Monday, January 24, 2011: Covenant
Daily reading: Exodus 2:23-25; Hebrews 9:15-16
Because we are named and claimed in baptism, and made to be royalty, therefore each day is an opportunity to live into those promises. This week, live into each promise more fully, one day at a time. In our baptismal liturgy we say “You have made profession of your faith. Do you intend to continue in the covenant God made with you in holy baptism?” God has called us into a covenant relationship; God promises to be faithful and merciful, and we agree to live in a new way. Think about what it means to start there, and how that can impact our relationships with others. How will you choose to live into, and then out of, that relationship with God today? In your prayers, ask God to reveal how to live more faithfully in a covenant relationship.
Tuesday, January 25, 2011: Community
Daily reading: Acts 2:44-47
Acts 2 gives us a beautiful picture of Christian community. In our baptismal liturgy we promise “to live among God’s faithful people.” Baptism is a beginning, a covenant relationship that is lived in communities of faith all over the world. Here the mystery of faith is learned, shared, and tested. Here the people of God pray, worship and serve in the name of Jesus. In community, life transitions like baptisms, weddings, and funerals are surrounded by those who support and care for one another. The community surrounds the newly baptized and promises to be supportive and prayerful. The community gathers at the table and celebrates the risen Christ in bread and wine. How are you both creating and supporting faithful community this week? How will we live out our call to faithfulness in the lives of those around us? Pray for the faith community that surrounds you, and for those who were recently baptized. Pray for those to whom you have been a godparent.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011: Word
Daily reading: Psalm 8
In our baptismal liturgy we promise to “hear the word of God and share in the Lord’s Supper.” As you read Psalm 8, did something stand out? One of the beautiful aspects of God’s word is that, each time it’s read, we hear something new. It comes alive in a new way. Daily reading of God’s word is a discipline that will provide guidance and direction for your life. Test this theory by going back to Psalm 8 and reading it out loud again. What did you hear differently this time? What words, phrases or thoughts stood out? What is the passage saying to you? What is the passage asking you to do? Ask God for clear guidance that comes directly from Scripture.
Thursday, January 27, 2011: Proclaim
Daily reading: Luke 9:57-60; Luke 17:20-21
In our baptismal liturgy we promise to “proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed.” What is this good news? Jesus himself describes the good news to be that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. In word, we proclaim that God is not distant and angry, but near and loving. In deed, we live into the promise of Christ’s resurrection life and the reality that we are privileged to join God’s work in the world. When Jesus walked out of the open tomb everything changed, and this is the good news that we proclaim. In your prayers today, thank God for being near and loving.
Friday, January 28, 2011: Serve
Daily reading: Matthew 20:25-28
In our baptismal liturgy we promise to “serve all people, following the example of Jesus.” Someone needs you today. That’s the way God made us. Someone has said that God’s plan for “justice” is “just us.” We live our lives in the pattern of the one who came not to be served, but to serve. We live our lives oriented toward the things that matter to God, not the things that we desire. How will we be the hands and feet of Christ in someone else’s life today? Ask God to guide you directly to that person who needs you today.
Saturday, January 29, 2011: Justice
Daily reading: Psalm 37:23-28
In our baptismal liturgy we promise to “strive for justice and peace in all the earth.” What a calling! For some, today looms large. They may be caught in a cycle of poverty or living from day to day without shelter. The call for justice points us toward a day when there will no longer be a need for charity, because justice will have prevailed. Our calling is to become part of that movement. And peace? In all the earth? Maybe those two words are related in some way. If justice prevailed, there probably would be peace. There would be no more reason to fight or steal. How will your call to do justice and work for peace in the world materialize in the coming week? What’s one thing that you will do to bring justice and peace to those around you? In your prayers, ask God for guidance into deeper involvement in bringing about justice and peace.
Sunday, January 30, 2011: Winner
Daily reading: 2 John 1:4-11
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘“winner, winner, chicken dinner?” This phrase is used in our current culture to convey a positive outcome. It means something like, “Yes! We have a winner!” Many people agree that the phrase originated in Las Vegas where, as legend has it, years ago, every casino had a three-piece chicken dinner with a potato and a veggie for $1.79. A standard bet in those days was $2. Therefore, when you won a bet, you had enough for a chicken dinner. The moment of joy was accompanied by the phrase, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” Our culture’s understanding of “winning” usually comes at someone else’s expense. The disciples’ understanding of “winning” comes from someone else’s sacrifice. The starving child in Haiti says “I am a ‘winner’ because someone sacrificed something to put this Feed My Starving Children chicken dinner in front of me.” In your prayers, pray for all the children of the world who don’t have enough to eat, and pray that this inequity would come to an end.