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Advent day 23/Christmas Eve

I’m polishing off my notes for my Christmas Eve message. Besides the customary Isaiah and Luke passages, I am using this text from Colossians: Colossians 1:11-20 1May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12giving thanks … Continue reading

Advent day 22: the only answer I have

Sometimes I feel like I am cheating people. Sometimes I feel like I am copping out. Sometimes it feels like I am a charlatan, a snake oil salesmen. Maybe it’s cliched, maybe you’re tired of hearing it. Maybe you never believed it in the first place, Maybe you’re incapable of hearing it any more. And … Continue reading

Advent Day 21: Blue Christmas

I feel like I have more people in my life who are waiting for Christmas to be over than who are actually waiting for Christmas. I must admit that I number among them, but I am feeling that way mostly because the season has been exhasuting and I need a break. For others, the sadness … Continue reading

Advent Day 20: love in a ditch

Jesus was asked at one point what the greatest commandment was. He responded simply with love God and love your neighbor. Simple enough. Then when asked what that love might look like, he told a story of a man who got beaten and thrown in a ditch. Or at least that’s my interpretation of the … Continue reading

Advent Day 19: … are we there yet?

Advent has been exhausting for me. I expected all of the additional church activity. I didn’t expect all of the additional crises, both in my world and in the world around me. It’s funny how the pain in the world feels amplified this time of year. This has been an unusually sad feeling season this … Continue reading

Advent Day 18: the joy of the “not-yet”

Can you receive joy from something that has yet to happen? Can anticipation fill us with joy?  Obviously, my mind immediately goes to those months of waiting for my children to be born. So much possibility mixed with so much reality. Obviously, my children were “real” to me in those months before they greeted the … Continue reading

Advent Day 17: joyless faith

Well, it only took a few days for the religious folk to come out and say that Friday’s mass shooting was because of gay marriage and abortion. And then there’s Westboro… always showing up at awful times to say awful things in awful places. It seems that some branches of Christianity exist only to make … Continue reading

Advent Day 16: joy comes with the mourning

Psalm 30:5b Weeping may linger for the night,   but joy comes with the morning. I still find myself being weepy periodically as I think about the events of Friday. I imagine this will last for awhile. Someone suggested that we were becoming desensitized to these things as a nation. I’ll speak for myself, but I feel … Continue reading

Advent Day 15: Defiantly Joyful

This morning in worship, we cried. The tears were real. They were heartfelt. I read the names of those lost in Connecticut as well as their ages. The number “6” has never had so much power for me. We wept. We wept together. We wept for the tragedy. We wept for the individuals and families. … Continue reading

Advent Day 14: prayer for peace

Loving God, I pray for peace.  I confess that I, myself, am often responsible for the lack of peace in the world.  Forgive me.  When I would rather weapons be used instead of words, forgive me.  When I would rather my words function as weapons, forgive me.  When I would rather point out differences and … Continue reading