From John 1:14 – And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.
This struck me as a great scripture for the last day of the year. I am terrible at keeping New Year’s resolutions so I don’t even bother to make them anymore. But, I do hope I can continue to grow in my faith and in my understanding of God’s will for me during 2009. I wish the same for you.
Gracious God, thank you for your constant presence in our lives this past year. May our 2009 be one of fruitful service to you. AMEN.
From Jeremiah 31:12 – They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young flock and the herd; their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again.
I grew up in a family that said grace before each meal, but I lost the habit in my own adult life. I eat lunch with coworkers who will ask me to bless the food before we begin our meal whether in a break room or a restaurant. It is a good habit to get into – giving thanks for the bounty God has provided.
Almighty God, we give thanks for the fruits of your creation made available to nourish, hydrate and clothe us. AMEN.
A very few of you reading this blog know that I had gastric bypass surgery in 2001. People have strong opinions about this surgery, often quite negative, but I am glad that this article points out the life-changing benefits of this drastic intervention.
Obesity Article at MSNBC.com
The lectionary texts for this second Sunday of Christmas include Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147:12-20; Ephesians 1:3-14 and John 1:(1-9), 10-18. Alternative selections are from the Apocrypha and include Sirach 24:1-12 and Wisdom of Solomon 10:15-21.
From Jeremiah 31:8 – See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, those with child and those in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here.
When I look around at my coworkers here at Church Health Center, I see people from a multitude of racial and ethnic backgrounds. I see people who are thriving, and I am aware of people struggling to get through each day. I see people who appear to be pictures of health and others who suffer from debilitating illness. I see God’s people – a great company.
Loving God, we come to you as a diverse mix of believers. May our collective efforts serve the common good of all your people. AMEN.
From Luke 2:39-40 – When they had finished everything required by the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and the favor of God was upon him.
I wish more was known about the childhood of Jesus. What games did he like to play? Did he show consideration to his friends at an early age? Every once in awhile, while my grandson is playing with me he will just say out of the blue, “I love you, Granddad.” I bet Jesus said things like that to Mary and Joseph.
God of wonder, we offer a special prayer today for our children. May we nurture them as you would have us do. AMEN.
My first article published on http://www.hopeandhealing.org is titled “No Room in the Inn.” I hope you will take a moment to read this short reflection.
From Luke 2:22-24 – When the time had come for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord”), as they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Yet another example of Jesus’ humble beginnings: Throughout Leviticus, if one could not afford a lamb or other expensive animal for a burnt offering, one was allowed to substitute “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Almighty God, you could have chosen a royal family for your son, but you chose a young girl and a carpenter. Help us see your handiwork in each person coming before us today. AMEN.