Daily Devotionals

The following “Daily Devotionals” are provided through the

United Church of Christ Website.

To read the full devotional, please click the Title of the devotional and you will be directed to the UCC website. We only keep the current month listed on this page.


October 20, 2017

Repentance in Pew 16

Tony Robinson

The prelude ended, the minister got to his feet, went to the pulpit and boomed out, “O sing to the Lord a new song!”


October 19, 2017

Our Blessed Guides

Richard L. Floyd

Our culture prizes originality. No one wants to be considered an imitation!


October 18, 2017

Blessed are the Broken

Marchaé Grair

I walked into a bar eager to go to a storytelling event, where people volunteer to tell their most personal stories to strangers.


October 17, 2017

Holy Pique

John A. Nelson

Really? That’s the take-away?


October 16, 2017

Lasting Peace

Kaji Dousa

knew a form of these words before I’d even heard of Philippians.


October 15, 2017

Seven Deadly Apps

Lillian Daniel

It seems that for every ancient sin, there is a social media app. 


October 14, 2017

Excellence is Not the Most Excellent Way

Matt Laney

In her book, Overachievers: The Secret Life of Driven Kids, Alexandra Robbins documents an unhealthy culture of excellence and overachievement among middle and upper class American youth.


October 13, 2017

Look to the One

Vince Amlin

Stop. Wherever you are. At work. On the train. Checking email in bed. Whatever you are worried about – whatever you’re fearing, dreading, planning – that thing that you can’t get out of your head: Have you prayed about it?


October 12, 2017

Ruinous Empathy

Molly Baskette

In her new book Radical Candor the management guru Kim Scott (a veteran of Google, Apple and Twitter) gives us a new framework for how to be the best boss: care personally, and challenge directly.


October 11, 2017

Prey

The Psalm doesn’t say why, exactly, the deer is panting, so the hymn writers fill in the blank: the deer is being hunted.


October 10, 2017

God Has Already Chosen. Now It’s Your Turn.

Jennifer Brownell

I’ve walked the nature trails around our neighborhood pond many times and seen rabbits, birds, even the occasional deer. 


October 9, 2017

Go to Sleep. Good Night.

Mary Luti

If you’re a parent, or if you’ve cared for a child overnight, you’ll recognize this drill: Read story, say prayers, position bunny, plant kiss, douse lights, tiptoe out.


October 8, 2017

Lord of Liberation

Kenneth L. Samuel

Liberation Theology is a lens through which God is understood and related to as the Divine Being who sets us free from the sins of every kind of oppression.


October 7, 2017

God’s Hand

Matt Fitzgerald

The church I serve is near the Moody Bible Institute.


October 6, 2017

Hardness of Heart

Donna Schaper

Hardness of heart is a spiritual matter in love relationships, divorces, between siblings – and in the garden.


October 5, 2017

The Immoral Majority

Tony Robinson

Lazy minds love expressions like, “Most everyone thinks,” or “Many people believe,” and “Everyone is saying . . .”


October 4, 2017

The God Who Speaks in Whispers

Richard L. Floyd

When I found my way back to God as a young man (or God found me, take your pick) it began with a deep longing.


October 3, 2017

As Sure As the Hairs on Your Head

Talitha Arnold

Samson was at a dead end.


October 2, 2017

Shackles of Defeat

Kaji Dousa

The apostle Paul spent a good portion of his Christian life in prison thanks to a state that had no idea what to do with him.


October 1, 2017

Humble

Emily C. Heath

True humility is not about putting yourself down, but rather about realizing that the people who surround you are no less special than you.


September 30, 2017

Like Night and Day

Vicki Kemper

It turns out there is another planet in our solar system—right next door to us, in astronomical terms—that could support life as we (sort of) know it.


September 29, 2017

The Gate of Heaven

Matt Laney

John Phillip Newell shares a rabbi’s insight on Moses and the burning bush. 


September 28, 2017

Searchlights and Penlights

Martin B. Copenhaver

Sister Helen Prejean, the Roman Catholic nun who wrote the book Dead Man Walking, said in a lecture, “I’m always asking God for a searchlight.


September 26, 2017

Disagreeable

Emily C. Heath

Malcolm Gladwell, the journalist and author, has a theory.


September 25, 2017

Footnote

Quinn G. Caldwell

Not being in school any more, I don’t pay as much attention to footnotes as I used to.


September 24, 2017

Visiting

Mary Luti

For the sake of the church at Philippi, Paul chose to remain. 


September 23, 2017

Somebody Say Something

Kenneth L. Samuel

National Geographic reports that the world’s newest religion is no religion.


September 22, 2017

Christian Inactivism

Matt Fitzgerald

In 1937 H. Richard Niebuhr wrote that in a moment of political crisis, there are four kinds of inactivity.


September 21, 2017

Becoming New

Donna Schaper

I don’t want to pick a fight about baptism so much as to say that the ritual itself may need a good long look.


September 20, 2017

Faith Is Simple (But Not Easy)

Anthony Robinson

I was fired up about faith moving mountains, but suddenly stopped short by “Forgive, if you have anything against anyone.”


September 19, 2017

The Comfortless Time

Richard L. Floyd

When I was eighteen years old my mother died.


September 18, 2017

Unify Us

Marchaé Grair

Many church folks are guilty of confusing assimilation and unity to the detriment of the people they try to welcome into churches.


September 17, 2017

Slinging Mud

John A. Nelson

A friend said that she was ready to tackle most sorts of household repair.


September 16, 2017

A Psalm for a Rough Day

Bob Thompson

Most days I love being a pastor.  Today’s not one of them.


September 15, 2017

Behold the Author’s Care

Lillian Daniel

At a writing workshop at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival, our teacher, Sands Hall, gave us exercises from her book, Tools of the Writers Craft.


September 14, 2017

Victory Dinner

Matt Laney

Leadership coach Marshal Goldsmith often encounters “winning addiction” in his CEO clients.


September 13, 2017

That Kind of Fig Tree

Vince Amlin

This fig business has always confused me. 


September 12, 2017

Look Up, Stay Up

Jennifer Brownell

Summer at the lake, and I’m trying out a borrowed paddleboard.


September 11, 2017

Never Remember

Molly Baskette

The memory of the national tragedy that befell us on September 11, 2001 turns 16 years old today.


September 10, 2017

Bird Armor

Quinn G. Caldwell

When the artist Seamus Moran visited the Tower of London, his attention was arrested by a disturbing sight: standing amid the rows of suits of armor for men and horses, a little metal outfit, maybe two and a half feet tall.


September 9, 2017

Present Imperfect

Mary Luti

Hypocrisy comes in many varieties. 


September 8, 2017

Light from the Least

Kenneth L. Samuel

When thick, palpable, complete darkness descended upon the Egyptians, I wonder why none of them seemed to notice that the Children of Israel had light.


September 7, 2017

Not as Hard as God

Matt Laney

Pharaoh is an idiot.


September 6, 2017

Metaphor

Donna Schaper

One of my favorite hobbies is overdoing metaphors.


September 5, 2017

Standing on Holy Ground

Talitha Arnold

Moses must have laughed out loud when the voice from the burning bush told him he was standing on “holy ground.”


September 4, 2017

Silence is Golden!

Richard L. Floyd

I was taught never to say, “Shut up!” It was considered rude. So I still don’t.


September 3, 2017

Another Way

Tony Robinson

I started my ministry in small, rural churches.


September 2, 2017

Something New Under the Sun

Vicki Kemper

Is there a more depressing line in all of scripture?


September 1, 2017

Ready to Move

Emily C. Heath

Do you ever feel like God’s not paying attention?


August 31, 2017

The Friday Feeling

Molly Baskette

But it was more what she was leaving than what she was going back to that upset her.


August 30, 2017

Stop Trying to Find Yourself

Lillian Daniel

Individualism tells you that you are special and unique.


August 29, 2017

Subversive

Matt Laney

Years ago, newly-minted from seminary and serving my first church, I preached a fiery sermon on the counter-cultural ministry of Jesus.


August 28, 2017

Party Poopers

Vince Amlin

On the last night of our retreat at Plum Village, a Buddhist monastery in France, the nuns who led my small group invited us to a potato barbecue.


August 27, 2017

Transformed Nonconformists

Vicki Kemper

How easy it is to use this scripture to justify our self-righteous refusal to go along with any ol’ thing.


August 26, 2017

Baking with the Pharisees

Emily C. Heath

Jesus was trying to tell the disciples to be wary of the false teachings of religious authorities like the Pharisees and Sadducees.


August 25, 2017

Super-Human

Quinn G. Caldwell

Earlier this summer, two women visiting Panama City Beach in Florida heard screams and saw two young boys hundreds of feet out from shore.


August 24, 2017

A Glass Darkly

Mary Luti

A cartoon shows a pastor meeting with the chairperson of the church council.


August 23, 2017

Too Much of What We Want

Kenneth L. Samuel

Upon their exodus out of Egyptian slavery, God instructed the Hebrews to abandon the worship of idols their parents engaged in while they were in bondage, and to direct their devotions toward the one God who had heard their pleas and secured their liberation.


August 22, 2017

“I’ve never driven a golf cart and I hate Kid Rock.”

Matt Fitzgerald

I don’t travel much, but I’ve been to Canada. Here’s what I heard: “Oh. You’re an American.


August 21, 2017

Did we come all this way to meet no one but ourselves?

Lillian Daniel

Tamar Elad-Appelbaum was raised in an orthodox Jewish community in Jerusalem.


August 20, 2017

It’s What’s Inside

Tony Robinson

One August day, when I was a young pastor, a group of people showed up at the church office demanding to know if I had been “born again.”


August 19, 2017

The Great Laboratory of Love

Richard L. Floyd

A pastor friend of mine is known to have told his congregation, “If there isn’t somebody here who rubs you the wrong way you need to come around more often.”


August 18, 2017

A Funeral for a Frog

Martin B. Copenhaver

“Shady is dead,” my wife Karen said to me, with more concern than grief in her voice.


August 17, 2017

Worth a Second Look

John A. Nelson

Idolatry is bad: soul-killingly bad.


August 16, 2017

God is still sleeping

Kaji Douša

The idea of Jesus sleeping seems…bizarre.


August 15, 2017

Follow Me

Traci Blackmon

Whenever I read the gospel accounts of how Jesus organized The Discipleship Movement I am reminded of how important it is to understand the roles of both leader and ally.


August 14, 2017

No Condemnation

Matt Laney

A woman’s son committed suicide following decades of hard living that caused deep pain to himself and others.


August 13, 2017

Take Care

Vince Amlin

There are so many ways to get care wrong.


August 12, 2017

Nerds for Jesus

Molly Baskette

The YA fiction writer John Green redeemed nerdiness for us all.


August 11, 2017

Godsplained

Jennifer Brownell

Sounds to me like you were Godsplained, Apollos.


August 10, 2017

Ladder

Quinn G. Caldwell

Should you one day make it to Jerusalem, you will no doubt also make your way to what many consider the holiest site in the world: the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.


August 9, 2017

Anybody Need a Pie?

John Edgerton

It’s pick-your-own blueberry season in New England.


August 8, 2017

Finding God in All the Wrong Places

Martin B. Copenhaver

On a number of occasions I have hiked in the interior reaches of the Grand Canyon.


August 7, 2017

Wisdom, Like

Mary Luti

There’s wisdom that comes with growing old.


August 6, 2017

Why is Eating so Enjoyable?

Matt Fitzgerald

When I was a child my mother made us name one thing we were grateful for each night before dinner.


August 5, 2017

“Like Amen to That”

Tony Robinson

Ask, seek, knock — each one ups the intensity level. 


August 4, 2017

Staying on the Trail

Richard L. Floyd

I have belonged to a hiking group for nearly 20 years.


August 3, 2017

God’s Hands

Talitha Arnold

God has no hands but ours.


August 2, 2017

Killers Like Me

Kaji Douša

With a deep sigh, I watched as he walked away, having left a beautiful urn of what was described as a hearty bush–“You really can’t kill it, trust me”–and some resilient flowers in the perfect spot.


August 1, 2017

Armor

Emily C. Heath

If you’re like me, Scripture passages about war and armor are difficult. 


July 31, 2017

Pets in Heaven

Dwight Lee Wolter

Many children learn to love through their first pet, and losing a pet is often their first experience with death and grief.


July 30, 2017

Lessons from a Lonely Lobster

Lillian Daniel

It stinks to be single in a couple’s universe.


July 29, 2017

Don’t Hide

Matt Laney

Have you ever knocked on someone’s door and hoped they wouldn’t answer?


July 28, 2017

Manuscript Preacher

Vince Amlin

“I hate the Prayers of the People,” I confessed to my co-pastor. 


July 27, 2017

Courage in the Storm

Vicki Kemper

The apostle Paul was speaking to other seasick souls on board a pitching ship.


July 26, 2017

Fearfully and Wonderfully

Emily C. Heath

I’m always amazed by the permission culture gives us to comment on other people’s bodies.


July 25, 2017

Just Deserts

Quinn G. Calwell

Every time I read the story of Jacob and Esau, I’m struck again by how much Jacob. totally. sucks.  Like, a lot.


July 24, 2017

Stepping Away

Mary Luti

It’s an age-old question: “Why don’t you come when I need you?”


July 23, 2017

Pray for those Who Persecute You

Tyler Connoley

Jesus told me to love my enemies, but Buddhism taught me how. 


July 22, 2017

The Killer Said “Grace”

Matt Fitzgerald

The killer brutally murdered a teenaged girl. Twenty-one years later he was still awaiting execution.


July 21, 2017

One Landmine at a Time

Donna Schaper

Most people can’t stand criticism, much less persecution.


July 20, 2017

You Feed the People

Tony Robinson

“We can’t do this . . . we don’t have the money.” 


July 19, 2017

Lots of Follows but Few Friends

Richard L. Floyd

The affection and intimacy Jesus had for his disciples offers a model of friendship that is in contrast to much of what passes for friendship in our time.


July 18, 2017

Don’t Wait

Martin B. Copenhaver

In the last decade or so of my father’s life he developed an interest in wine. 


July 17, 2017

The Dance of Faith

John A. Nelson

In a preaching conference, the Rev. Dr. Thomas Long told about the time he was approached by a parishioner with an interest in contemporary church music: “Could we start a praise band?” Dr. Long replied, “Sure, as long as we start a lament band, too.”


July 16, 2017

Just Love

Kaji Douša

I do whatever I can to avoid talking about sex in church.


July 15, 2017

Mansions of Mysterious Metaphors

Lillian Daniel

The 1843 children’s board game The Mansion of Happiness used a sixty-seven space spiral track to teach children the various Christian virtues and vices.


July 14, 2017

Savior

Matt Laney

This “savior” stuff doesn’t come naturally to our contemporary, self-reliant, “can-do” culture. 


July 13, 2017

Holy (Waste)land

Vince Amlin

Brownsville, Texas is home to one of the most famous birdwatching spots in the country. 


July 12, 2017

Procrastinators Unite…Tomorrow

Marchaé Grair

Leaning in to God’s plan for me isn’t always easy because I am a control freak.


July 11, 2017

Welcome Home

John Nelson

In early 1993 a large group of Guatemalans, after nearly ten years of exile, had negotiated a return to their homeland.


July 10, 2017

*Gasp!*

Quinn G. Caldwell

I used to scoff, pretty hardcore, at certain ways of reading the Song of Songs.


July 9, 2017

Damned if He Does…

Mary Luti

We may not admit it, or even know it, but most of us harbor fixed notions about what a real Christian is like, or a perfect parent, or an ideal pastor, or a good citizen.


July 8, 2017

He’s Got Our Back

What’s your favorite verse or story in the Bible?


July 7, 2017

Parents Who Try Too Hard Risk Obscuring God

Matt Fitzgerald

Being parented is difficult.


July 6, 2017

This Is Real

Vicki Kemper

If you’ve spent any time in museums or wandered wide-eyed through an ancient city, you know how it goes.


July 5, 2017

Never Give Up

Tony Robinson

The old coach had been invited to give the high school commencement speech.


July 4, 2017

Our Four Freedoms Report Card

Richard L. Floyd

On January 6, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his State of the Union address, which became known as the “Four Freedoms Speech.”


July 3, 2017

I Love Your Law

Talitha Arnold

On this Eve of Independence Day and its celebration of freedom, today’s Psalm instead praises a restriction on freedom,  i.e. God’s law.


July 2, 2017

Cup of Water Crisis

Kaji Douša

Things were different, she noticed. “His bones hurt,” her son told her.


July 1, 2017

The Most Stressful Part of Sundays

Emily C. Heath

I would rather write five sermons than lead the children’s lesson at church.


June 30, 2017

Everything I Need

John A. Nelson

A woman I knew, a Quaker, would occasionally use the second person in its archaic form.


June 29, 2017

You Too

Matt Laney

I was not a model student in my younger years.


June 28, 2017

Something of Value

Vince Amlin

My co-pastor is fond of saying, “No one has to be convinced to go see stand-up comedy. No one’s there because they think it will be good for their kids.They go because it’s funny.”


June 27, 2017

I Have a Frisbee

Vicki Kemper

There’s undivided, and then there’s complete.


June 26, 2017

Multitude of Sins

Vicki Kemper

How the subject came up I don’t recall.


June 25, 2017

Not Peace

Quinn G. Caldwell

Most of us long for peace.


June 24, 2017

Knowing What You Know

Mary Luti

A blind seminary student announced in class that if Jesus offered her sight, she’d refuse.


June 23, 2017

Remembering Grace

Emily C. Heath

Perhaps this is wrong, but I have a hard time trusting church people who never admit imperfection.


June 22, 2017

Until the Tenderness is Real

Matt Fitzgerald

When you pray, how do you begin?


June 21, 2017

Cat Brains

Ron Buford

Ever notice the way cats can seem to treat their owners as if their owners exist to solely fulfill their cat desires?


June 20, 2017

This Retirement Stuff Is Hard

Tony Robinson

“We’ve got to talk, this retirement stuff is HARD”


June 19, 2017

Out of Bounds

Richard L. Floyd

The people of God have always wrestled with the question of where God’s Spirit is at work.


June 18, 2017

Introverts and Extroverts

Martin B. Copenhaver

I am convinced Jesus was an introvert.


June 17, 2017

Small Letter, Big Spirit

John A. Nelson

Scripture sets so many traps.


June 16, 2017

Expecting an Answer

Kaji Dousa

Are you prepared to trust in God’s response?


June 15, 2017:

When “Sorry” Seems to be the Easiest Word

Lillian Daniel

After a terrorist atrocity, I hate seeing Muslims at a news conference being forced to apologize for something they didn’t do.


June 14, 2017:

Stoned

Matt Laney

The good news is, stones and stoners don’t have the last word.


June 13, 2017:

Many Gifts, One Spirit

Vince Amlin

Singular Spirit of infinite gifts, be manifest in me for the common good


June 12, 2017:

UnAshamed

Molly Baskette

We have a shame problem in America.


June 11, 2017

Created

Jennifer Brownell

You are created in God’s image. That means showing up, speaking up, living out the purpose for which you were created, whatever that may be.


June 10, 2017

Art, Unseen

Quinn G. Caldwell

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that one of the great things about art is that it is not, strictly speaking, needed.


June 09, 2017

Choosing Justice

Marchaé Grair

The gospel makes it clear that this Christian journey requires decisions about our allegiances.


June 8, 2017

Atheists Could Be On To Something

Matt Fitzgerald

Atheists are wrong, but they could be on to something. Maybe God is gone. Absent.


June 7, 2017

Still Not Dead Again Today

Martin B. Copenhaver

Change is not a sign of death.  It is a sign of life.  Only the living change.


June 6, 2017

Fresh Towels

Donna Schaper

Do you have a story about “treasure in earthen vessels”?


June 5, 2017

The Joy of Dependence

Tony Robinson

“Dependence” is frowned upon in our society, while “independence” is seen as a good thing.


June 4, 2017

The Giver of Life

Richard L. Floyd

If the presence and power of the Holy Spirit at that first Pentecost marks the beginning of the church, the Spirit’s work was not finished on that day.


June 3, 2017

The Eve of Pentecost

Talitha Arnold

The first Christians had to trust God with no clue as to what God had in store for them. How did they do it?


June 2, 2017

The Value of the Dark

Kaji Douša

The “darkness” that “isn’t dark to you, O God,” according to my favorite Psalm, 139, is a tough term to unpack.


June 1, 2017

Learning New Languages

Emily C. Heath

Every year on Pentecost Sunday I get the feeling that the church misses the point.