Scripture reading for Good Friday, April 10, 2020

Isaiah 52:13-53:12

See, my servant shall prosper;
he shall be exalted and lifted up,
and shall be very high.

Just as there were many who were astonished at him
--so marred was his appearance, beyond human semblance,
and his form beyond that of mortals--

so he shall startle many nations;
  kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
for that which had not been told them they shall see,
  and that which they had not heard they shall contemplate.

Who has believed what we have heard?
And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
  and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
  nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.

He was despised and rejected by others;
  a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one from whom others hide their faces
  he was despised, and we held him of no account.

Surely he has borne our infirmities
  and carried our diseases;
yet we accounted him stricken,
  struck down by God, and afflicted.

But he was wounded for our transgressions,
  crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
  and by his bruises we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray;
  we have all turned to our own way,
and the LORD has laid on him
  the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
  yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
  and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
  so he did not open his mouth.

By a perversion of justice he was taken away.
  Who could have imagined his future?
For he was cut off from the land of the living,
  stricken for the transgression of my people.

They made his grave with the wicked
  and his tomb with the rich,
although he had done no violence,
  and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him with pain.
When you make his life an offering for sin,
he shall see his offspring, and shall prolong his days;
through him the will of the LORD shall prosper.

Out of his anguish he shall see light;
he shall find satisfaction through his knowledge.
The righteous one, my servant, shall make many righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.

Therefore I will allot him a portion with the great,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;
because he poured out himself to death,
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Christians have long seen in this ancient prophecy of Isaiah a description of Jesus in His passion for us on the cross.
It is worthy of our meditation today.

Please be safe and be well.
God bless you today.
Pastor Lee


Scripture for Holy Thursday, April 9, 2020:

Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19

I love the LORD, because he has heard
my voice and my supplications.
Because he inclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.

. . . 

What shall I return to the LORD
for all his bounty to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of the people.

Precious in the sight of the LORD
is the death of his faithful ones.
O LORD, I am your servant;
I am your servant, the child of your maidservant.
You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to you a thanksgiving sacrifice
and call on the name of the LORD.
I will pay my vows to the LORD
in the presence of all his people,
In the courts of the house of the LORD,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
Praise the LORD!

God bless you this day.  Even now God is near to us.
Be well and be safe.
Pastor Lee


This is the lectionary gospel reading for this Tuesday of Holy Week:  John 12:20-30, 35-36

Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast [of Passover].  They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request.  "Sir," they said, "we would like to see Jesus."  Philip went to tell  Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.

Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed.  But if it dies, it produces many seeds.  The one who loves their life will lose it, while the one who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant will be also.  My Father will honor the one who serves me.

"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'?  No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.  Father, glorify your name!"

Then a voice came from heaven.  "I have glorified it, and will glorify it again."  The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; other said an angel had spoken to him.

Jesus said, "This voice was for your benefit, not mine."  . . . Then Jesus told them, "You are going to have the light just a little while longer.  Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you.  The one who walks in the dark does not know where they are going.  Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become children of light."  When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

God bless you on this special day.
Be safe and be well.
Pastor Lee


Devotional for the Monday of Holy Week: John 12:1-8

Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised dead.  Here a dinner was given in Jesus' honor.  Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.  Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, and expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus' feet and wiped his feet with her hair.  And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, "Why wasn't this perfume sold and the money given to the poor?  It was worth a year's wages."  He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

"Leave her alone," Jesus replied.  "It was meant that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me."

We are following some of the events of Holy Week as we make our way to Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday.

Be safe and well.
Pastor Lee


Devotional for Saturday, April 4, 2020

Here are the words of Henri J. M. Nouwen from his book Compassion, quoted on page 105 in the devotional volume entitled, You Are the Beloved (YATB)  It is entitled, "God Is a God of the Living" :

"The mystery of God's love is not that our pain is taken away, but that God first wants to share that pain with us.  Out of this divine solidarity comes new life.  Jesus' being moved in the center of his being by human pain is indeed a movement toward new life.  God is our God, the God of the living.  In the divine womb of God, life is always born again. . . .

"The truly good news is that God is not a distant God, a God to be feared and avoided, a God of revenge, but a God who is moved by our pains and participates in the fullness of the human struggle."

May your heart and mind be blessed with God's presence and peace today.
Be well and be safe.


Devotional for Friday, April 3, 2020

Psalm 33:12-22

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth--
he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.
No king is saved by the size of his army;
no warrior escapes by his great strength.
A horse is a vain hope for deliverance;
despite all its great strength it cannot save.
But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him,
on those whose hope is in his unfailing love,
to deliver them from death
and keep them alive in famine.

We wait in hope for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
In him our hearts rejoice,
for we trust in his holy name.
May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD,
even as we put our hope in you.

Be well today.  Be safe.  Be calm.
God is very near.


Devotional for Thursday, April 2, 2020

Psalm 130 (NIV)

(A song of ascents.)

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
O Lord, hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.

If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness;
therefore you are to be feared.

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than the watchmen wait for the morning,
more than the watchmen wait for the morning.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with him is full redemption.
He himself will redeem Israel
from all their sins.

Psalm 131 (NIV)

(A song of ascents.  Of David.)

My heart is not proud, O LORD,
my eyes are not haughty;
I do not concern myself with great matters
or things too wonderful for me.
But I have stilled and quieted my soul;
like a weaned child with its mother,
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, put your hope in the LORD
both now and forevermore.

Be calm and quiet in the Lord today.   Let some sunlight shine on your face.
God is good.
Pastor Lee


Devotional for Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the hills--
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip--
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you--
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm--
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

So good to remember God watches over our comings and our goings!
Be well and be safe!  Pick up the phone and call someone today whom you have not spoken to in a while; you will make their day--and maybe your own, too!!
Pastor Lee


Devotional for Tuesday, March 31, 2020

From Lincoln's Devotional, p. 51.:

Believer's Privileges:  Peace of Mind

Thou wilt keep him/her in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee:
because that one trusteth in thee.  Isaiah xxvi.3. (26:3)

Saviour, on earth I covet not
That every woe should cease;
Only, if trouble be my lot,
In thee let me have peace.

God is greater than our fears and troubles.
Be well and be safe!
Pastor Lee


Devotional for Monday, March 30, 2020

Psalm 46   (NIV)

God is our refuge and strength,
and ever present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The LORD Almighty is with us,
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he  breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields with fire.

"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.

May God fill you with peace and confidence in His lovingkindness.
Be well and safe,
Pastor Lee


Devotional for Saturday, March 28, 2020

In 1852 the Religious Tract Society of London, England, published a daily devotional entitled "The Believer's Daily Treasure."  Abraham Lincoln somehow secured a copy of this tiny book which he signed on the inside cover.   It was reprinted in 1957 by Channel Press, Inc. as Lincoln's Devotional.  I wish to share with you the Scripture and reflection in it for this day, March 28:

Believer's Privileges: Preservation in Trouble

"In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion;
in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me;
he shall set me upon a rock."  Psalm xxvii.5. (27:5)

When I can trust my all with God
In trial's fearful hour--
Bow, all resign'd, beneath his rod,
And bless his sparing power;
A joy springs up amid distress,
A fountain in the wilderness.

God bless you all today with health, calm, and safety.
God is our refuge and strength . . . .

Pastor Lee


Devotional for Friday, March 27, 2020

Some words to encourage us today:  Psalm 8

O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
above the heavens.
From the lips of children and infants
you have ordained praise
because of your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is humanity that you are mindful of us?
the sons and daughters of humanity that you care for us?
You made humans a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crown us with glory and honor.

You made us ruler over the works of your hands;
you put all things under our feet:
all flocks and herds,
the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, 
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the sea.

O LORD, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Let yourself outside into the glorious sunshine today!
Breath the air deeply.  Listen to the birds sing.
Let God speak to you through His glorious creation!
Be safe, and be well.


Devotional for Tuesday, March 24, 2020

God's word for inspiration and hope:  Selections from Psalm 62 (NIV)

My soul finds rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken....

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

The lowborn are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie;
if weighed in the balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath...

One thing God has spoken,
two things have I heard:
that you, O God, are strong,
and that you, O Lord, are loving.
Surely you will reward each person
according to what they have done.

Be well.  Be safe.  God bless you today!


Devotion for Sunday, March 22, 2020


Psalm 91 (TNIV)


Whoever who dwells in the shelter of the Most High,

will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

They say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress,

my God, in whom I trust.”


Surely he will save you

from the fowler's snare

and from the deadly pestilence.

He will cover you with his feathers,

and under his wings you will find refuge;

his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of the night,

nor the arrow that flies by day,

nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,

nor the plague that destroys at midday.

A thousand may fall at your side,

ten thousand at your right hand,

but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes

and see the punishment of the wicked.


If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,”

and you make the Most High your dwelling,

no harm will overtake you,

no disaster will come near your tent.

For he will command his angels concerning you

to guard you in all your ways;

they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

You will tread on the lion and the cobra;

you will trample the great lion and the serpent.


“Because they love me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue them;

I will protect them, for they acknowledge my name.

They will call on me, and I will answer them;

I will be with them in trouble,

I will deliver them and honor them.

With long life I will satisfy them

and show them my salvation.”