‘Mini-Ginning’

November has ended and December has begun; a phenomenon of calendar-changing that takes place twelve times every year. On the one hand, it is a day to reflect on what has happened the past month as you deal with the reality that you have lived one more bit of your life. On the other, it is a mini new beginning – a ‘mini-ginning’ if you will – filled with opportunities to live with deeper faith, more joy and greater compassion. Embrace this special day as God’s gift on which you both learn from the past and prepare for the future.  

This is the World

Look at the glorious things around you – smiling babies, beautiful sunsets and people who do extraordinary things to help others. This is the world into which the Christ Child enters. Look at the pain around you – COVID in its many variants, families caught up in the cycle of addiction and children who really will never have a chance to thrive. This is the world into which the Christ Child enters. Look at your life filled with joys and sorrow, hope and despair, and laughter and tears. This is the real world into which the Christ Child enters this Christmas to bring salvation, healing, wholeness, hope and joy. Are you ready?

What Kind of Investment

Getting ready for Christmas involves decorating the house, shopping (Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday), planning menus, and trying to create wonderful Christmas memories that will linger in the face of yet another COVID variant, economic woes and a political landscape that continues to deteriorate. Getting ready for Christmas also means preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ who was born long ago, is present as the risen Christ and will come again to make God’s Will just as real on earth as it already is in heaven. Both take a considerable amount of time and personal involvement, which in turn raises a profound, and perhaps somewhat troubling, question. What kind of investment are you going to make in the coming days?

A Sunday Prayer for Advent

Lord,

We are realistic enough to know Christmas has already arrived. Black Friday, TV specials, music blaring on the radio and those cars decorated with Christmas Wreaths on their grills all make that abundantly clear. And yet, Lord, we long for more. So much more.

We long for a holy Advent.

To see beneath the glitter of the season to the hope you offer in the Incarnation.

To prepare our hearts and lives for the coming of Your Son, our Savior and Lord, in the strangest and most unexpected of ways.

To experience a deeper relationship with Emmanuel who has come, is present and will come again.

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,

Amen.

Always Something for Which to Give Thanks

While Thanksgiving lingers on this Saturday two days after the holiday, mostly in the form of leftovers in the fridge, you probably have moved on to Christmas and its preparations, stress and traditions. But Thanksgiving should be an everyday holiday. And it can. All you have to do is take time to thank God every day. Sure it will be a challenge some days. But that’s the point. There’s always something for which to give thanks. And every time you do, life gets better.