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.


Mic Drop

Walk a little longer. Listen a little more intently. Pray a whole lot more. Open your heart just a bit wider and watch what the gracious, merciful, slow-to-anger God can do.


Sorry

Dear God, as we prepare to enter Lent, remind us that bearing the sign of the cross on our forehead is not enough. Guide us toward true acknowledgment and sincere amends.


Meetings

My hunch is that our many meetings might be redeemed, or at least different, if we entertained the notion that our main reason for meeting together is to encounter God.


Blackness

We do not blame the night sky for being night. We rest in it. And that Blackness is beautiful.


Questions that Begin with How

As children of God, we have the opportunity to ask different questions than the rest of the world asks. Questions that help us truly meet one another on holy, even ground.


Beating Up Brother

It’s hard to be obedient to your parent when you’re bent on bashing your brother.


Sketch

Next time you get to church early or the sermon gets boring, look around. Ask yourself: which parts of this building look like heaven? Conversely, which ones fall short?


Still, Though

“I’m looking for a sign,” said my friend.


Somebody’s Watching You

It’s easy to get so consumed in a crisis that you think the crisis is all about you. It’s easy to forget that even in times of stress, our lives are testimonies of the Holy Spirit.


Wait for Each Other

At the world’s table, the wealthy, the privileged, and the strong devour everyone’s share of life. At the Lord’s table, mutual deference is the sacrament’s outward sign.


Trying to Get There

O God, get us to the heavenly feast. And when we arrive, may we meet one stranger after another who welcomes us, as though we truly belonged.


Keeping up with the Phoneses

Cultural messages that I thought were harmless growing up, I now realize were problematic all along. Blessed are those who manage to get it all right! I am working to do better.


Dear John

I love you. There. I said it first. I hope—though the world keeps breaking your heart—that you take it as a sign your heart is actually working as it was intended.


Resistance Training

Everywhere we turn, we are offered opportunities for resistance training. The path of least resistance is also the path of least growth.


Get Angry

Don’t feel like you have to be nice all the time. Don’t feel like you always have to accommodate and compromise and stir in honey. Go ahead, release your inner table-over-turner.


Gobsmacked and Gorgeous

Just when I am tempted to give up on the entire human enterprise, I am gobsmacked all over again by the utterly spectacular resilience of the human-divine spirit.


God Is Not Worried

We tend to project our anxiety onto the Creator. We imagine God’s hands wringing with concern, pondering the next move. Nope. God’s at peace. And God wants the same for us.


Chiasmus

How wondrous to rediscover the language and literary style of Jesus, whose words are forever unveiling themselves in new and ancient forms.


Bent, Not Broken

We’re quick to declare things as broken and ready to discard. The intensity of life’s stressors can diminish our capacity to see God’s unfolding grace within us and around us.


Rising in the Darkness

You don’t have to be a literal morning person to rise in the darkness and cast some light of faith and warmth for the rest of us.


Trial and Error

What has God’s faithfulness done to us, that we reject humility? How has God’s love wearied us, that we neglect mercy? How do we answer for our persistent injustice?


Inoculate Me

Parents sometimes sacrifice children on the altars of our careers. Government sacrifices children on the altar of defense spending. God rejects child sacrifice—Abraham’s and ours.


Needy Jesus

Nobody preaches about Jesus belching. Which is a shame, and maybe a heresy in this world where getting your bodily needs fully met is a privilege reserved for the few.


Love’s Emancipation

Change that is deep and abiding requires a change of heart, and a change of heart is precisely what the love of God is all about.


Unmoved

There are no perfect people, only people who pretend they are. Perfection as a requirement for access to God leads to pinched lips, ruler smacks, and bonfires.


God’s Gentle Partners

Viewing the planet as personal property to be divvied up among the worthy runs counter to the ‘earth-honoring faith’ that we need in our environmentally perilous time.


God-Watching

Just for today, become a God-watcher. Stop frequently in your travels from here to there. Lift up your heart, put your senses on alert, filter through the ordinary for the extraordinary.


Good Meetings

What might make us not give up meeting together? If we don’t learn how to self-govern ourselves in meetings, what will happen to self-governance and democracy?


What Kind of World Did You Wake Up In?

More than fear, more than anger, more than hope, more than anything, what I feel is an eerie sense of coming doom. Yet I remain confident that the promises of God are true.


Can’t Say Nothin’?

The police found a way to make my daughter pay for attempting to have agency and use her voice. But God does not require us to remain silent in the face of injustice.


God’s Preferred Material

Remember choosing teams for this or that, and dreading being chosen last? Last is God’s preferred candidate. The unlikely is God’s idea of a good time.


Can You Keep a Secret?

Secrets are destructive. To families. To congregations. To bodies. They divide us. They drive us to avoid each other. They make understanding impossible.


Organists and Sinners

Jesus caught a lot of criticism from the religious leaders about the company he kept. Those leaders ended up sounding pretty unkind, and a little too sure they were in the right.


A House, A Temple, A Tent, A Shelter

It’s a temptation to believe we will find God only if we build the perfect structure and light the candles lit correctly. But God is ready to live with you wherever you are.


Turn, Turn, Turn

The ancestors are whispering, and just like the breeze they’re about to shout. Turn. Chant a different tune, set a new pace, call forth a shifted order that says: you matter.


Listen Up

What did Isaiah say in troubled times? In a word: reconnect with the One who was both the first and the last, who had laid the foundation of the earth and heavens.


The Finger and The Moon

The Bible that points to God is not God. The theology that points to God is not God. The church that points to God is not God. The pastor who points to God is not God.


On Not Knowing

To be faced with something we don’t know can feel quite shameful. For a lot of us, especially in some circles, not knowing can feel like a crime. Rather than risk it, we nod knowingly.


A Better Me

I get defensive more than I’d like to admit. I look at my flaws and can’t imagine someone would love me. But people who love me don’t shield me from the ways I need to evolve.


Good Morning

Joy comes when we understand that desperate times cannot prevent the fulfillment of God’s promise in our lives. Even in the night, God is moving us toward better days.


Hand and Foot

Be grateful if you’ve been on the receiving end of selflessness, but don’t regard the service of others as their duty and your right.


Welcoming Questions

Things seem so hard right now. Disturbance drives us deep, below the rocks, into our cores. We can welcome disturbance as something pregnant with good.


Bruised, Broken, Smoldering, Snuffed Out

Headlines full of over-the-top violent imagery agitate our inflamed emotions and rub the raw places in our spirits. Be mindful of where they lead, and remember Who you follow.


Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

We sometimes live in a full-sun spirituality that can make our eyes ache. We need the respite of night, the salvific hibernation of a rainy winter day, the relief of tears.


Password Power

Blessed, indeed, are the people who’ve wised up to only having to know one password. That one password relieves the pressure of thinking they can do it on their own.


Watch Your Mouth

I’m not too worried about the kind of bad words my child knows. What I want her to learn is the power of words to build up a person—and the power of words to tear down.


Even Spots Can Be Changed

A leopard can’t change its spots, some say. But humans are not leopards, and hearts are not spots. We all lose when we refuse to acknowledge the holy transformation of others.


Apocalypse Not Now

There is a sense that time is winding up; it’s certain we can’t go on long this way. Paul’s words send me out to live in such a way that all creation will have a few more laps to run.


Skate Expectations

I love ice skating, by which I mean, I love watching other people ice skate on a screen from my couch. So much of what people do in life is much harder than it looks.


Gifts Given

That new, shiny thing? We can delight in it for a time, but it will lose its luster. And then we look for the next hit. God calls us to shape our lives around greater gifts.


Far More

Maybe you have a set of New Year’s resolutions that are beginning to seem more a burden than a blessing. Here’s good news. It’s not all on you, not all up to you. God is able.


Gifts Given

That new, shiny thing? We can delight in it for a time, but it will lose its luster. And then we look for the next hit. God calls us to shape our lives around greater gifts.


Epiphany

The answer is in the sky, not in more effort or more determination or more willpower. Look up, not around. Look deep, not shallow. Look long, not short. Signs are calling your name.


Worthy Is the Leader

The rule of law is not oppressive if that rule is grounded in God’s love for all: advocating for the poor, supporting the weak, taking a stand against destructive violence.


Merry Christmas!

I hope your eggnog hasn’t soured, that you haven’t recycled the tree and moved on to other things. I hope you’re still in Christmas. I hope Christmas is still in you.


From the Farthest Parts of the Earth

Our church is filled at this time of year with processionals of children as angels, shepherds, and magi. The world, too, is full of processions as refugees seek new life and hope.


Eight Days In

A little more than a week after Jesus’ birth, Mary is starting to realize how much work this is really going to take. Are you?


In the Beginning

Our big days and calendars are really of little importance to the God who created us. God existed before time itself, and God is consistently present in every day.