Healing the Hurts

Sometimes families put on a show of being united, so that they can give a good impression to others.  However, there are often resentments, jealousies and quarrels that go on which outsiders don’t know about.   Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. If there are people living a lie, then Jesus can’t be found, because he is Truth.  Jesus wants us free!  Like a surgeon who has to cut between a tumor that is hurting a person, or a cancer that has to be removed, so Jesus comes between family members who are hurting each other.  Like an infected wound, the puss needs to be cleaned out.  

Is there anyone in your family with whom you have hurt feelings? Anyone whom you might be hurting by your silence and distance? Ask Jesus to come and help you by pouring the blood of his cross between you and the other person, so that you both can be healed.           

Luke 12:49-56

On Sundays we follow the Gospels from the Revised Common Lectionary.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Belonging to God

What was it that had God love the Israelites so much?  They were often very unfaithful to God; why would God still continue to love them and take care of them?  

The answer to the question is in your own experience of your parents’ love for you.  I’m sure that there are times when they are angry with you…but they never stop loving you.  They love you not because you are good, but because you belong to them. That’s the way it is with God’s people: they belong to God. God just decided that God was going to love them; nothing would change that.

God loves you in the same way. You belong to God.  God loves you now and forever!

Deuteronomy 7:1-11

The Saturday passages follow the reading list that Jewish people use in their synagogue worship throughout the world. They are taken from
“The Torah,” the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy that are read each year beginning with autumn.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Jesus Walks with You

As you travel with your family to your favorite place for vacation, you just can’t wait to arrive. “Are we there yet?”   Jesus had the same feeling as he was walking to Jerusalem.  He just wanted to get there, to teach in the temple and continue to heal the sick in that sacred city.  On the way, Jesus would stop and teach the crowds walking along with him.  Today Jesus teaches us how to behave in Godly ways. He also tells a story about gratitude that’s very special. 

Jesus walks with you throughout your day.  When you stop one activity and are about to begin another, pause and listen to Jesus as though you are stopping with him on his way to Jerusalem.  As you get into the habit of reading God’s Word each day, Jesus will always be walking with you, smiling and encouraging you to be the person that God calls you to be. 

Luke 17

Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This being Year C,
the third year in the cycle, we generally read from the Gospel of Luke.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Heaven Is Now!

When you go to the theater for a 3D movie, you are given a pair of glass with two colors.  One eye sees one aspect of the images, the other eye, another aspect.  Your brain merges these together in such a way that you see everything in three dimensions, as though in real life.  

The writer of this letter has something like this in mind as he yearns that we not keep our eyes only on what is before us, but rather to see a kind of “fourth dimension,” a heavenly dimension.  Christ is the one who gives us the eyes of faith to be able to see aspects of heaven while we are still on earth. 

I suggest that you read the parts these chapters a little at a time.  The writer makes comparisons between the kinds of worship in the Old Testament and the New. It’s all about how Christ is greater than everything that went before him.  As we live our days in the risen body of Jesus, heaven is now!

Hebrews 8-9

Thursdays are dedicated to the letters of Paul, other letters,
the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Finding God in Everything

If you are reading this psalm in the morning, the hours of the day stretch before you.  What will happen?    While you may have plans for your day, things will occur, whether joyful or sad, that can add beautiful colors to your day.

None of us is in control of all that happens; however, God can be found in everything.  The writer of this psalm longs to make God’s presence more clear in every space. He goes back into history and finds God’s hand in every turn from slavery to freedom.    

Jesus said, “Seek and you will find.”  If you are seeking God, you will find God in everything. Only God can turn every experience of life into something beautiful, with peace and joy breaking forth in every hour.  So whether you look back in your life or wait for the hours that lie before you, God is present to you and loving you.

Psalm 135

Wednesdays are devoted to the reading of the Psalms,
one a week across the three-year cycle.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

Hands and Hearts at Peace

The time has come for the temple of the Lord to be built.  David gathers the workers and materials—but something happens.  There is too much blood from war on his hands.  God wants a temple, however, it is not to be built by someone involved in war.  God chooses Solomon, David’s son, to be the one to build the temple. His name means “Peaceful.” Hands to build are to be those soaked in peace and not in war.

Hands at work need to be in sync with hearts at peace.   A true work of art has God’s peace filling it, and so will give glory to God and not to oneself.

 1 Chronicles 22

Tuesdays are dedicated to the the History and Writings
of the Hebrew Scriptures.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The Margin Becomes the Center

They will beat their swords into iron plows
        and their spears into pruning tools.
Nation will not take up sword against nation;
        they will no longer learn how to make war.
Micah 4:3

The prophets Isaiah and Micah have the same mind and sometimes even use the same words.  You might take a look at Isaiah 2:2-4 and you’ll find almost the same words as vv. 3 and 4 of today’s reading from Micah.  Though both prophets talk about warning the people to change their ways, they agree about the future promise of God’s reign.  Imagine living in a world where there are no swords, or spears, but instead these weapons of war become plows and pruning hooks for farming. 

It is like those on the second string of a team; they never get to play very much—only the big stars are on the field.  In the future, God says that those standing about on the margin of life will become the center, and the big stars will go to the side-lines.

What does it matter what others think of you?  Just keep looking for those moments when God’s eye’s catch yours—a look of love for you and joy in you.

Micah 4

Mondays are dedicated to the reading of the Hebrew Prophets.

These Firestarters are from a new edition of The Bible Through the Seasons being developed for families with children. For the Firestarters in the original edition, I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or table! Check the menu options at the site for more information.