Meditations

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Meditation: Feb. 19 Psalm 23 (David Sard)

This psalm is a poem that resonates deeply within me. It is something I use to calm myself when I am anxious or scared.  I never went to Sunday School or had religious training, but somehow it seems like the voice of truth.  I was going to say the voice of God, but what do I know? I remember my physicist father saying that the King James Bible was great literature, which to me meant that I could read it without breaking the family commitment to the search for truth. Somehow even the rhythm and cadence of the words has a healing effect, although the modern version seems to me to strip away the poetry. This psalm reminds me that even in the turmoil of life, even in the valley of the shadow of death, there is comfort, if we are open to it. Read more
Emily Rigas

Meditation: Feb 18 Luke 4:1-4 (Emily Rigas)

Growing up, every Christmas my sister and I would join my mom and sometimes my grandmother in making Tsoureki (a Greek sweet bread - pronounced Chor-de-ki). It is actually a Greek Easter bread, but the tradition in our family was to make dozens and dozens of loaves every Christmas season and then give those loaves to everyone we knew - neighbors, fellow church members, friends, and family far and near. Read more
Jane Cates

Meditation: Feb. 17 Luke 4:1-4 (Jane Cates)

We have such warm thoughts of the first miracle of Jesus – turning the water into wine at the wedding at Cana. Read more
Julia Jones

Meditation: Feb. 16 Luke 4:1-4 (Julia Jones)

In Luke 4: 1-4 we see another astonishing reminder of Jesus’ strength of faith; 40 days of being tempted by the devil and nothing to eat…fed by God’s word, “not by bread alone".  Read more
Dan Helming

Meditation: Feb. 15 Luke 4:1-4 (Dan Helming)

Studying a bit of the background of Luke for this meditation, he was a contemporary and friend of Paul, in citizen standing at least.  I thought he was a doctor, but couldn't substantiate that.  He wrote his Gospel in 80-100 C.E.  so it was like us writing in the present day about WWII, though without all the literature, analysis and databases that bridge that gap for us. However, I can't decry that a good book about WWII couldn't be written in the present day. Luke used Mark's writings as a basis, then apparently added direct quotes of Jesus from another source, a sort of Bartlett's Quotations.  He might have used Mark in person, other writers and teachers as well.  Finally, he added his own interpretations: it is thought that Luke wanted his readers to gain a greater meaning from Christ's acts on earth, so he added interpretations that extrapolated the meaning of his acts on earth to what the meaning of the lesson to us should be. Mark was associated with Paul, in Paul's early career, then they had a falling out, and then in Paul's later life, they became full associates again.  Mark wrote relatively little on the Temptation of Christ.   Read more
Sharon McSorley

Meditation: Feb. 14 Luke 4:1-4 (Sharon McSorley)

“I’ve been busy”. “My brain is full”. “There is not a second extra in my day”. Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with the clutter that fills your thoughts? These every day temptations to depart from being closer to God are never ending. Read more
Lent Graphic

Scripture for the Week with Ash Wednesday (Psalm 23)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
    he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
    for his name’s sake. Read more

Meditation: Feb. 13 Psalm 23 (Kent Fairfield)

I remember well the task of memorizing the 23rd Psalm for Sunday School.  To a child it was a reassuring declaration that whatever happens to me, God will take care of me.  I’m struck that when I try to read it more deeply as an adult, I find myself balking at what I feel could be turning myself totally over to God with complete dependence on him or her.  The verbs hit me, such as “he makes me lie down . . . he leads me . . . (and again) he leads me beside still waters . . .”  This sounds like a strong force that impels me somewhere, almost against my will.  The payoffs envisioned by the writer, of course, are enormous: abundance, flourishing, protection, goodness and mercy.  But does it demand that I surrender my ability to make choices to control my own fate, at least a little?  Read more
Aleeda Crawley

Meditation: Feb. 12 Psalm 23 (Aleeda Crawley)

Ah, the beloved 23rd Psalm—one of my least favorite psalms!  Heard too often at too many funerals, I have come to resent it , and have explicity forbidden it to be included in my service, though I will have little control over that instruction.  It’s random assignment for our Lenten meditation made me think: how would I render it, using language that speaks to my heart and soul? I share with you my version: Read more
Glen Hoffs

Meditation: Feb. 11 Psalm 23 (Glen Hoffs)

When I think back on much of my life I see how much of it has been driven by want. Read more

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