Advent Blessing: Peace

It seems that most blessings are for peace(if not love, or faith, or some other such vague ideal)–A few words to calm you down and get you out the door.But this is not that kind of a blessing.It will not make everything OKOr pretend you can escape trouble—for yourself or for this world. This blessing…

Advent Reflection: The Grace of Zechariah’s Silence

(Luke 1:5-25) After the Angel Gabriel’s lengthy proclamation to Zechariah, the father-to-be responds, “How will I know this is so?” Most people assume that Zechariah is questioning the fact that Elizabeth will become pregnant at such an advanced aged. But really, what kind of a stupid question would that be? “How will I know this…

Advent Reflection: Where is God?

I was working on our Christmas Eve program Friday when I heard the news about the shootings in Connecticut. Shootings at an elementary school. An elementary school. Dead bodies–little bodies–sprawled on the floor. Bloody children. Wailing parents. It was hard to get back into the Christmas spirit after hearing that news. Hard to write about the coming of…

Advent Reflections–How Shall This Be?

I don’t know about you, but I have been particularly eager for Advent this year. It feels good to have the tree up and the lights lit and the holiday music playing in the background. This year I put together an Advent devotional for my church and will post the pieces each day on the…

Some Timely Links

For this week: I love this week’s Lectionary readings from 1 Samuel and wanted to share links to a couple of things I’ve written about Hannah: Some thoughts on Hannah’s prayer: 1 Samuel 1:4-20 (with a link to a full sermon) Reflections on Hannah’s song: 1 Samuel 2:1-10 I’m less fond of  this week’s Gospel…

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…

Joyful is the Dark

Partners Jamie Haskins and Sarah Klaassen are Disciples of Christ pastors living in the lovely Columbia, Missouri. Sarah pastors Rock Bridge Christian Church, and Jamie serves as chaplain, instructor, and director of the Center for Faith and Service at Westminster College. This piece was originally published on December 20, 2014. – – – – – – –…

Carrying the Angel’s Words

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 turned two.…