Tag Archives: Christian

Gifts of age

Rembrandt (1606-1669)
Hannah and Simeon in the Temple
oil on panel, 1627-1628
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle

There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. Luke 2:36-37

Good things happen even when we are old. We still welcome delightful surprises and the kind attention of others. We have the time to reflect on all we have experienced and to trace out the patterns in our lives. We know how to comfort the young, thanks to our history of overcoming challenges, disappointments, and hurts. We have the wisdom to recognize the good and the godly in others — and in ourselves.

Blessed with peace

Rip Caswell (b.1962)
Baptism of Christ

May the Lord bless his people with peace. Psalm 29:11b

Today may we be blessed with
trust in God’s unfailing presence,
confidence in God’s love and patience,
comfort in God’s peace.

Pay homage

attributed to Payag (Indian)
The Magi Follow the Star, from a Mirror of Holiness (Mir’at al-quds) of Father Jerome Xavier, SJ (1549–1617)
Opaque watercolor, ink, and gold on paper, between 1602 and 1604
Cleveland Museum of Art

And behold, the star that [the magi] had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. Matthew 2:9b

Would I have seen the star that would lead me to find Jesus? Or would I have been like King Herod, unable to see and follow, afraid and troubled?

Today I will look for and pay homage to the light of God’s self-revelation in nature, in the people I encounter, in prayer and meditation. I will not be afraid to welcome God’s presence.

Leaving home

Flight into Egypt
France, 17th century
polychromed oakwood
collection of the Musée L, Ottignies-Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt. Matthew 2:14

Imagine how frightened Joseph and Mary were — and how courageous — to leave their homeland in the face of danger and persecution, and to make a new life in a strange country.

My ancestors came to America from Ireland, most of them so poor they traveled in steerage. One side of the family was illiterate. On the other side, my great-great grandmother died soon after arriving in New York and so did the baby twins to whom she had just given birth. Men on both sides of the family took work as laborers and mill workers. They saved what they could from their tiny salaries, bought houses, turned their yards into vegetable gardens, and made sure their children got a good education. Today I live very comfortably, thanks to the courage of my ancestors.

May I always extend a welcome to newcomers. May I be grateful for their example of courage and their reminder of my own family story. May I remember Jesus, too, was a refugee.

 

 

 

Blessed by the Light

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
Isaiah 9:1

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and
the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 1:7b

Grace and peace unending, eternal light of love, compassion, forgiveness, comfort.

Today I will make use of God’s gifts to me to dispel a little bit of the gloom that pervades our society and world.

Patience

“…the blind regain their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”
Matthew 11:5

See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You too must be patient. James 5:7b-8a

In patience I find
gentleness
forgiveness
endurance
forbearance
compassion
hope

Today, Lord, bless me with patience.

Harmony, not uniformity

Second Sunday of Advent

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to think in harmony with one another. Romans 15:5a

Each of our unique human voices blends one with the next to make a holy harmony that resounds with forgiveness, reconciliation, peace, nonviolence, and joy in praise and thanksgiving to the One who created us in and for love.