Power Belongs to God

On Saturday, January 13, at 8:07 a.m., residents and tourists in Hawaii got text messages on their phones and alerts interrupting their television programs telling them there was a “ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii.” “This is not a drill” the messages warned. Alerts like this would be frightening at any time, but considering the…

Call to Worship for Epiphany

Arise, shine; for your light has come! God’s glory has risen upon us. Despite the state of this world: Despite illness, despite fear; Despite disappointment, despite injustice; Despite sadness, despite violence; Despite grief, and despite despair– God’s glory will appear over us. Lift up your eyes and look around: See the light of God’s hope,…

A Pastor’s 12 Days of Christmas

We are in the midst of the 12 days of Christmas, which begin on Christmas day and end with Epiphany (January 6). Here is a new version of the famous song for all of my clergy colleagues trying to get a little rest and then lead God’s people into a new year. (Fortunately, this is…

New Year’s Prayer

God of new life, God of life made new, I begin this new year as I ended the last– embraced by your spirit of love your presence of peace your gentle power. I leave behind the old year in the knowledge that Whatever I have done in the service of selfish desire; Whenever I have…

Mary’s Birth Plan

This post by Caitlin Desjardins was originally published on December 24, 2014. “She gave birth to her firstborn, a son; she put him in a simple cloth wrapped like a receiving blanket, and laid him in a feeding trough for cattle, because there was no room for them at the inn.”  Luke 2:7, The Inclusive…

Snow Falling Down on Bethlehem

The song below was written by Susan Gascho-Cooke, who serves as pastor at Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster. You can hear an audio version here.  Snow Falling Down on Bethlehem written in December, 2013 chorus: snow falling down on brown skin snow falling down on Bethlehem snow falling down on a traveling family snow falling…

Psalm 89: God’s Fidelity

This post by June Mears Driedger was originally published on December 23, 2014. June is a writer and spiritual director. She lives in Lansing, Michigan with her partner, Kevin. They attend Lansing Church of the Brethren. When we look at the lectionary texts for the fourth Sunday of Advent we often focus on Mary’s wondrous prayer…