Lord, I’m sitting on our 7th floor balcony
of this retirement community
with my morning cup of coffee.
It’s 70º. Birds fly by.
The red geranium nearby
and window boxes of begonias
attached to the balcony railing
are my companions.
My husband moved a little table
to my side for my coffee cup.
A distant railroad train whistles
and rumbles by. The sky is overcast.
Sooner or later it will rain.
Thank you, Lord, for contentment
in old age. Amen.
I have been young, and now am old, yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
Hymn: God Will Take Care of You
Today, Lord, is my time to visit
residents of the Health Care Center
of our retirement community.
On this floor the door is locked
so residents can’t wander off.
Some are bedfast.
Some walk a short distance.
Most gather in the television room.
One sits in the dining room
and looks out the window.
For some old age is a fearsome time.
Others are cheerful and content.
They tell of long lives of service
in your kingdom.
Your love surrounds us all, Lord.
We are in your care.
1 Timothy 5:1-2:
Do not speak harshly to an older man, but speak to him as to a father, to younger men as brothers, to older women as mothers, to younger women as sisters—with absolute purity.
Hymn: Soon and Very Soon
Father God, when my husband and I
were first married, we agreed to tithe,
while we worked to furnish our apartment.
Our relatives gave us many things.
Through the years we accumulated
a house and furnishings, along with children.
Now our children have their own homes.
When we moved to this retirement community
we sold some things, gave away some,
and put other things on the curb for pick up.
We had to downsize to fit in this apartment.
It doesn’t take much to be happy.
We have been blessed. Thank you, Father God.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”
Hymn: There Shall Be Showers of Blessing
Ah, Lord, now another friend is widowed.
Of course, people in this retirement community
understand, since many are also widows and widowers.
Friends are sympathetic.
But the heartache for the one who is left
is still there.
The bereaved look forward to a time
when they may see their loved one again in heaven.
We are calmed by the assurance
that you, Lord, are always with us.
Surround the sorrowing with your love, Lord.
Make others sensitive to their need. Amen.
And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away”
Hymn: I Need Thee Every Hour
Lord Jesus, teachers
in Sunday school are special people.
Teaching and helping others to learn
takes knowledge and sensitivity.
Sunday school teachers are usually volunteers.
The teachers of young children
are given materials with a story
and directions for a craft project.
Older children have a lesson and discussion.
The minister usually teaches
12 or 13 year olds for confirmation
and to prepare for joining the church.
Churches offer classes for adults
to continue to grow in understanding.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for teachers.
Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them.
Hymn: A Charge to Keep I Have
Holy Spirit, dwell within us.
Lead us into fullness of life.
Business is not the whole answer.
There is being in your presence
and finding rest for one’s soul.
Without quiet times to allow
your Spirit to minister to us,
we are empty cisterns.
Fill us with your presence.
Still our anxieties.
We bow before you in silence,
waiting for the “peace that passes understanding”
to restore and energize our lives.
Come, Holy Spirit. Amen.
But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.
Hymn: Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
Dear Lord, in some places
there is famine due to weather or war.
Refugees crowd neighboring countries,
and there is not enough to feed them.
Even in our country some children go hungry.
Lord, you have given us this earth
with its ability to produce
enough food for everyone.
Our church and other churches
gather food and money to feed people
locally and around the world.
But even when we and other countries send food,
it doesn’t always reach the starving
because governments intervene.
Dear Lord, we are thankful that we are fed,
but today we pray for those who are hungry.
And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?
Hymn: The Voice of God Is Calling