Love is patient; love is kind; love is not boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things
I Corinthians 13: 4-7
We hear this so often at weddings that I don’t think we really pay attention to it any more. But these are words to live by. How many times am I arrogant or rude or boastful? How many times do I insist on my own way? I need to wake up and smell the coffee. These words apply directly to me!
Prayer: Forgiving God, I am guilty of letting these words slide right by me. Help me to take them to heart and live by them. Amen
It is in the ordinary duties and labors of life that the Christian can and should develop his spiritual union with God.”
There is a wonderful little book called Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence did ordinary, everyday tasks such as washing dishes and planting vegetables. Yet everything he did was dedicated to God. Each task was done for the glory of God. He made each task holy. How different life would be if we could all do this.
Prayer: Glorious God, help us to understand that the simplest task is done for you. Remind us that everything we do each day is holy. Amen
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
We have all heard this verse many times especially during stewardship campaigns. I suspect that few of us are really cheerful givers. Getting us to pledge to the church is like pulling teeth. I don’t know what is wrong. Are we worried about having enough for ourselves? Are we afraid to commit to something? Is the church not important enough to us? I don’t know the answer. Do you?
Prayer: Giving God, you give us so much and I’m not sure that we see it or appreciate it. Help us to focus on what we have and need and not on what we want or desire. Remind us to support your kingdom with our money and our time. Amen
I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs. Frederick Douglass
It is so easy to fall into the trap of talking a good game but not being involved. It is so much easier and less disturbing to give money and think we have done enough. And yet, we are God’s hands and feet. We need to get going.
Prayer: Lord, we know that we are supposed to be doing your work. Help us to see the needs right in front of us. Amen
Ash Wednesday is tomorrow and Lent is here. We have always heard about giving up things for lent but it is also time to take something on. Make a decision to add something that helps others. Each day I like to choose something in my home that can help someone else…… things that can be given away to charity. I put them aside to be donated at the end of Lent.
We are called to love one another. What exactly does this mean? It means to follow the example of Christ. The following quote sums it up.
Too often we think about love as an emotion. When we love there are times when we do feel an emotion surrounding it but that is not all there is. Love is what we choose. Love is what we do. The emotion may not be forefront but the choice and the doing always are.
Chronic illness, whether mental or physical, is so draining. It can be a struggle to get through each day. It takes the knowledge that God’s love is with us no matter what. Even if life is difficult it is still important and you have something to share with the world. When I visited sick and shut-ins as a parish nurse they always felt they could do nothing to help anyone. I reminded them that prayers are needed and possible even though ill. There is always something we can do to help heal the world.
As we move into the New Year keep in mind that spirit of Christmas and spread joy, peace, kindness, love and hope.
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.
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