Lord, I have more to do today than I have time in which to do it. So I am going to have to make some choices about what I won't do, as well as what I will do. Grant me wisdom please in how I use the minutes of the hours of this day. May Your Spirit guide my choices to Your good purposes, and pull my actions back to Your path when I start to wander away. And Lord, please open my heart and mind to discern the things You place before me today that aren't on my "to do" list at all, but may indeed be Your priorities, or Your simple moments of beauty. For I pray remembering Jesus who always found time to pray, welcome children, consider the birds of the air, and walked in Your will with each day. Amen
On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When he saw them, he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17: 11-19 NRSV
O Lord, our Maker and Redeemer, at the beginning of another Sabbath we come to You for light. Grant a sacred day of rest to Your service. May we this day know peace and strength in You. Make our hearts beat with devotion so that we may serve You in spirit and in truth. May we use this day to build a good foundation for the work and living in the week ahead. Be with us in the worship services of Your day so that your saints may join in heart and soul. Be with us so that we may receive the blessing promised to all who pray to You and faithfully hear Your Word. This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The stained glass is by Abraham Rattner and is entitled “Let there be light.”
At sundown yesterday (Oct 8th) our Jewish friends and neighbors begin their celebration of Yom Kippur which will end at sundown today (October 9). Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement and is considered the holiest and most solemn day on the Jewish calendar.
In the Jewish tradition it is a time for moral review, and Christians do well to embrace moral review as a spiritual practice. Wednesday mid-week, mid-day is a good intersection to take time, even a moment, to review who we have been and reorient ourselves to who God is calling us to be.
"Birth is a beginning And death a destination. And life is a journey: From childhood to maturity And youth to age; From innocence to awareness And ignorance to knowing; From foolishness to discretion And then, perhaps, to wisdom; From weakness to strength Or strength to weakness – And, often, back again; From health to sickness And back, we pray, to health again; From offense to forgiveness, From loneliness to love, From joy to gratitude, From pain to compassion, And grief to understanding – From fear to faith; From defeat to defeat to defeat – Until, looking backward or ahead, We see that victory lies Not at some high place along the way, But in having made the journey, stage by stage, A sacred pilgrimage. Birth is a beginning And death a destination. And life is a journey, A sacred pilgrimage - to life everlasting." (This moving meditation is from Yom Kippur's Kol Nidre service and can be found in Gates of Repentance, the Union prayerbook for the Days of Awe by Chaim Stern, Central Conference of American Rabbis.)
Put on your bell bottoms and pull out your peace signs as we travel back to the ‘60s and dance the night away! Village Partners International’s 4th Annual Hippie Party is Friday, October 18th 7:30-10:30pm at The Orlo in South Tampa! (315 S. Plant Ave) ✌️🕺🍷💃✌️ Join us for dancing, a silent auction, market place, and costume contest! Just $50 will get you in the door! Beer, wine, and light fare are included. Complimentary valet too! Tickets sales available online now and pay at the door is also groovy. All proceeds benefit local 501(c)3 non-profit Village Partners International. www.villagepartnersinternational.org
The two disciples whom Jesus joined on the road to Emmaus recognized him in the breaking of the bread. What is a more common, ordinary gesture than breaking bread? It may be the most human of all human gestures: a gesture of hospitality, friendship, care, and the desire to be together. Taking a loaf of bread, blessing it, breaking it, and giving it to those seated around the table signifies unity, community, and peace. When Jesus does this he does the most ordinary as well as the most extraordinary. It is the most human as well as the most divine gesture. The great mystery is that this daily and most human gesture is the way we recognize the presence of Christ among us. God becomes most present when we are most human. -Henri Nouwen "Bread For The Journey"
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease in the hope that early detection will save move lives. In addition to general medical care, Judeo Christian Health Clinic provides GYN women's wellness exams and referrals for mammograms for early detection. These services are made possible because of generous donors who care passionately about helping those in the Tampa Bay community who would otherwise not have access to the health care they need but can't afford.
Do this and remember me. Those simple words, spoken over bread and cup, call us back to you, Lord Christ.
This is my body, given for you. In your arms, Lord Jesus, stretched on a cross the love of God embraces all the earth.
This is my blood, poured out for you for the forgiveness of sin. Lamb of God, as you empty yourself you fill our cups until they overflow.
All of you drink.
Your commands, Prince of Peace, call us to come around your ever-expanding table and be welcomed. You call us to make room for more, eat our fill, no need to hold back at this family feast, there is always plenty with baskets left over.
Lord of lords, we look around and see the whole communion of the saints, some singing, some shouting, some letting loose of tears long held at bay. We come, just as we are and through the power of the Holy Spirit we are lifted into your presence. We come and find rest for our souls. We leave imbued with our belovedness and that of our brothers and sisters, too.
These are the gifts of God for the people of God. Lord of love, your body and blood, the gifts of God, for the people of God, for us, all of us, everywhere, united in and through you. We tremble at the cost of such gifts. And we remember.
We remember the grace, the mercy, the redemption won for us.
We remember the cross.
We remember the empty tomb.
We remember our hearts burning and our eyes opening.
We remember your promises.
We remember the grace, the mercy, the redemption won for the world.
The bread of life, the cup of salvation, the gifts of God for God’s people, all over the world. We remember, Lord Christ, as we give you thanks, with our lips and with our lives.
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer...Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Romans 12:12,15, NIV
Lord our God, we thank you for your gospel, the great, good tidings we may carry in our hearts to give us joy in this present time, even though on all sides people are in anguish and agony. We thank you that your gospel fills our hearts with compassion, enabling us to help carry what many have to suffer. Show us our need of you so that we can receive your help. If we must be the first to suffer all kinds of pain and distress, may we do so joyfully because we have been promised blessing in the midst of all the pain. May we continually honor your name, praising you for the good news of your kingdom, for the promise that everything must work together for good through Jesus Christ the Savior. Amen. -https://www.plough.com/en/subscriptions/daily-prayer/october/daily-prayer-for-october-1