Get ready

What are you doing to prepare for the Christ child? There are so many ways that we can focus on the meaning of Christmas. Take advantage of at least one if not more.

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Put unused items in a box to be delivered to the needy

Read your Bible every day. A good place to start during Advent is with Isaiah or one of the Gospels about the birth of Christ. 

Take time to pray for your needs and the needs of others

Thank God each day for all that he has given you

Befriend someone who is alone

There are many more things to do…but focusing in these last weeks will make Christmas more special

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

A Psalm for living

Psalm 15

Lord, who may abide in your tent?
    Who may dwell on your holy hill?

Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
    and speak the truth from their heart;
who do not slander with their tongue,
    and do no evil to their friends,
    nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
    but who honor those who fear the Lord;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
who do not lend money at interest,
    and do not take a bribe against the innocent.

Those who do these things shall never be moved.

saying

This is a Psalm to live by. It we follow this path we will not only show others how to live we will be fulfilled ourselves.We need little explanation to understand that this is the way Jesus calls us to live. A Psalm for living.

Loving God, help us to follow you path and live in your ways. 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

Brighten the day

To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts..……Henry David Thoreau

We may be the person who makes or breaks someone’s day. Just a little kindness spread around can make a world of difference. A kind word, a smile, a hello may boost someone out of a bad day. We can make other’s days brighter. Try it!

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Loving God, help us to see those around us and to reach out in kindness. It may be the only bright thing in their day.

Who are you following?

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It is so easy to follow the crowd. Our society encourages us to conform. People who don’t follow the group are considered odd. Certainly if we follow Jesus and the things that he did we will be considered odd. After all helping the poor, feeding the hungry, housing the homeless are not high priorities for society as a whole. Yet we are called to do as Jesus did.

God, you want us to follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Help us to follow his path in spite of societies ideas. AMEN

Turn the other cheek

“An eye for an eye will only make the world blind” ~Mahatma Gandhi

This is an oft quoted piece from the Bible found in Exodus and in Matthew 5 after the beatitudes. The meaning is different that what we usually think. It is about retaliation but calls for only an eye to be taken for an eye. No more. In Matthew Jesus tells us what we really need to do.

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Matthew 5: 38-42

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; 40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; 41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. 42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

Loving Lord, you call us to let go of our anger and put revenge aside. Help us to do so. AMEN

God’s power

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This has been a difficult time for me but God’s grace is always with us. What a wonderful verse to understand that God understands our weaknesses and continues to hold us with his love.

Loving God, we are so blessed that you are always with us. We can feel your grace and love in the most difficult times. AMEN