Monday Morning Meditation 1-30-23

In his classic work “Confessions, the great theologian Augustine said “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”

The Psalmist said: O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. Ps. 63:1

Here it is Monday morning, I’ve been up for hours, made breakfast, lunches and drove my daughter to school.  My wife started the laundry that we did not get to over the weekend before she left for work.  We have an online appointment and I need to get working on next Sunday’s worship service and Lenten planning.  Plus we still need to review our calendars to make sure we know what is happening in the next few weeks.  I’m tired already.

But what was missing from all of this?  The quiet time with the Lord.  At some point this morning, I need to turn away from the computer and phone, get away from the to-do list and focus on what will bring me life, God. 

Today I feel like I am in a dry and weary land.  I’m going along with the flow of stuff, yet I know what I need.  Are you in that dry and weary land too?  Are you busy with your Monday morning?  Are you just getting through the day so you can go to bed and start over tomorrow?  If so, take a moment.  Read the psalms, go outside and watch the birds, find a quiet place, even if only for a few minutes and contemplate God.  Allow God to refresh you for you have been made by God for God. 


Pastor Bill

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, That my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, That my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, That I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, To defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, That I always may be holy.


Monday Morning Meditation 1-23-23

1Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. 2He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3“Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” 9And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”  Mark 4:1-9, 14-20

How is your soil?  Many of you have either grown up on or near farmland.  Living in this area for quite some time, we are used to the cycle of preparing, planting, growth and harvest.  The farmers take great effort in preparing the soil so the seed will take and an abundant harvest will come.

Preachers and teachers have the responsibility of taking the Holy Scriptures and feeding them to the congregation.   We need to prayerfully prepare ourselves to proclaim the word to you.  That is hard work and to do it properly, takes a lot of time.  But no amount of time on the preacher’s part will make up for poor soil.

We prepare our soil by coming to worship with an open heart and mind, expecting to experience God.  We prepare our soil by reading scripture and spending time in prayer.  We even prepare our soil by taking our bulletins home, re-reading the scriptures and liturgy throughout the week as we contemplate the sermon.  The more we do this, the more we are prepared to receive God’s word through the service and sermon.

How is your soil?  As you journey through this week, prepare your soil.  Spend some time meditating on the sermon and in prayer, asking God to help you receive the word.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 1-16-23

7Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; 8hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. 9He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; 10for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. 11Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” 12But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.

13He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 14And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message, 15and to have authority to cast out demons. 16So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.  Mark 3:7-19a

If you stop and really consider this passage, it is amazing.  Here is Jesus, the Son of God who has healed people of diseases and chased away evil spirits.  He has all the power, and yet He shares the ministry.

Jesus takes his disciples up the mountain and then names twelve as apostles (which, in the Greek, means “one sent out”).  He gives them the authority to preach the gospel, to heal and to cast out the demons.  Please note verse 19.  Jesus even shares the power with one who will betray him.

So, let’s review – the Son of God (God Incarnate), the one with the power, shares it with some of his followers so that they, too, may do the ministry.

Did you see this?  Even Jesus is not to do the ministry alone, rather He shares it with others.  Nobody, not an Elder, not a Deacon, not a Priest, Pastor, Preacher or anyone else is to do the ministry alone, for it is a shared ministry.  If that is good enough for Jesus, that should be good enough for His church.

As you journey through this week, consider what ministries you are doing.  Are you sharing the opportunity?  Are you sharing the power?  Jesus did.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation Jan 2, 2023

“for it was You who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You because I have been fearfully and wonderfully made”. Psalm 139:13-14

Often in the Hebrew scriptures we hear the term “fear” in relationship to God.  Proverbs 9:10 says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

Unfortunately, our English translation of the Hebrew is incomplete.  The word does not mean “be afraid of God” rather have awe and reverence for God.  It is about recognizing God’s awesomeness, power and majesty. 

The Psalmist recognizes this when he says I have been fearfully and wonderfully made.  Think about this – the Creator has created us with great reverence, with awesomeness.  When translated from the Hebrew, wonderfully means unique and set apart.

You have been awesomely made by God, you are unique and set apart.  Take a moment to think about that statement (read it over again).

A pastor who led a retreat would always say to us “God made you an original, don’t be a copy.”  I love that statement.  Each of us are made unique and set apart in the image of God.  Within you is something incredible because you have been made by God. 

As you travel through this week, and this new year, keep this in mind. 


Pastor Bill

Prayer for the Week

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work too may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.  Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guide me then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Mother Theresa