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Devotions

Devotions are short reflections on bible verses.  The reflection may help us understand the verses and historical context better, remind us of important teachings of Jesus or help us to see a story from a different perspective.

Calvary's weekly devotions are written by Pastor Zach, Synodical Deacon Tanya, Synodical Deacon Bob and members of Calvary.  They are emailed out weekly, posted here and on our Facebook page.  The most recent is below.  To view more, visit our Facebook page.
 

 

Wednesday, July 17th

The devotion for today is based on 2 Samuel 6:16 - 23.  Blessings. 

2 Samuel 6:16 - 23

16 As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal, daughter of Saul, watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. 17 They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. 18 After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. 19 Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes. 20 When David returned home to bless his household, Michal, daughter of Saul, came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” 21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. 22 I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”23 And Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.

 

From what I understand from this story, King David considered the ark to be the most important connection to God, and wanted to share it with everyone in Israel. He felt the need to celebrate the presence and glory of God with all of them. King David made burnt offerings to God and then shared this food with everyone who was there. He was so happy that he danced around his servants and put on a great show of celebration.

 

I think we can all relate to this, we all like to have a party and celebrate wonderful things that are happening in our lives.

 

Unfortunately King David's wife, Michal, found his behavior disgraceful and she told him he was showing off to the servant girls in their house. I think we can relate to her also.

 

Both King David and his wife are only human and make mistakes. Maybe if he had included her more in the celebration she would have felt differently. Michal also had the opportunity to choose to be happy too, but instead chose to be jealous. Their selfish behavior towards each other hurt their relationship, and so they didn't have children until many years later when she died during childbirth. 

 

Dear God, 

Being married has its ups and downs. Please guide couples to be more understanding of each other's needs. Help them to remember to be more inclusive in the choices they make, so no one feels left out or less than.

 

Stir up the Holy Spirit in all people, so they will be more gracious in their ability to share the happy times and the tough times together with honesty and love.

Amen!

Wednesday, July 10th

Today’s devotion is from Pastor Zach 

 

Do you remember that time when the religious leaders asked Jesus that “gotcha” question about taxes? They show him a coin and ask him if it’s lawful to pax taxes to the emperor, and Jesus, never one to suffer the trappings of “gotcha” questions, asks in reply whose face is on the coin. Ultimately, Jesus tells the religious leaders to give to the emperor what is the emperor’s, and to give to God what belongs to God (Matthew 22).

 

Recently, our presiding (national) bishop wrote on this topic given the increase in “gotcha” questions that get thrown around in election seasons, and I think it’s timely to dwell on now before we are really in the thick of things later this year. She says this:

 

“On Nov. 5, no matter the outcome, we will still be here together. Our church, our people, our congregations will still be here and will witness that unity doesn’t mean uniformity; that what binds us together is new life in Christ; that the church—and our country—are bigger than our “tribe”; and that baptism proves that water is thicker than blood.

 

“If Caesar’s image and title are imprinted on a base metal coin, a humanly created, literal graven image, where is God’s image to be found? Human creatures—the living beings whom God created in God’s own image, into whom God breathed the breath of life—are bearers of God’s image in the world.

 

“Our citizenship is ultimately in heaven. But we are also citizens of this country—this flawed, fractious, unequal, imperfect union. In U.S. political history, people have yearned and given their lives for what they had hoped for—democratic life for the sake of the flourishing of all. One of the ways we serve our neighbor is to participate in civic life. Can we see Election Day as a unifying event when the whole country goes to the polls?”

 

Allow this challenging yet faith-based message from Bishop Eaton to sink in as we march towards and through this year’s election season. Last, if this topic is intriguing to you, consider joining Bibles and Brews at Calvary as the group looks through a new ELCA Social Statement called Civic Life and Faith.

 

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