Sunday Update 01/03/2016 >> PDF Version
Archives for December 2015
Text: Luke 2:41-52
Even for readers who have an inside scoop, the building sense of desperation is palpable. Mary and Joseph, searching frantically for at least three days to find their adolescent son. It’s every parent’s nightmare.
Last year for Christmas, trying to be a wise parent myself, I gifted my then 4-year-old son with a “Good Job Jar,” a homemade present to encourage positive behavior and introduce the idea of long-term goals. The concept is [Read more…]
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.
Dear God who loves all people,
we are grateful for eyes that see
and ears that hear the needs and cries of humanity –
of fellow Americans and of people in distant lands
who live in terror of violence, war and natural disaster.
Let us not be discouraged by doomsayers,
nor be frustrated by seeming futility,
or put down by powers and policies,
or overcome by weariness and waywardness.
Give us wisdom and compassion in our work,
until faith and hope and love prevail
in our land and throughout the world.
-Mary Ruth Crook (offered by Larry Highfill at a Wisdom Circle)
“For unto us a Child is born.”
God of our Christmas hope, we are reminded
on this day of all the great things you have done for us.
For offering us living waters to quench our daily thirst…
for offering us shelter and warmth when our souls are lonely…
for guiding us to a safe place of joy even in our darkest hours.
With the guidance of Your spirit, O God,
help us in these days to be mindful that within each of us there is a Mary who can say YES, a womb in which the new might be conceived.
Grant us the wisdom to live each day with Mary’s willingness to give birth to Your presence within and between us.
Make us mindful, O God,
that also within each of us there is a Herod who reminds us of our insatiable desire to control and our need to preserve what has always been.
With the help of Your spirit, may the Herod within us find your forgiveness and healing.
May our souls also find within the Joseph who listens to dreams,
who is neither too proud to be careful nor too brave to run away,
who shields the joy and guards the frail.
With the help of Your spirit, O God, give us the strength we need to listen to our dreams, to be brave enough to sit with the brokenhearted, to work to free those enslaved by poverty and oppression, to open our blind eyes to all that keeps your children from being born into a world of hope, peace, joy and love.
God of our Christmas hope,
teach us to live graciously and courageously into the joy that comes,
in both our darkness and wholeness,
when we give ourselves to You.
It is in the name of the Christ-Child
who is still being born in our world
that we pray this prayer. Amen.
It truly is my hope that on this Christmas day you will discover the hope, peace, joy and love that God is still birthing in our lives and in this world.
For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His authority shall grow continually, and there shall be endless peace for the throne of David and his kingdom. He will establish and uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time onward and forevermore.
I think the Pullen motto is a good springboard for lots of things I value. Do justice –that’s a big order. Love kindness and walk humbly with God, those are values I continue to hold onto. I despair about the injustice…An important part is connection to God through prayer and meditation. It’s a steadying enrichment experience that leads to lots of things, like caring for others, like being stronger in spirit, the whole Christian life.
Sunday Update 12/27/2015 >> PDF Version