Category Archives: Thoughts for Today

Daily Devotions

Water flowing down from mountains in stained glass

Day 23 with the Belhar

We believe … that God supports the downtrodden, protects the stranger, helps orphans
and widows and blocks the path of the ungodly;
— from the Belhar Confession

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.
The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;
the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the strangers;
he upholds the orphan and the widow,
but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
— Psalm 146:5-10 (NRSV)

Water flowing down from mountains in stained glass

Day 22 with the Belhar

We believe … that God frees the prisoner and restores sight to the blind;
— from the Belhar Confession

And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them.
— Luke 7:22

Water flowing down from mountains in stained glass

Day 21 with the Belhar

We believe … that God calls the church to follow him in this; for God brings justice to the oppressed and gives bread to the hungry;
— from the Belhar Confession

When [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
— Luke 4:16-19

Water flowing down from mountains in stained glass

Day 20 with the Belhar

We believe … that God, in a world full of injustice and enmity, is in a special way the God of the destitute, the poor and the wronged.
— from the Belhar Confession

Then [Jesus] looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,  for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
“But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep.
“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
— Luke 6:20-26

two people reconciling

Day 18 with the Belhar

We believe … that any teaching which attempts to legitimate such forced separation by appeal to the gospel, and is not prepared to venture on the road of obedience and reconciliation, but rather, out of prejudice, fear, selfishness and unbelief, denies in advance the reconciling power of the gospel, must be considered ideology and false doctrine.
— from the Confession of Belhar

The rich and the poor have this in common:
the Lord is the maker of them all.
— Proverbs 22:2 (NRSV)

two people reconciling

Day 17 with the Belhar

We believe … that the credibility of this message is seriously affected and its beneficial work obstructed when it is proclaimed in a land which professes to be Christian, but in which the enforced separation of people on a racial basis promotes and perpetuates alienation, hatred, and enmity;
— from the Confession of Belhar

You do well if you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you show partiality, you commit sin and are convicted by the law as transgressors.
— James 2:8-9 (NRSV)

two people reconciling

Day 16 with the Belhar

We believe … that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit will enable the church to live in a new obedience which can open new possibilities of life for society and the world;
— from the Confession of Belhar

May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.
— Colossians 1:11-12 (NRSV)

two people reconciling

Day 15 with the Belhar

We believe … that God’s lifegiving Word and Spirit has conquered the powers of sin and death, and therefore also of irreconciliation and hatred, bitterness and enmity.
— from the Confession of Belhar

No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
— Romans 6:13-14 (NRSV)

two people reconciling

Day 14 with the Belhar

The church is witness both by word and by deed to the new heaven and the new earth in which righteousness dwells.
— from the Confession of Belhar

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them;
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.”
— Revelation 21:3-4 (NRSV)