Take it to God

guilt

When something goes wrong in our lives we often either feel guilty if we see ourselves as responsible or we blame someone else. Neither position helps us. The only things that helps is to take the problem to God. If we are truly responsible then God will forgive us. If we hold anger or resentment God will help us to see that love is more important. No matter what…take it to God

Look to yourself

Luke 6:42 

Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.
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Too often we are quick to find fault with others. It is so easy for us to see the sins of others and not look to our own first. Sometimes the thing we see in someone else is actually something we are guilty of ourselves. We are not called to judge others but to love them and share with them the message of Christ.

You don’t have to know the result

I think this is the perfect time to center on a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I am sure that Christ had no plan to be the most important person the world has ever known. His plan was to teach us about his father and how to live our lives. Each of us has a choice each day to live as Christ taught us. What is right is always the thing to do. We don’t know what the impact of that choice will be. It doesn’t matter.

Follow Jesus

Isaiah has a clear picture of what we wait for during Advent. We wait for Jesus who can show us how to live. His life is our path. Follow it.

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Isaiah 61: 1-3 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

1 The spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me;
he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to provide for those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a garland instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the mantle of praise instead of a faint spirit.

As the year grows older

This is an amazing Advent Hymn that many of us have never heard. There is a link to the singing of this hymn but be sure to read the words which are wonderful!

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Each Winter as the Year Grows Older

By William & Annabeth Gay

Each winter as the year grows older,
We each grow older too.
The chill sets in a little colder;
The verities we knew
Seem shaken and untrue.

When race and class cry out for treason,
When sirens call for war,
They overshout the voice of reason
And scream till we ignore
All we held dear before.

Yet I believe beyond believing,
That life can spring from death:
That growth can flower from our grieving;
That we can catch our breath
And turn transfixed by faith.

So even as the sun is turning
To journey to the north,
The living flame, in secret burning,
Can kindle on the earth
And bring God’s love to birth.

O Child of ecstasy and sorrows,
O Prince of peace and pain,
Brighten today’s world by tomorrow’s,
Renew our lives again;
Lord Jesus, come and reign!

A little bit more!

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Some people have never heard of Advent. They may not be Christian or espouse any God at all but in this season there is a difference in the air. In the time building up to Christmas there is more focus on the needy and homeless. Collections are made for children, food is collected, the Salvation Army and others receive more help. We are more generous and there is a spirit of compassion abounding. It seems that advent calls for generosity and kindness.Whether you celebrate Christmas or Hanakkuh or only the commercial aspects this season changes people The spirit of the holidays is around us and yes, it is something more.

Caring God, help us to carry this spirit into the new year. AMEN

Lies and more lies

Psalm 12: 1-2

Help, O Lord, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
    the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
They utter lies to each other;
    with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

Orwell-political-languageWith all the political agenda going on in the US this Psalm speaks the truth. Even those who claim to be godly are throwing mud at their opponents. It is not possible to believe everything they are saying. Instead of telling the good about themselves they concentrate on spouting evil about others. This is not the way of the godly. We truly need help to bring back civility and truth to our nation.

All knowing God, you see how far we can stray from your path.  Help us to change the climate of hate and abuse into that of love and kindness. AMEN

Only love will work

Psalm 4: 5-6 

There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
    Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”
You have put gladness in my heart
    more than when their grain and wine abound.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.

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The world is a scary place. There is so much hatred. It is hard not to be afraid. So many shootings….many so random. How can we manage? There is only one way and the Psalm answers it for us. “For you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety.”

Loving God, give us the wisdom, the courage and the ability to fight hatred with love. AMEN

The road less traveled

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The road that Christ followed is not an easy one. The disciples thought they could when asking him to sit at his right and left hand. They later found it was not easy. To choose this path is scary and difficult but it is the right one.

All knowing God, you sent your son to show us what to do. Help us to tread that difficult path. AMEN