Tag Archives: Christian

A vision of reverence

Second Sunday of Advent

There shall be no harm or ruin on all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be filled with knowledge of the LORD, as water covers the sea. Isaiah 11:9

It is a vision to work toward: where we are filled with the knowledge of the holiness of God’s creation, where we do not harm the earth or each other, where we take care of the world and each other and do not bring about the ruin of anyone or anything.

Today I will embody a vision of reverence toward all of God’s precious creation, especially each and every person.

Walk in the light of the Lord

First Sunday of Advent

One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again. Isaiah 2:4

War never serves the good of the people. Yet we continue to wage war. War between countries. War between political parties. War between people with different religions and cultures. War between family members. War between greed and what is good for the earth. War between my desire to do the will of God and my fear of being different, of not having enough, of being hurt.

Today I will walk in peace with myself, my family, my community. I will let go of fear, put my trust in God, and walk in the light of the Lord.

Remember me

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
The Three Crosses
drypoint and burin on paper (III/IV), 1653 Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum

Then [the other criminal] said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
He replied to him, “Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:42-43

Remember me, Lord.

It’s the beginning of a dialogue with God. It shows I remember God is with me. It shows my belief that God is listening. It shows my trust that I matter to God.

Today I will not forget God is here. I will remember God’s kingdom is right here among us and will look for God wherever I am, in every breath I take, in everyone I encounter. I will let go of worry and fear and remember God is in charge.

Persevere in love

Pannai, Jaffna
Jesus in Sun, 2019

Jesus said, “By your perseverance you will secure your lives.” Luke 21:19

Persevere in kindness. Persevere in faith. Persevere in compassion. Persevere in forgiveness, in letting go of resentment, in rejecting fear. Persevere in trusting God is here, God cares, God is in charge.

Today I will refuse to be terrified by reports of wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, injustice. I will quietly put my energy into loving and helping my neighbors near and far and in trusting the Lord holds us all close to his heart.

Graced by hope

João Cautela Lighting from the Heart, 2011 “With all the lights in the world turning off, I’m hoping the ones in our hearts keep lighting forever..”

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

When I put my hope in God’s enduring presence, when I allow myself to receive God’s love in its many, diverse forms, when I keep God in the center of my life, I am strengthened to live each day with courage and trust in God’s compassion.

Today I will let God’s love heal my sorrowing heart. I know God is with me in every moment and helps me through difficult times of pain and suffering.

God loves all things that are

“Zacchaeus’ tree” (sycamore fig tree), Jericho, Palestine, 2012
via Wikimedia Commons

For you love all things that are and loathe nothing that you have made; for what you hated, you would not have fashioned.
And how could a thing remain, unless you willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by you?

Wisdom 11:24-25

When I judge others negatively, I am in effect criticizing God’s wisdom, God’s creation, God’s heart of compassion.

Today I will ask God to open my mind and heart to know and love the members of this vast human family with God’s own mind and heart.

Dialogue, not monologue

Dirck van Delen, Church Interior with the Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (Luke 18:9-14), 1653, Oil on panel. Gift of Asbjorn R. Lunde, 1981. The Clark Art Institute, 1981.63.

[Jesus said,] “The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity…'” Luke 18:11

Prayer is a dialogue with God, not a monologue with myself. In prayer, I speak to God about what is in my heart, confident that God listens without judgment. And I listen to God, confident that God replies with compassion and wisdom. God awakens me to my need to make a change in my life, to offer amends to those I have hurt, to rest when I am tired, to sit with grief, to love myself and my neighbor.

Today I will remember to tell God what is on my mind and in my heart, and then listen for God’s reply.

Raise your heart to the Lord

Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands, 1873

My help is from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. Psalm 121:2

When I forget Who is in charge, Whose vision is unfolding for our world, Who is the center of my life, I tend to become anxious and discouraged. When I remember God is holding me and everyone else in a loving, compassionate embrace, I can relax and put my energy into enjoying the gift of the moment and helping where I am able.

Today I will remember to continually raise my heart to the Lord in prayer when life’s events threaten to take over my mind and energy.

Thank you, Lord

Codex Aureus Epternacensis
Cleansing of the ten lepers, ca.1035-1040

And one of the lepers, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Luke 17:15-16

Even if I am not aware of God’s healing presence within and around me, every day brings multiple opportunities to fall at the feet of the Lord in gratitude for my life, the people who love me, the beauty of the natural world, and the many material comforts I enjoy.

Today I will thank God for everything, even the events that seem most difficult to bear.

A vision of faith, hope, and love

Mustard Seeds in a Plate By Adityamadhav83 [CC BY-SA 3.0], from Wikimedia Commons

Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and clamorous discord.
Then the LORD answered me and said: Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets, so that one can read it readily. For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; if it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late. Habakkuk 1:3b, 2:2-3

The tiniest seed of faith in my heart helps to counteract the destruction and violence in our world today. Faith reminds me God’s vision of love and peace and perfect unity among all people will not fail.

Today I will put my hope in God. I will intentionally choose love, peace, and unity in my conversations and interactions with others so that I may play a small part in bringing about God’s vision.