Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I is so easy to be overwhelmed by fear. So much is going on in the world. People are shot by people with emotional problems. Terrorists set off bombs. There is illness and problems with insurance to cover it. Children (and us also) are more stressed than ever. The news is depressing. What can we do?
There is only one thing. Turn to the Lord our God. He is our strength. He places us on a rock that is higher. We are safe from the raging floods. He is always with us.
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.
Comforting Lord, we turn to you in the midst of our fears. Hold us close and help us withstand the storm. AMEN
Prayer breathes hope, and a prayer without hope is a sinful prayer. John Sergleff of Cronstadt (1829-1908}, My Life in Christ.
This brings the question why pray if we don’t have hope? Advent is the season of hope. A season of expectation. We are waiting….waiting for everything to change forever. Cling on to hope, pray with hope, wait with hope.
Gracious God, you have promised us the one to come. We will bear the waiting and continue to hope. AMEN
One of the greatest of human needs is having someone wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night. Margaret Mead
We do need each other. Many of us live alone. Many of us are alone though we live with others. Society has evolved technically but has it made our loves any better? We are more stressed, more distant within our own walls. We have less real contact with others. Many of our relationships are superficial when we long for someone to touch our soul.
We are so alone! And yet…God is with us. God can reach that place that so craves communion. Turn to God.
“For I will be with you always, even to the ends of the earth.”
God, filler of our emptiness, come to us now and touch our souls. Thank you for being with us in our loneliness. Help us to find our true companionship in our Christian Community with you. AMEN
It is so easy to be caught in the depths of despair. It may be that we have lost someone we love, been fired from a job, gotten a terrible diagnosis or many other things. When we are down in the “valley of the shadow of death” it is easy to lose our way. We can’t see any light at all. However, there is always light. God is with us even when we can’t see it. We can hold on and know that his love is conquering the darkness and there will be light we can see.
Loving God, you have promised to be with us no matter what. Help us to trust that you are holding the light for us and we will see. AMEN
There is so much judgment going on today. People are judged for their skin color, their religion, their money or lack thereof. That is only the beginning of the list. We could go on with transgender, homosexual, adulterer and on and on.
The problem is we are not called to judge. It is not our job. Our job is to love without judging. Admittedly a difficult job. When someone is everything you despise it is hard to think about accepting and loving but that is what God expects. In spite of what we see in front of us we have to see the human being that God made.
Forgiving God, help us to understand that we are not called to judge. Teach us to see you in everyone we meet. AMEN
There was never a night or a problem that could defeat sunrise or hope.
God made a covenant with the people of Israel. He promised them a future with descendants. He promised that he would never leave them. He sent his son to take on our sins. He did everything he could to let us know his love for us. Remember those promises. The sun will rise tomorrow and there is always hope. Hope can support us when things look bleak. God give us hope.
Gracious Lord, you did everything to show us your love. Remind us that you are with us always and in your presence is hope. AMEN