Month: November 2010
Scripture: Luke 1:67-71
Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, nurse for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us…”
Thought for the Day: Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, finally spoke after a lengthy time of silence. He shared a wonderful dream of a world transformed by the redemptive work of God. Nelson Mandela, the former South African president, said: “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to that goal.” We must be capable of dreaming God’s dream and also believing that if it is God’s dream there will be roads that lead to the realization of that dream.
Prayer: Let me glimpse what you dream for this world, O Lord, and then I will live my life in a way that will help make your dream come true. Amen.
Scripture: Psalm 106:1-3
Praise the Lord! O give thanks to the Lord, doctor for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever. Who can utter the mighty doings of the Lord, seek or declare all his praise? Happy are those who observe justice, who do righteousness at all times.
Thought for the Day: It is said that a true optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day. I’m generally an optimist, though I probably would not take the leap into a new diet on Turkey Day. Though because I am an optimist, I believe in a day when we will move from charity to justice, from simply feeding the hungry to eliminating hunger. Notice how the author of this prayerful Psalm ties together thankfulness and acting justly. No one can equal the enduring love of God, and trying to do so with utterances of praise will always fall short. Instead, we are asked to express our gratitude in acts of justice. On this Thanksgiving Eve, I express appreciation for all those who have given to good charities in hopes of feeding the hungry. Let us make sure our charity is tied to an ongoing work for justice in the world.
Prayer: Happy are those, O God, who give bread to the hungry today while working to bring an end to hunger. Amen.
Scripture: 1st Chronicles 29:12-13
Riches and honor come from you, ed and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might; and it is in your hand to make great and to give strength to all. And now, our God, we give thanks to you and praise your glorious name.
Thought for the Day: The author, Henry Van Dyke, wrote: “Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” For all we have received, let us make sure we follow the path presented by Van Dyke and make it to Thanksgiving…not so much the holiday as the act.
Prayer: For all that I have received, O God, I am more than thankful…I allow this feeling to express itself in acts of thanksgiving. Amen.
Scripture: Isaiah 35:5-6
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, thumb and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then the lame shall leap like a deer, stuff and the tongue of the speechless sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert…
Thought for the Day: I’ve never had the word ‘then’ jump off the page as much as it did when I read this passage. It is a rather simple and unimaginative word when you see it by itself. Yet when a person of faith in a difficult time uses the word, it becomes bold and full of conviction. It is a word of hope that is used to declare a new reality that often is inconceivable in the present. It is one of those essential words within the Christian faith that receives no fanfare. I don’t think we are ready to change our name to ‘The People of the Then,’ but I find it to be a name that clearly reflects a core Christian ideal.
Prayer: Though life may be tough, My God, I ask you to help me keep the word ‘then’ confidently upon my lips. Amen.