Tag Archives: 2018

Saturday, February 17, 2018

In those days, Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. A voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Mark 1: 9-11

Even though Jesus is God’s own son, he came down to the river to be baptized by a man. John, a simple man of strong faith, baptized our Savior. God acknowledged Jesus in front of everyone who was at the river; he did not wait until Jesus was alone.  Likewise, we should acknowledge Jesus as our Savior and share his love and lessons with those around us. We should follow the example of our Lord, and tear open the barriers around us and share the love he has given us.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Thank you for coming among us, and for saving us. Thank you for loving me, even though I am a sinner. You acknowledge me, and I will share your love and your word. Amen.

Yvonne Shealy

Friday, February 16, 2018

Baptism…now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscious, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 3:21

As the father of a teenage son, I am often yelling into the bathroom that shower time is over!! It feels good to be squeaky clean. I must confess, I enjoy a nice hot shower myself when time allows. The truth of the matter, however, is that as clean as our body can get, each day our thoughts, words, and actions have a way of making us unclean. We can’t help that we were born into it!

The good news for us is that through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, we can daily ask God for a good conscious with the help of the Holy Spirit, which is always present in our lives and is present in our baptismal water. St. Paul says in Romans 6, “We have been buried with Christ by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”

Through baptism, we have the humble opportunity, by the grace of our Father, through his Son Jesus Christ to receive a daily spiritual shower that is greater than any hot shower we could ever imagine. Through daily sorrow for sin and repentance, the old person in us with all sins and evil desires is to be drowned, and we should do our best each day to try to be the best disciples of Christ that we can be.

Prayer: Lord, help us to remember our baptism and that each day is an opportunity through our faith to walk more closely with you in our thoughts, words, and actions. Help us to allow the Holy Spirit, which is present in our lives and in our baptismal water to guide us each day. Amen.

Duane Hine

Thursday, February 15, 2018

We entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5: 20b, 21

On Sunday, January 21st, Pastor Barth, referring to his past service in the prison ministry, began his sermon entitled, “Serving Time.” He then posed a question to us, “Aren’t we all ‘Serving Time’?” For some of us, that time here on earth appears to be moving toward an end.

As we age, we realize more clearly our faults, our energies, our mistakes. We know we need to “face up to them,” knowing also that we will be judged. Someday we will come face to face with God – free of all constrictions and with resurrected bodies. We will become brighter, more beautiful, as God enters our very lives, as we have known, believed and followed his Son, Jesus Christ. The old life is gone; a new life begins. We have lived our lives by believing, not by seeing; following Jesus with love and thankfulness; knowing always that he died for our sins.
Our many concerns regarding our bodies and how they function or even what is happening in our world – the great need to “talk it over with God,” gives us peace of mind.
We are Christ’s ambassadors – God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead to others, “Come back to God.”

Prayer: Loving God, help us to see that each new day here brings new blessings and new ways to serve you. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Betty Roney

Ash Wednesday, February 14, 2018

…you have no delight in sacrifice; if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased. The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51: 16-17

What is the historical significance of these passages? According to the Lutheran Study Bible, Psalm 51 is a prayer for cleansing and pardon. In 2 Samuel: 11, we learn that King David had Uriah killed to cover his sin of committing adultery with his wife Bathsheba. It follows that Psalm 51 was written by King David and was his cry to God for forgiveness.

What is a broken and contrite heart and what is the message for us today? I have thought about this and have several beliefs and opinions for us to ponder. If we have a contrite heart, we will feel truly guilty for our sins and seek humble repentance. We will not rationalize, explain, excuse, defend or justify sin. We have an obligation to take responsibility for our actions and not seek to blame our failures on other people or God. A self-righteous spirit will not receive God’s forgiveness. And, finally, the person with the contrite heart understands that he or she deserves nothing and is at the mercy of God.

God wants us to acknowledge our sins and repent. Many people believe that if they give more, busy themselves in religious activities and maybe pray more, that God will accept these actions in lieu of true repentance. It is clearly stated in these passages that God doesn’t want our sacrifices or burnt offerings; he wants us to have a humble spirit and seek forgiveness by repenting our sins.

Prayer: Dear God, create in us a clean heart and free us from bondage by helping us to acknowledge and repent our sins with a humble spirit. Amen.

Bernie Gettel