Prayer for the New Year

God of new life,God of life made new, We begin this new year as we ended the last–embraced by your spirit of loveyour presence of peaceyour gentle power. We leave behind the old year in the knowledge thatWhatever we have done in the service of selfish desire;Whenever we have participated in injustice;However we have strayed…

Christmas Reflection: Life as Gift

(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11-14a) I’ll be honest with you–my life is not exactly the way I want it to be. Like everyone, I have rough spots; times of illness and stress and just plain grumpiness. Times it is difficult to accept life as the gift that it is. I imagine Mary had one of those times…

Christmas Reflection: Follow that Star

(Matthew 2:1-12) This “beautiful Star of Bethlehem” has captured the hearts and imaginations of people for hundreds and hundreds of years. Poets, artists, and musicians have explored the mystery of this object—the holy light guiding the enigmatic magi to the Christ child. Actual historians and astronomers—honest to goodness scientists–pour over data and debate what exactly…

Christmas Reflection: Holy Foreigners

It seems that people around the world are drawing harder lines, taking harsher measures to separate people into groups; to establish who is “us” and who is “them”–and to claim security and power for “us” by putting “them” in their place. So it seems a good time for Epiphany. A good time for this familiar…

Christmas Reflection: The Point of the Waiting

I forgot to post this yesterday, so you get Monday’s reflection this morning and today’s reflection this afternoon. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! (Luke 2:22-40) Simeon and Anna sit in the temple—looking to, longing for, waiting for the messiah. It is a long hard waiting, with no Advent calendar to mark the…

Christmas Day Worship!

Here is a simple worship service you can do at home on Christmas day. I pray you all know God’s hope, peace, joy, and love at this holy celebration. Scripture: from Isaiah 9 Lighting of Advent Candles–after lighting each candle, offer a brief prayer. (If you do not have Advent candles at home, you can…

Christmas Eve Blessing: Love

Hold this blessing in your heart, yes.And also in your bones.That the One who spoke into the formless void and created light,On this night was pushed from the dark of mother’s wombAs flesh and blood into this world.No blessing is as glorious,No blessing is as messy,No blessing is as close,No blessing is as powerfulAs this…

Advent Reflection: Carrying the Angel’s Words

(Luke 1:26-38) My oldest two children came into our family as a foster-to-adopt placement. We were told that their biological dad was not in the picture and mom would not be able to get custody. They were foster children that would be available for adoption soon. James was three and a half. Jasmine had just…