in doing the Lord’s work wherever they go.  He himself had been “served” by exemplar pastors throughout his business career.  For them he was truly thankful.

Jesus gave the most eye-opening example of servant-hood as he knelt at the feet of his disciples, wiping off the road grime– a job meant for the lowliest servant in a household.  He, the Son of God, whose Word created the universe, humbly did the work of a servant which the disciples would understand only after Christ’s death and resurrection.

They would remember that night in the upper room when their Teacher’s head bowed low before them–and later when this same head bowed its last on the Cross–the Servant Lamb who took their place, paying for the price for their sins before God Almighty.

Jesus knelt before us as well and bids us to follow His example of serving others, that they may know Whom we serve.

Lord Jesus, thanks and praise be to You whose serving brought us life and forgiveness; whose example bids us to do the same out of love and gratitude.  May we always remember who attitude and posture of servanthood that we may follow in your ways to the glory of your Holy Name!  Bless the newly graduated foot-washers and lead them on to their new duties joyfully and in your Name.  For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen.

“Blessed are you, O Lord;

teach me your statutes!

With my lips I declare

all the rules of your mouth.

In the way of your testimonies

I delight as much as in all riches.

I will delight in your statutes.

I will not forget your words.”

Psalm 119:12-16

May 22 Light Shines

Originally posted on What's The Good Word?:

Image

2 Samuel 1:1-2:11;  John 12:20-50;  Psalm 118:19-29;  Proverbs 118:19-29

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.  If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.  For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak.  And I know that his commandment is eternal life.  What I say therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”  John 12:46-50

 

The Light went out

when in the Garden

Adam and Eve

listened to Serpent words

View original 193 more words

May 21 At Jesus’ Feet

Photo by Cindy Ford

Photo by Cindy Ford

1 Samuel 29:1-31:13;  John 11:54-12:19;  Psalm 118:1-18;  Proverbs 15:24-26

“Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.  So they gave him a dinner for him there.  Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table.

Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair.  The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”

John 12:1-3

* * * * *

At Jesus’ feet

her love was poured

her deep devotion spent,

What Mary valued

most of all,

to be near her Lord and God

to be near to her Lord

and God.

* * * * *

To be near to you, O Lord, in your Word, in your Body and Blood at the Lord’s Supper is priceless indeed.  The gift of your life given freely on the Cross to atone for my sins can never be repaid.  I’m in awe of your great devotion to me and to all the people of the world.  I’m in awe of your love that was truly self-less.  Lord, this day may I live in faithful devotion to you and to show my love for you by serving and loving those around me.  I pray that my home may be filled with the fragrance of pure devotion to you.  For Jesus’ name sake I pray, Amen.

May 20 Life Interrupted

Photo by Nathan Ward

Photo by Nathan Ward

1 Samuel 26:1-28:25;  John 11:1-53;  Psalm 117:1-2;  Proverbs 15:22-23

“Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already  been in the tomb four days.  Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles off, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.  So when Martha heard Jesus was coming, she went and met him, but Mary remained seated in the house.  Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.  But even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you.”

* * * * *

“Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”  Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”  Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?”

* * * * *

“She said, “Yes Lord.  I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”

John 11:17-27

* * * * *

When tears flow

and grief hangs

about my shoulders,

when a dear one’s life

on earth is interrupted,

Lord, may your resurrection

truth fill my heart

and bear me up.

May your peace direct

my eyes to you,

to the Lord of  earth and heaven

and my heart rejoice

that this life will resume;

that I will be reunited

with those I love and we’ll join

the heavenly choir

praising you and singing,

“Holy, holy, holy

is the Lord God Almighty,

who was and is and is to come.

Worthy are you,

our Lord and God

to receive glory and

honor and power!

(Revelation 4:8,11)

O Lord, Martha believed your words about resurrection; of God’s power to raise the dead.  Little did she know that you were going to raise her brother that very day; she didn’t know you meant for her to feel his warm embrace and hear his voice in greeting again.  In our hour of grief, Lord,  help us to remember that we will one day hear our loved one’s voice and stand side by side praising you together in Heaven. Grant this Lord, for your name’s sake, Amen.

May 19 A Wise Woman’s Rescue

Photo by Julie Ayers

Photo by Julie Ayers

1 Samuel 24:1-25:44; John 10:22-42; Psalm 116:1-19;  Proverbs 15:20-21

“Then David moved down into the desert of Maon.  A certain man in Maon who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy.  He had a thousand sheep which he was shearing in Carmel.  His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail.  Se was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings.”

* * * * *

“One of the servants told Nabal’s wife Abigail: “David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them.  Yet, these men were good to us.  They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing.  Night and day they were a wall around us all the time we were herding our sheep near them.  Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household.  He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him.”

* * * * *

“Abigail lost no time…”

Armed with loads of food and an apology Abigail sought out David.

To David she said,

“And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my master be given to the men who followed you.  Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord will make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fight’s the Lord’s battles.”

* * * * *

“David said to Abigail, “Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who sent you today to meet me.  May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day.

Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, “Go home in peace.  I have heard your words and granted your request.”

1 Samuel 25

Lord, thank you for the wise woman, Abigail whose words and generous actions averted certain doom for both her husband and for David.  She was quick thinking and quick acting–and she feared you more than she feared her husband whom she knew was ill-tempered and foolish.  She trust you above all.  You worked something good out the wrong done to David and his men.  May this story be one of encouragement–that you equip us as needed with words and actions that overcome evil with good.  Open our eyes Lord to opportunities to do just that when we encounter wrongs and injustices.  May we serve others just as Abigail served; just as you came not to be served, but to serve and to give your very life as a ransom for our sins.  Nabal didn’t deserve his wife’s timely intervention.  And neither did we deserve your merciful intervention, but because of your great love and your promise to send a Savior, we are indeed rescued; we are saved!  Thank you Jesus!  In your Name we pray, Amen.

“Do not be overcome with evil,

but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12:21

May 18 I’ll Stick With My Shepherd

Photo by Tim Pirfalt

Photo by Tim Pirfalt

1 Samuel 22:1-23:29;  John 10:1-21;  Psalm 115:1-18;  Proverbs 15:18-19

“I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep who are not of this fold.  I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.  So there will be one flock, one shepherd.  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.”

John 10:11-17

* * * * *

Jesus, my shepherd

knows my frequent wanderings

my heightened anxiety

resulting from my “going it on my own”

or giving in to flock mentality

following the crowd

even when that crowd leads me

away from Him.

He gently calls my name,

waits until I follow

once more

in His footsteps

that lead to pastures green.

He bids me come to His

calm waters

to refresh my soul

to wash away the foulness

from my heart and mind.

Jesus–my Good Shepherd–

thank you for leading me

and giving me all that I need

for this day

and for life in eternity.

Amen.

* * * * *

“May you be blessed by the Lord,

the Maker of heaven and earth.”

Psalm 115:15

Did you know that in 2006 in Turkey 400 sheep plunged to their deaths after one sheep tried to cross a 15-meter deep ravine?  (Sheep 201: A Beginner’s Guide to Raising Sheep, Susan Schoenian)

May 16 Saturday Smile

Photo by Judith Soltys

Photo by Judith Soltys

1 Samuel 18:5-19:24;  John 8:31-59;  Psalm 112:1-10; Proverbs 15:12-14

“Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,

who finds great delight in his commands.”

Psalm 112:1

* * * * *

“A happy heart makes the face cheerful.”

Proverbs 15:13

Photo by Judith Soltys

Photo by Judith Soltys

* * * * *

Waking up with a smile

and lightness in my heart

are gifts from God in Heaven.

Lord God, thank you for the refreshing sleep, for giving me a light heart and a smile upon my lips!   O give thanks for You are good and Your mercy and love and compassion are forever!  In Jesus’s Name I pray, Amen.

Photo by Judith Soltys

Photo by Judith Soltys