July 6, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for July 6, 2020

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Beyond Jealousy”

Jealousy arises easily in our hearts. In the parable of the prodigal son, the elder son is jealous that his younger brother gets such a royal welcome even though he and his loose living swallowed up his father’s property (see Luke 15:30). And in the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, the workers who worked the whole day are jealous that those who came at the eleventh hour received the same pay as they did (see Matthew 20: 1-16). But the Father says to the older son, “You are with me always and all I have is yours” (Luke 15: 31). And the landowner says, “Why should you be envious because I am generous?” (Matthew 20:15).
When we truly enjoy God’s unlimited generosity, we will be grateful for what our brothers and sisters receive. Jealousy will simply have no place in our hearts.

Today’s prayer is from “Awed to Heaven, Rooted to Earth,” a collection of prayers by Walter Brueggemann.

Ours Is a Seduced World

God of all truth, we give thanks for your faithful utterance of reality. In your truthfulness, you have called the world “very good.” In your truthfulness, you have promised, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” In your truthfulness, you have assured, “This is my beloved Son.” In your truthfulness, you have voiced, “Fear not, I am with you.” In your truthfulness, you have guaranteed that “Nothing shall separate us from your love in Jesus Christ.” It is by your truthfulness that we love. And yet, we live in a world phony down deep, in which we participate at a slant. Ours is a seduced world, where we call evil good and good evil, where we put darkness for light and light for darkness, where we call bitter sweet and sweet bitter (Isa. 5:20), where we call war peace and peace war, so that we rarely see the truth of the matter. Give us courage to depart the pretend world of euphemism, to call things by their right name, to use things for their right use, to love our neighbor as you love us. Overwhelm our fearful need to distort, that we may fall back into your truth-telling about us, that we may be tellers of truth and practitioners of truth. We pray in the name of the One whom you have filled with “grace and truth.” Amen.

Dad Jokes

Did you hear about Dave? He fell into an upholstery machine. He’s fully recovered.

What did the grape do when he was stepped on? He let out a little wine.

Why are dinosaurs no longer around? Because their eggs stink.

Today’s links! 

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/corrugated-iron-sculptures-new-zealandIn a rural community like New Athens, we’re used to seeing things made out of corrugated iron. One town in New Zealand took things to a whole new level.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/06/18/bakers-against-racism-dc-chefs-fundraiser/Read all about what looks to be the world’s largest bake sale.

https://www.inspiremore.com/jada-pinkett-smith-thanks-uber-driver/Read how an Uber driving supplying free meals to hospital workers was thanked for her hard work and generosity.

https://www.livescience.com/19th-century-films-restored.htmlMatt Loughrey has deservedly earned quite the reputation for restoring old films. Learn more about his work here, and be sure to check out the video at the top of the page.

https://www.cnn.com/2020/07/02/us/iyw-community-supports-injured-firefighter-trnd/index.html Cooper Wellweber, 5, has raised more than $3,000 that will go towards Arlydia Bufford’s medical expenses. Ms. Bufford is the firefighter injured in a St. Louis Applebee’s shooting on June 22. This story also includes links to her GoFundMe account, as well as an address to which cards and well wishes can be sent.

https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/employees-living-in-ashford-castle-covid-19/index.htmlIf you think having an 800-year-old Irish castle to yourself during COVID sounds like a sweet gig, read about the caretaking couple who landed that dream job.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqwbpTCpL0g&list=PLbpi6ZahtOH4BDID6ev9-skx-zyF8AbanHere’s Bill Withers singing “Lean On Me” at a 1972 concert.

Sunday worship at 9 AM, with “Doughnut room” time starting at 8:30 AM. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/815064120, Meeting ID: 815 064 120

****************************************** Dial in to participate at +1 312 626 6799.


Copies of “Our Daily Bread” have arrived in the church office. Feel free to stop by and pick up a copy, or help distribute them to others.


Don’t forget communion at Zoom church this Sunday!!

Stop by the church office to get a prefilled cup and wafer set. Help distributing them is much appreciated as well.


In-Person worship resumes, July 19! Watch for more details. (Zoom church will continue to be offered as well.) **************************************************

Stay safe and stay well!