MONDAY Isaiah 5:1-7 Let me sing for my b


Isaiah 5:1-7
Let me sing for my beloved my love-song concerning his vineyard: My beloved had a vineyard on a very fertile hill. He dug it and cleared it of stones, and planted it with choice vines; he built a watchtower in the midst of it, and hewed out a wine vat in it; he expected it to yield grapes, but it yielded wild grapes. And now, inhabitants of Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more was there to do for my vineyard that I have not done in it? When I expected it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard. I will remove its hedge, and it shall be devoured; I will break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down. I will make it a waste; it shall not be pruned or hoed, and it shall be overgrown with briers and thorns; I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel, and the people of Judah are his pleasant planting; he expected justice, but saw bloodshed; righteousness, but heard a cry!

Monday Prayer It would be much easier, J

Monday Prayer

It would be much easier, Jesus,
to ignore the hard truths around us:
the widening gap
between rich and poor,
the consistency with which the powerful
get their way,
the bending of rules and the self-enrichment
of the connected and influential,
the lack of adequate care, protection and resources
for the most vulnerable among us;
we would rather not see these signs.

It would be much easier if we could just pretend everything was alright,
if we could prophesy goodness and light,
and ignore the darkness and evil;
if we didn’t have to offend the status quo,
or challenge the comfortable;
if we could convince ourselves that the cross,
was just a one time thing –
your calling, not ours.

But, we can’t do this, Jesus, because we know too much;
your Gospel has captured us and opened our eyes,
and we have become slaves to love,
the love that must speak for the voiceless,
the love that must challenge injustice,
the love that draws lines of division
between truth and denial,
between compassion and expediency.

Give us the courage to acknowledge what we see,
to name the signs of the times,
to disrupt the ‘way things are’
in the name of what should be,
to divide in order to heal and restore,
and to be crucified for the sake of love.


Saturday’s Prayer In the times when we g

Saturday’s Prayer

In the times when we give – however generously
it becomes blatantly clear, OGod,
how ridiculous our attempts are to balance the scales;
We cannot repay Your abundance of supply
Your extravagance of grace;
Nor do You require it.

So, why should we expect it of others?
In truth, we cannot.
Like You we can only love – by giving, by serving, by praying.

And so we ask…
Free the score-keepers in our world and in our hearts
Restore the fallen in our world and in our hearts
Strengthen the merciful in our world and in our hearts
Heal the broken in our world and in our hearts
Uplift the lowly in our world and in our hearts
Bring down the tyrants in our world and in our hearts
Erase the lines of division in our world and in our hearts
Create a Christ-guided humanity in our world and in our hearts

And use us to make it so.
In Jesus’s Name.


Thoughts on Friday’s Text The text falls

Thoughts on Friday’s Text

The text falls into two sections: the theme of 12:35-40 is readiness for His coming. The idea in 12:42-48 is that when the Lord comes, He will judge everyone according to what they have done with what they have been given.

Jesus uses four word pictures to emphasize the same point: Be ready for His return. “Be dressed in readiness” is literally, “let your loins be girded.” In that day, everyone wore long robes which were a hindrance if you needed to move quickly or freely. If a person planned to run or work, he would tuck his robe into a sash around his waist so that it would not interfere with his movements. The verb here indicates a state of perpetual readiness for action.

The second figure, “keep your lamps alight,” comes from a day when there was no electricity. There were no streetlights or city lights outside and no nightlights to help you find your way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. If you were expecting a midnight visitor, you would keep an oil light burning so that when he knocked on the door, you could see to let him in. Again, the idea is, be ready for the Master’s coming.

Scriptural Reading for Friday Luke 12:32

Scriptural Reading for Friday

Luke 12:32-40

12:32 “Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

12:33 Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.

12:34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

12:35 “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit;

12:36 be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks.

12:37 Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them.

12:38 If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

12:39 “But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.

12:40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.”

Friday’s Prayer Lord, It’s a simple cho

Friday’s Prayer

It’s a simple choice, really,
one that should be easy.

Do we create need –
Building our lives around a void
that we feed and feed,
but is never satisfied;
Storing more than we will ever use,
to silence our fear,
while ignoring the cries of those we have left empty?
Do we create plenty –
Finding satisfaction in enough,
finding joy in what can’t be owned
and life in what is not for sale;
Seeking to share life and joy and food and wealth,
so that these blessings are multiplied,
and celebrated.

Teach us, Jesus, in our homes and families,
our communities and neighborhoods,
to always make the simple choice
to create plenty
wherever and however we may.


Thoughts on Thursday’s Text In our day,

Thoughts on Thursday’s Text

In our day, our emphasis is far too much on the good life here and now, and not enough on the promised joys of heaven. Thus many that profess Christ as Savior live with their minds on the things on earth, rather than setting their minds on the things above (Col. 3:1-4). They are motivated more by collecting treasures on earth than by storing up treasures in heaven. Our focus is on what Christ can do for us here and now. Heaven is a nice extra, but it does not govern how we live day to day. But, it should!

As we’ve seen, the first readers of this epistle were tempted, under the threat of persecution, to go back to their Jewish religion. The implication of our text in its context is that to go back to Judaism would be like Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob going back to settle permanently in Mesopotamia. God had promised them a new country, the land of Canaan. But, being men of faith, they looked beyond that piece of real estate to the heavenly country that God had prepared for them.

They all died according to faith (the literal rendering of 11:13). Faith was the dominant characteristic of their lives, right up to the point of death. None of them realized the promise of the land of Canaan, or the promise of innumerable descendants. They viewed themselves as strangers and exiles on earth. If they had doubted God’s promise, they could have gone back to their homeland. “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one” (11:16). And so they died well, “according to faith” in the yet unfulfilled, unseen promises of God. As such, they are examples of how to live and die according to faith as exiles on earth, while we pant after a better country in heaven.

Scriptural Reading for Thursday Hebrews

Scriptural Reading for Thursday

Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16

11:1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

11:2 Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval.

11:3 By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

11:8 By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going.

11:9 By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.

11:10 For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

11:11 By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old–and Sarah herself was barren–because he considered him faithful who had promised.

11:12 Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, “as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore.”

11:13 All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth,

11:14 for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

11:15 If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return.

11:16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

Thursday’s Prayer We thank You, Generous

Thursday’s Prayer

We thank You, Generous God,
for the grace is represented in all we possess.
You have filled our lives with abundance and we thank You;
May we be Your channels of blessing to those in need.

You have given us friends and families,
colleagues & companions,
and we thank You;
May we be friends of the friendless
and companions to the lonely.

You have given us this community
to strengthen our faith
and help us to serve You well;
May we be faithful followers and co-workers,
building Your Kingdom in this world.

Receive our thanks and receive our prayers,
and let Your grace flow through them & through us
into the lives of others.

For Jesus’ sake.

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