Enoy youR...

Divine Devotional


  • Thursday, January 26th

    Matthew 5:17-37 (just a portion of this section)

    21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder,[a] and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

    23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

    25 “Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court. Do it while you are still together on the way, or your adversary may hand you over to the judge, and the judge may hand you over to the officer, and you may be thrown into prison. 26 Truly I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.

    In this long section of the sermon Jesus is pointing out how the religious leaders use rules and laws in dealing with each other and to measure their righteousness.

    While rules are important, says Jesus, how you treat one another is much more important.

     

    I have heard conversations over the years centered around what is appropriate dress for church, and I have been told by many people over the years that they can’t come to church because they have nothing appropriate to wear. Thankfully most churches have moved past this conversation. But we all hold judgements in our heart about something that tends to surface and cause us to look down on someone or think less of someone. I could fill this page with examples of how this happens to me! These hidden judgements cause rifts. Jesus calls us to see these relationship rifts and go to one another to reconcile. This is one of the hardest things for us to do – yet possibly one of the most important. What people outside the church most often say about “the church” is that we don’t get along.

     

    What are the “rules” that lie deep in your heart and jump to the surface in judgement when someone “breaks” them?

    Can you offer them to God today and ask for grace? How we love another is much more important than how we judge one another.

     

     


    peace and joy
    Pastor Wendy


  • Wednesday, January 25th

    Matthew 5:13-16

    Salt and Light

    13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

    14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

     

    These few verses ask two important questions: who are we and what are we to do?

    Lots of thoughts surface when we think of salt. At this time of year, we think of salt on the roads to melt the snow and make driving safe. I was raised with a mother who did lots of canning – and salt was used in that process. Before there was refrigeration, salt was used to preserve food. In all these cases, if the salt used does not do its job, it is useless. In fact, it is worse than useless – it can bring harm.

     

    YOU are the salt God is using in the world – how are you making things better?

    Another interesting effect of salt – it makes you thirsty. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness”.

    Are your actions being used to help others want to know more of God?



    peace and joy
    Pastor Wendy


  • Tuesday, January 24th

    Matthew 5:1-12

    5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them He said:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
        for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Blessed are those who mourn,
        for they will be comforted.
    5 Blessed are the meek,

    for they will inherit the earth.
    6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

        for they will be filled.
    7 Blessed are the merciful,

        for they will be shown mercy.
    8 Blessed are the pure in heart,

        for they will see God.
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,

        for they will be called children of God.
    10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

        for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    When you take a good look at the life and sayings of Jesus you might come to the conclusion that Jesus is “counter cultural”. Rather than valuing the things his world valued, he chose other things to value. This might be reflected best in the sermon on the mount. We value success, but Jesus asks us to look at how we come by success and asks us to value the people we met along the way; the failures that offered insight; the ways we needed to work together to move forward. Jesus helps us look at our losses as part of our gain. The teachings and actions of Jesus help us to look deeply at life to find more hope and fulfillment than simple success cold ever give us!

     

    Rather than striving for success today, embrace the little pleasures and the meaningful relationships that make your life full. Count these are your blessings


    peace and joy
    Pastor Wendy


  • Monday, January 23rd

    This week we will read through the “sermon on the Mount” pretty quickly for a glimpse into what Jesus calls Blessed

     

    Matthew 5:1-12

    5 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2 and he began to teach them He said:

    3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit,
        for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
    4 Blessed are those who mourn,
        for they will be comforted.
    5 Blessed are the meek,

    for they will inherit the earth.
    6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,

        for they will be filled.
    7 Blessed are the merciful,

        for they will be shown mercy.
    8 Blessed are the pure in heart,

        for they will see God.
    9 Blessed are the peacemakers,

        for they will be called children of God.
    10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,

        for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

    11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

     

    Notice in these verses how many times Jesus told the disciples they would be blessed … and notice the circumstances.

    We usually say we are blessed when something good happens or when things around us are stacking up positively.

    But Jesus is helping us to remember that God is with us in all things and at all times, and God’s very presence (especially when life is hard) is the blessing.

     

    Let’s give thanks to God today for being with us in life’s journey, especially in the hard times.


    peace and joy
    Pastor Wendy


  • Monday, January 9th

    A PRAYER FOR 2023


    Holy One,

    as a new year approaches
    I seek to become not a new person
    but more myself,
    more aware of what is infinitely good in me,
    more attentive to you in me,
    who you become in me to be.

    I am grateful for your presence,
    in awe of your glory,
    open to your grace
    in me.

    Unfold your light in me
    and I will become you.
    Unbind your compassion in me
    and I will shine with you.
    Be in me;
    I will be in you.



    peace and joy
    Pastor Wendy