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ULC - Universal Life Church - Daily Thought and Prayer For 8.15.14

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Daily Thought & Daily Bible Readings Courtesy
of the Universal Life Church World Headquarters

Roots nourish, give us life and bind us safely to earth. Plant them well.
—Anonymous

All trees have different root systems. The pine grows quickly, with shallow roots that spread in every direction. A maple is a slow-growing tree, whose roots run deeper, seeking out moisture far into the earth. Both root systems give life, but when the weather turns stormy and the wind howls through the branches, the maple, with its deeper roots, will hold fast. Though the pine grows faster and needs only surface moisture, it cannot withstand the storm as well.

We often want things immediately. We want to play the piano, but only if we can learn it fast. We want others to love us right away, or we'll give up on them. If something we're doing doesn't go just so right from the start, we give up.

But the permanent things in life take time to develop. If we want our relationships, our skills, our accomplishments, to resist the storms we all encounter, we must allow time for them to grow and deepen within us, and marvel, in the meantime, at how much we can learn from the world around us.

What deep roots am I setting down right now?

Daily Bible Readings From The Universal Life Church World Headquarters

Reading 1, Revelation 11:19; 12:1-6, 10

19 Then the sanctuary of God in heaven opened, and the ark of the covenant could be seen inside it. Then came flashes of lightning, peals of thunder and an earthquake and violent hail.

1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman, robed with the sun, standing on the moon, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

2 She was pregnant, and in labour, crying aloud in the pangs of childbirth.

3 Then a second sign appeared in the sky: there was a huge red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet.

4 Its tail swept a third of the stars from the sky and hurled them to the ground, and the dragon stopped in front of the woman as she was at the point of giving birth, so that it could eat the child as soon as it was born.

5 The woman was delivered of a boy, the son who was to rule all the nations with an iron sceptre, and the child was taken straight up to God and to his throne,

6 while the woman escaped into the desert, where God had prepared a place for her to be looked after for twelve hundred and sixty days.

10 Then I heard a voice shout from heaven, 'Salvation and power and empire for ever have been won by our God, and all authority for his Christ, now that the accuser, who accused our brothers day and night before our God, has been brought down.

Responsorial Psalm, Psalms 45:10, 11, 12, 16

10 Listen, my daughter, attend to my words and hear; forget your own nation and your ancestral home,

11 then the king will fall in love with your beauty; he is your lord, bow down before him.

12 The daughter of Tyre will court your favour with gifts, and the richest of peoples

16 Instead of your ancestors you will have sons; you will make them rulers over the whole world.

Gospel, Luke 1:39-56

39 Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could into the hill country to a town in Judah.

40 She went into Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth.

41 Now it happened that as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child leapt in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

42 She gave a loud cry and said, 'Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

43 Why should I be honoured with a visit from the mother of my Lord?

44 Look, the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leapt for joy.

45 Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.'

46 And Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord

47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour;

48 because he has looked upon the humiliation of his servant. Yes, from now onwards all generations will call me blessed,

49 for the Almighty has done great things for me. Holy is his name,

50 and his faithful love extends age after age to those who fear him.

51 He has used the power of his arm, he has routed the arrogant of heart.

52 He has pulled down princes from their thrones and raised high the lowly.

53 He has filled the starving with good things, sent the rich away empty.

54 He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his faithful love

55 -according to the promise he made to our ancestors -- of his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.

56 Mary stayed with her some three months and then went home.

Reading 2, First Corinthians 15:20-26

20 In fact, however, Christ has been raised from the dead, as the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep.

21 As it was by one man that death came, so through one man has come the resurrection of the dead.

22 Just as all die in Adam, so in Christ all will be brought to life;

23 but all of them in their proper order: Christ the first-fruits, and next, at his coming, those who belong to him.

24 After that will come the end, when he will hand over the kingdom to God the Father, having abolished every principality, every ruling force and power.

25 For he is to be king until he has made his enemies his footstool,

26 and the last of the enemies to be done away with is death, for he has put all things under his feet.
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