Third Sunday of Advent 2016 – Luke 1:47-49

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Luke 1:47-49My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.  Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

This is the beginning of Mary’s song of joy (the Magnificat) when she learns she is pregnant with the Messiah.  Mary was an ordinary woman who was given an extraordinary responsibility by God.  As improbable as we may seem, God can and will work through each of us.

Gracious God, you call us to help one another.  Grant us wisdom and courage to fulfill this awesome responsibility.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Advent 2016 – James 5:7-8

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

James 5:7-8Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord.  The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and late rains.  You must also be patient.  Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

As children of God, we have an obligation to care for one another.  This requires us to be nurturing presences to those around us even if our efforts aren’t met with smiling, happy faces.

Gentle God, thank you for all the people who surround us.  Give us the strength to treat our neighbors as though we have already walked a mile in their shoes.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Advent 2016 – James 5

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

James 5:7-8Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord.  The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and late rains.  You must also be patient.  Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

As children of God, we have an obligation to care for one another.  This requires us to be nurturing presences to those around us even if our efforts aren’t met with smiling, happy faces.

Gentle God, thank you for all the people who surround us.  Give us the strength to treat our neighbors as though we have already walked a mile in their shoes.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Advent 2016 – James 5:7-8

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

James 5:7-8Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord.  The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and late rains.  You must also be patient.  Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near.

As children of God, we have an obligation to care for one another.  This requires us to be nurturing presences to those around us even if our efforts aren’t met with smiling, happy faces.

Gentle God, thank you for all the people who surround us.  Give us the strength to treat our neighbors as though we have already walked a mile in their shoes.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Advent 2016 – Psalm 146:8-9a

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Psalm 146:8-9a… the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.  The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous.  The Lord watches over strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow…

Not all of us are eye care professionals, but all of us are asked to help people see their lives through new lenses.  Not all of us are physicians or physical therapists, but all of us are asked to help people walk with their heads held higher.  Being such presences in people’s lives is easier if we know them, but we are asked to do the same to the strangers we meet as well.

Healer God, help us bring sight to the blind and strength to the lame.  Help us be more welcoming to the strangers we meet.  Amen.

Third Sunday of Advent 2016 – Isaiah 35:1-2a, 3

Monday, December 5, 2016

For this third week of Advent, our images of peace are now punctuated by visions of healing.  The lectionary texts include: Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm 146:5-10; James 5:7-10 and Matthew 11:2-11.  An alternate passage Luke 1:46b-55.

Isaiah 35:1-2a, 3The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing…Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. 

Cold, wet weather has settled into Memphis this weekend, and I wished I had started raking leaves when it was a bit warmer outside.  With the joints in my hands and knees confirming that winter was finally here, I longed for that morning in spring when the first purple crocus pops its bloom out from under the leaf litter I fail to rake up.

Prayer: Creator God, you are our strength and our hope through all the seasons of our lives.  Amen.

Second Sunday of Advent 2016 – Matthew 3:4

Thursday, December 1, 2016 

Matthew 3:4Now John the Baptist wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey.

Most of us have had a person walk by us mumbling or shouting religious “stuff.”  If you are like me, you immediately determine that the person is mentally challenged.  The scripture today reminds us that as people of faith, we are challenged to see God’s presence and potential in everyone.

Loving God, help us to see your light in all the people who cross our path.  Amen.


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