Jesus Needs Prayer

Fridays: The Gospels
Matthew 26:36–75

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Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Agony, arrest, trial, and denial are four movements that bring Jesus closer to Calvary. As you pray the Passion Narrative, go slowly, allowing the scenes of this tragic, yet salvific drama to draw you into their mystery.

In the Agony in the Garden, Jesus’ suffering was the more intense because his closest friends slept while he was in such great emotional pain. Sleep was the anesthesia to avoid being with Jesus in his hour of agony. Is sleep sometimes a pain-deadener for you also?

Think of it: Jesus needs you to pray with him. We are ordinarily aware of ourselves doing the praying, God doing the answering. However, the Lord needs your prayer for his Body that still suffers. Pray so that the agony of others may be the less because you are vigilant in prayer beside them.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Jesus grieving unto death v. 38
Not my will, but Yours be done. v. 39
Awake and watching with You v. 40
Peter remembered and wept v. 75

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

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

Gethsemane – Carl Bloch, detail http://www.patheos.com

Members of One Body

Thursdays: The New Testament
1 Corinthians 11—12

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you the truths expressed here, discerning what is proper to the Corinthian church alone, and what touches our own day. Chapter 11 treats about the mutuality of men and women, and the roles that each share—even as the Father, Son, and Spirit are equal, while still relating distinctly to each other.

The theme of diversity and identity continues in chapter 12, which begins the teaching about spiritual gifts. Each person is unique; so are the gifts given. However, we become one with each other, because the origin of the gifts is from the one Holy Spirit.

You are one with your brothers and sisters as members of the Body of the risen Jesus. What changes do you need to make in the way you live because of this awesome fact?

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Many gifts, but one Spirit v. 4
Welcoming Your gifts to me v. 4ff
All drinking of one Spirit v. 13
We are the body of Christ v. 27

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

This is the ninth 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.


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The Altar and the Day

Wednesdays: The Psalms
Psalm 43

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


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For many centuries, the Catholic Mass began with the priest standing at the foot of the altar praying this psalm. It was a personal prayer as he entered worship.

As you stand at the foot of the altar, which is the day that lies before you, this psalm becomes a powerful prayer invoking the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is your own personal lawyer to plead your case against those personal forces in dark places that are set against you. Greater is God’s power to overcome them, than their power to overcome you.

Go forth to your day, walking upon the ground as upon an altar on which you are worshipping the Lord in all you say and do.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
In You, Lord, I take refuge. v. 2
Send out Your light and Your truth. v. 3
I go to th’ altar of God. v. 4
You, Lord, my exceeding joy v. 4

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

This is the ninth 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://reversingverses.com

Hot Coals of Unforgiveness

Tuesdays: The Hebrew “Writings”

2 Samuel 13—15

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Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter.

David sows the sin of lust in his family. He makes an opening for evil to fester. Incest becomes hatred, further blowing up into conspiracy and murder.

As you read this story, know in your heart that the Lord is at work to bring reconciliation and peace to your family. No one alone can make it happen, but know that Jesus has risen to bring wholeness to brokenness in your life and in the lives of those you love.

Are there any dark emotions of resentment and vengeance that vibrate inside you as you read? Be honest with yourself. Forgive. Don’t let the tail wag the dog anymore! Let go and forgive. Thus, you will find that there will no longer be that inner pushing and shoving going on that takes its energy from negative emotions that burn within. When you forgive, you release the hot coals of unforgiveness that would otherwise burn you up.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Alert and never idle 11:2ff
Always faithful at my post 11:11
Ever faithful to Your word 12:10
Mourning the results of sin 12:24

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

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

Photo Courtesy – http://www.lumina.typepad.com

 

God Says So!

Mondays: The Prophets
Isaiah 36

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Nick reads the one-minute introduction.

One of God’s favorite actions is to defend his people against arrogant, bully enemies. Outlandish, blasphemous assertions come from the mouth of the representative of King Sennacherib of Assyria. In fact, they appear twice in the Bible, as Chapters 36 to 39 are almost identical to 2 Kings 18:17—20:19. The confidence, which godless Assyria has in their military power, prompts the representative to summarize his arrogance in verse 20.

This verse was a challenge to the first listeners—and is one for you as you listen to the taunting question, and boldly live out its answer in your life. It might be similar to an unbeliever who might question your belief in the presence of Jesus by faith in Holy Communion. The answer to that question and to the one in verse 20 is the same: “He said so: I believe him!”

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Sitting humbly before You
Rev’rence before Your power
Trusting in Your faithful love
No one but You can save me.

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

This is the ninth 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://www.motherhoodthetruth.com

Jesus Is the Answer.

Sundays: The Gospels from the Lectionary
Matthew 22:34–46

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To listen to Nick read the one-minute introduction.

Jesus quotes from the first half of the Jewish Shema which pious Jews repeat twice daily (Deut. 6:4-5). After many questions on the part of the scribes, Sadducees and Pharisees, Jesus now takes the offensive. He presents a dilemma, forcing his listeners to face the question of how the Messiah would come to be. They are finally rendered speechless.

Life poses many questions about how, when or even whether God is intervening or not. There needs to come a moment when questions are silenced by the very presence of the Lord, perhaps by further questions, such as those posed to Job. God’s questions reduce Job to silence. They remind him about how incapable he is to dominate questions for which the Lord alone has answers.

Ponder these words of the song of Scott Wesley Brown: “When answers aren’t enough, there is Jesus.”

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Loving You with all my heart v. 37
Loving neighbor as myself v. 39
Enemies under Your feet v. 44
Surrendering to silence v. 46

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

This is the ninth 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.

Photo Courtesy – https://energybibleinoneyear.wordpress.com

From Creation to Covenant

Saturdays: The Sabbath Torah Portions
Genesis 8:15—10:32

Click or touch “Firestarter”
Nick reads the one-minute Firestarter.

Noah emerges from the ark with the rest of the land animals—”birds, beasts and beetles.” Just as in the first account of creation, when the dry land appeared with water taking its assigned place, here again, dry land emerges from the chaos of the Flood.

For the first time in the Bible, the word “Covenant” is used to describe a new dimension in the relation of the Creator to the creature. The term is repeated several times in chapter 9, as though to introduce the new intimacy that the Lord wants to have with the human family. It thus anticipates the great covenants to come with Abraham, Moses—and of course, with Jesus.

Is there any chaos from which you are emerging in your life? From it there arises a new relation of intimacy and joy with your Creator and Lord.

The Reading for Today
Text     Audio

Bible Breaths
What are these?
Cycles of the four seasons 8:22
All creatures placed in our hands 9:2
The bond between God and us 9:11
Rainbow promise in the sky 9:16

Click or touch the image for the 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.

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