Dancing with God

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

2 Samuel 5—6

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

The dance of David before the Ark expresses the energy released in spontaneous worship. There is joy, for the Ark finally arrives at a fixed place for worship. As the hands of a clock move freely about the center point, so does David find extravagant expression as he reels about while grounded in the joy of the presence of God centered in his life.

Michal criticizes David. She wastes her time judging him, instead of entering into the source of his joy. The same will happen to you, if you criticize and judge others. As a downward spiral, energies will go inward and bind, instead of spiraling outward in joyous expression.

Find a place in your house where you especially find the presence of God—a prayer closet, a special chair—some place where you find yourself drawn to be in God’s presence, where your spirit can dance.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Finding You in everything vv. 11-12
Joyous dance in Your presence v. 14
Lord, protect me from envy. v. 16
You chose me to serve you, Lord. v. 21

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the fifth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Tuesdays are dedicated the Hebrew “Writings.”

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Affliction and Comfort

Mondays: The Prophets
Isaiah 33

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Isaiah is like a great symphony. There are majestic tones of glory and promise of messianic deliverance, as well as somber ones of judgment and call to repentance. Both of these contrast with each other in this chapter. A glorious expansion of the heart comes with the assurance of the reign of peace and justice; then there come strong admonitions to the complacent. Notice the future tense used—what God is going to do in Jesus. Isaiah speaks the words of promise; there are only two months until Advent.

These two themes in counterpoint remind me of a phrase I once heard about the prophets: “They came to comfort the afflicted and to afflict the comfortable.”

Appreciate vv. 16-18. Dwellings will be secure—very close to the promise of Jesus in John’s Gospel to those who keep the Word: “We [the Father and Jesus] will come to him and make Our home with him” (14:23).

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
You, a stream in the desert v. 2
You a rock: shade from the sun v. 2
With You, Lord, all comes to life v. 15
Your people living in peace v. 18

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the fifth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Mondays are dedicated to the Prophets; in this season, we continue reading Isaiah.

Image courtesy of http://whowillyouserve.blogspot.com

The Cross: Near or Far?

Sundays: The Gospels from the Lectionary
Matthew 21:23-32

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

One act of surrender to Jesus is worth more than a million words of promise. Think of the “Good Thief” on the cross. His act of love for Jesus and repentance of sinfulness won him full entry into paradise in the final moment of his life. All the Jewish leaders were restless with preparing other paschal lambs for Passover, blind to the power of the Paschal Lamb whose saving blood was already flowing from the cross.

What decisions do you make that reveal whether you are spending your life for the One who spent his life for you? It is not what you say, but what you do that defines surrender. Is what you do in life tending to have you cling to the cross—or are you sometimes far away from it, busy about other kingdoms?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Not by words, but by my deeds v. 29
Give me purity of heart v. 32
Longing for Your kingdom, Lord
Your life for me, mine for You

Click or touch the image
for the version for children and families.

This is the fifth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.

Image courtesy of http://www.pinterest.com

The Song of Moses

Saturdays: The Sabbath Torah Portions
Deuteronomy 32

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

This song was intended to fill the air from generation to generation. The image of a rock appears throughout. It tells what would happen if the people go after other gods and serve them. While the song expresses the anger of God, yet deeper still, it sings of the compassion of a God who continues to lure the people into fidelity and love.

The end of Moses is near. He is reminded that he will not be permitted to enter the Promised Land because he complained about the people in Numbers 20:11-13. He failed to acknowledge the goodness of the Lord giving water from the rock to the people.

As you hear this song in your heart with countless others “listening” to it this same day, what kinds of thoughts and feelings come to you? Write them down, so that you will remember.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Your teaching falling like rain. v. 2
You are faithful and upright. v. 4
You cover me with Your wings. v. 11
You nourish us with honey. v. 13

Version for Children and Families

Saturdays are dedicated to the Sabbath Torah portions
read in synagogues throughout the world.
This plan follows those traditions that take a third of the portion
over a three year cycle, this year, the third part.
For more about the Torah portions and thoughtful commentaries, visit
The Jewish Theological Seminary.

Photo Courtesy – http://www.keyway.ca

Wasting God’s Good Time

Fridays: The Gospels
Matthew 22

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.


Controversy heightens between Jesus and his adversaries. The Lord confronts the arrogant religious leaders who have wasted Jesus’ time by trying to trip him up. Gone forever are what could have been precious moments of simply sitting at his feet, drinking in the wisdom of his teaching and the healing of his touch.

Three Sundays in October are devoted to sections of this chapter. Let today be a preview of what is coming, allowing yourself to get a sense of the whole chapter.

Do you fight what the Lord wants to do in your life? Do you find yourself arguing with God? Instead of complaining about what is happening to you, listen closely to the inner meaning of what is taking place. Seek the Lord’s wise and tender voice in the midst of the chaos of your own compulsions.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Rising with You when I die v. 23
In You I’m fully alive. v. 32
Loving You, heart, soul and mind v. 37
Loving neighbor as myself v. 39

Version for Children and Families

This is the fourth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
We continue reading the Gospel of Matthew.

Photo Courtesy – http://kmooreperspective.blogspot.com

Doing God’s Thing

Thursdays: The New Testament
1 Corinthians 4

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

The key word in this chapter is “steward.” The word in Greek is the one which gives us the word “economy.” Oikos is the word for “house,” and nemo, the word for “manage.” A steward is the one who “manages the house.”

Now the “house,” here in Paul refers to God’s House. Remember that you are to be the place where God dwells in the Holy Spirit. How you manage your life and your body is God’s business, not yours. We are also called to “manage” the wonderful things of God—divine priorities and plans. Everything about our world belongs to God and is given to us for our safekeeping and furthering.

“Do your own thing”—that is the world’s way. “Do God’s thing”—the way of being God’s steward.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Never judging anyone v. 5
Wishing well when others hurt v. 12
When cursed at, using kind words v. 13
Your kingdom: not words, but pow’r v. 20

Version for Children and Families

This is the fourth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Thursdays are dedicated to the New Testament, except the Gospels.


Photo Courtesy – http://www.st-anns.us/ACTS

Silence Before Enemies

Wednesdays: The Psalms
Psalm 38

Click or touch “Firestarter”
To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

David seeks the help of God in the face of his enemies. Instead of listening to their threats, David chooses silence, speaking only to his God. Rather than being a victim, David focuses upon his need for confession of his sins so that he and God will be in harmony with each other.

The purpose of this psalm is that David return to that closeness with God, which will assure him of the protection for which he longs. The psalm begins and ends in the imperative mood, while all the contents are in the declarative. David pours out his suffering in all its details. How comforting it is to do this!

Place your awareness on what needs to happen in your situation, so that your relation with God is in harmony. Receive God’s power to save. Just as David does in verse 13 and following, choose not to hear the threats of your enemies. Listen instead to your own confession and the saving, loving response of your God.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Lifting those suff’ring to You v. 1ff
You know my deepest desires. v. 9
When I’m alone, You’re with me v. 11
Trusting You, Lord, to help me . 15

Version for Children and Families

This is the fourth of thirteen weeks in Kingdomtide, Year A.
See “Solar and Sacred Seasons” in the menu above.
Wednesdays are dedicated to the Psalms,
one each week over the three-year cycle.

Image Courtesy of http://agodman.wordpress.com