Here, in the middle of Advent, I had the most moving experience. Today in church we went forward to take communion. there was a tiny little girl next to me (about two). She saw everyone near her holding out their hands to receive the bread and held out hers too. It was so touching to look down next to me and see those small hands held out for the bread of communion. The Priest came by and put bread in her hands. She smiled but was very serious about what she was doing. She waited with us and watched her mother dip her bread into the wine and then did the same.
I wish I could have taken a picture but I have that image in my mind and in my heart. And a little child shall lead us. Today I felt the power of that child’s actions and we have another child on the way…The Christ child.
When I was a choir director I was lucky to have a choir who could do this version of Psalm 46. I love the psalm and this version just lifts me up. I hope you can take the words to heart.
All cruelty springs from weakness. Seneca
This quote really make me think. Are those who are cruel using their dominance to assure themselves of their strength? They are looking for strength in themselves. The place we need to look for strength is our God. God is always there ready to hold us up. We are not weak when God is with us. My aunt always said “God hates ugly.” By that she meant those who are unkind or cruel. We don’t need to be cruel to find strength.
There are so many who seek power. We see it in politics, religion, business, everywhere. Seeking power through religion has led us down some dark paths. Until we can focus on Christ’s message there will still be those who use religion for their own reasons. Only by following the walk of Christ…act like Christ, nothing will ever change.
The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.” Georgia Harkness
It seems to me that more evil is done in the world in the name of religion than for any other reason. We automatically think of Islam and their fanatic suicide bombers. We tend to forget that Christianity has had its share of purges and killings. Too soon have we let the Inquisition fall from our memory. We become sure that we know what God wants and push our beliefs on everyone. Anyone who doesn’t agree is evil. This is not what Jesus taught.
Prayer: Lord God, there is so much hatred in the world. Help us to turn the face of love toward those who hate and teach them about your love. Amen
My husband, he refuses to worry or pray. He believes if you don’t have one you don’t need the other.–——————House TV program.
I can understand the part about not worrying. Christ reminds us about the lilies of the field and how they are cared for by God. I don’t agree with the not praying part. If we have no worries we should be busy thanking God for that blessing. If, in spite of knowing that we are cared for, we do worry then we should certainly pray. Prayer is critical. It is a connection with our creator. Pray without ceasing no matter what.
Gracious God, prayer is our time with you. Help us to pray without ceasing. AMEN
...in taking up another’s cross, one must sometimes be crushed by the weight. —-Paul Kalanithi
When Jesus walked the way of the cross he was helped to carry the burden by someone in the crowd. As Christians we are also called to help carry someone else’s burdens. It is important that we do so but we do have to call on God to help or we will be crushed by the weight. We can also call on other Christians to help. Only with the help of God and others can we bear the burden.
Comforting God, remind us that we cannot carry burdens alone. We have to call on you and others. AMEN
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8 So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
I have always loved the fact that Jesus first appeared to the women. I think that he knew that they would believe what they saw before them.
Lord bless those of us who believe without seeing. AMEN
Faith is not a noun. Suzanne Boyd
Too often we put ourselves down for not having enough faith. We think it is something that we “have.” Faith is reaching out each moment no matter how we feel. It is a word that calls us to action. Faith is a verb. We have to use it. We have to step out in faith no matter how we feel. Feelings get in the way. Choose to ACT in faith.
Gracious Lord, help us to take action for you each and every day. AMEN
Infinite, intimate God; this night you kneel before your friends and wash our feet. Bound together in your love, trembling, we drink your cup and watch. From the New Zealand Prayer Book: Maundy Thursday prayer.
This is one of my favorite prayers for several reasons. I want to talk about one. I don’t think before this I ever heard God called infinite and intimate. What a wonderful image. This is what many people would call an oxymoron (two things that don’t fit together). God is both with us in every moment and so infinite we cannot grasp it. How can this be? Yet He is God!
Infinite, intimate God, help us to see that you are all things and with you anything is possible. AMEN