Thursday January 10, 2019

For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your builder marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.
—Isaiah 62:5,

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Wednesday January 9, 2019

O HOLY ONE, be with me in my uncertainty, my confusion.
I hardly know which way to turn,
yet my heart in expectation turns to you.
Somehow I know — I trust —
that you honor my willingness,
because it’s all I have right now.
Even if I make a misstep and stumble,
I trust your gracious Spirit
to steer me back on the path.
So accept my feeble effort, my availability,
my deep desire to serve you.
I no longer ask for a vision of the whole journey,
but simply for the next step.
Shine your holy light on my path forward,
and I will take that step
with your loving, forgiving Spirit ever at my side.
Amen.

Tuesday January 8, 2019

MATTHEW’S GOSPEL records Jesus’ teachings about the futility of worry. Jesus points to the birds of the air and the lilies of the field, which live in the moment, do no strategic planning or forecasting or saving for a rainy day, and yet they are provided for. He reminds us that each day holds its own troubles — and blessings. Worry about tomorrow gets in the way of living today to the fullest

Monday January 7, 2019

FARMERS SPEAK OF the value of allowing a field to lie fallow for a while, to remain idle in order to rejuvenate the soil for future productivity. Listening to winter teaches us that we too can find refreshment through lying fallow.
Joining this cycle of nature—work and rest, action and contemplation, productivity and passivity—puts us in harmony with creation itself. Jesus modeled this rhythm for us. On occasion, he left needy crowds behind to commune with God in prayer, to celebrate with friends, or just to be alone for a time.
When our souls lie fallow, they become aware of the quiet infusion of God in and through everything—not merely the moments we might deem spiritual or religious. …
We can find pockets of refreshment even in a busy day—soaking in a hot bath, reading a few pages from an inspiring book, watching the cardinal flutter at the feeder, petting the new puppy, sitting in silence.
Our souls need the same kind of renewal as the farmer’s field. Perhaps we too will be more fruitful if we respect our need to life fallow occasionally.

Sunday January 6, 2019

THE MAGI ACTED upon the information they had. They went on a quest, trusting that they had interpreted the signs rightly and that God would lead them to the right place. Trust remains key to their journey. Sometimes our actions demonstrate a lack of trust in God that all shall be well. We give in to our worries and fears. We try to manipulate people or manipulate God. We bargain with God. The journey across Persia to Bethlehem was no simple or peaceful camel ride. They traveled at least one thousand miles through areas controlled by bandits. I imagine that they wanted to quit often, and yet they held on to the greater vision that encouraged them through daily hardships

Saturday January 5, 2019

Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
72:1 Give the king your justice, O God, and your righteousness to a king’s son.

72:2 May he judge your people with righteousness, and your poor with justice.

72:3 May the mountains yield prosperity for the people, and the hills, in righteousness.

72:4 May he defend the cause of the poor of the people, give deliverance to the needy, and crush the oppressor.

72:5 May he live while the sun endures, and as long as the moon, throughout all generations.

72:6 May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth.

72:7 In his days may righteousness flourish and peace abound, until the moon is no more.

72:10 May the kings of Tarshish and of the isles render him tribute, may the kings of Sheba and Seba bring gifts.

72:11 May all kings fall down before him, all nations give him service.

72:12 For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.

72:13 He has pity on the weak and the needy, and saves the lives of the needy.

72:14 From oppression and violence he redeems their life; and precious is their blood in his sight.

Friday January 4, 2019

Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth–everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” —Isaiah 43:5-7