Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day: Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted.
During this advent season we have to keep the message out there. This season is about the birth of Christ. It is a time of preparation. Not just buying gifts, decorating, and cooking. It is about preparing ourselves. Take time to experience the aticipation, the expectation. Christ is coming!
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
No matter what harm befalls us our God is always near. Picture arms wrapped around you and tears being wiped from your face. Know that you are loved. Feel the presence of the Lord. In his arms there is peace and comfort.
Psalm 42: 1-2
1 As a deer longs for flowing streams,..
so my soul longs for you, O God.
2 My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.
When shall I come and behold
the face of God?
Someone has said that we have a God-sized hole in us…that we cannot rest until it is filled. It’s as if, at some time, God was part of us and now is not. We are always searching for something. ….longing for something that we can’t quite grasp. I think it’s what makes us so restless and unsettled. We always seem to want more….more stuff, more money, more peace. We are never satisfied.
It’s because we are looking for the wrong thing. No other piece can fit the hole where God belongs. As long as the hole is empty we are unsatisfied.
Seek God. Look where god can be found….in the Bible, in the stories of Christ, in prayer, in church, in other people.
Prayer: O God, the blank spot within me can only be filled with you. I have a longing that nothing else can assuage. Come Holy Spirit and fill my soul with the living God. AMEN
When visitors come to a worship service in my own religious tradition, a great deal depends on how warmly they are welcomed and whether they feel included or excluded by what they hear during the whole time they are with us. We may have exactly one shot at communicating who we are to people who know nothing about us–or who think they already know a lot about us–but who, in either case, will remember us as the embodiment of out entire tradition, the prime exemplars of our faith.
Barbara Brown Taylor in “Holy Envy”
I had a friend who said “you may be the best Christian someone knows.” That is a scary thought. What do the people around us learn about Christianity from how we behave. Do we live up to what we say?
Today it is fashionable to talk about the poor. Unfortunately, it is not fashionable to talk with them. –Mother Teresa
This is so true! Most of us would prefer to avoid the homeless or those begging on our streets. We see them as “less than” us. It’s as if we are concerned about becoming contaminated by them. We have to begin to look through Jesus’ eyes and see them as children of God just like us. Then we will be willing to talk with them.
The table is a meeting place, a gathering ground, the source of sustenance and nourishment, festivity, safety, and satisfaction. ————-Laurie Colwin
We gather around our tables with our friends and families. This is the place we feel at home. It is a place of comfort.
As Christians our table, our place of comfort is at the communion table. It is where our Christian family meets and feeds on the word of God and the wine and bread. It is our home.
Loving God, you provide our spiritual home among other Christians. Remind us to meet at the table and feast. AMEN
Hospitality is a form of worship —————————The Talmud
Welcoming people is so important. I have been to churches where no one spoke to me. Obviously I was in no hurry to go back.
Being together over a dinner table is so important. Meals bring us closer together. Jesus left us with a meal for us to share. It is the ultimate hospitality.
Greet people in love and share meals of food and meals from the altar.
Generous God, help us to be as generous to others as you have been to us. AMEN