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…

Blessing: Joy

This blessing may come as a song or a silence;As hearty bread or exquisite sorbet;As belly laughter or gentle hug,As enlivening idea or painstaking process. This blessing might rest on you, gently, in the deep, star-filled night,Or push, pull, and play among sunbeams and cold breezes.This blessing might hide, especially when you are most desperate…

The Joy of Christmas

Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; O LORD, heal me, for my bones are shaking with terror.I am weary with my moaning; / every night I flood my bed with tears;I drench my couch with my weeping. / My eyes waste away because of grief.~from Psalm 6 We are now in…

We Need a Little Advent

I’ve been tempted to cancel Lent before, but never Advent. I’m a true Advent-lover. At church we sing Advent hymns—no Christmas carols until Christmas Eve. At home we do Advent candles and a calendar. My children have been known to put away the baby Jesuses from our nativity sets until Christmas Eve. This year, though, there’s a…