Friday, December 21, 2007
i am stunned. sitting here in my office...snow on the foothills, dog asleep at my feet...i have worked every day for 16...17.... or 18 days, i can't remember. the church is quiet, except for the blowing of the heat. the nativity is frozen in awe, the lights and poinsettias are perky and bright. sunday is planned...christmas eve is prepared for...and i am stunned. stunned that God could come to earth and that i get to proclaim it. stunned that Christmas came so fast. stunned.
here are a couple of beautiful advent meditations from ann weems', kneeling in bethlemen, for you...whether you are stunned or not. peace and merry christmas!
IN SEARCH OF OUR KNEELING PLACES
In each heart lies a Bethlehem, an inn where we must ultimately answer whether ther is room or not.
When we are Bethlehem-bound we experience our own advent in His.
When we are Bethlehem-bound we can no longer look the other way conveniently not seeing stars not hearing angel voices.
We can no longer excuse ourselves by busily tending our sheep or our kingdoms.
This Advent let's go to Bethlehem and see this things that the Lord has made known to us.
In the midst of shopping sprees let's ponder in our hearts the Gift of Gifts.
Through the tinsel let's look for the gold of the Christmas Star.
IN the excitement and confusion, in the merry chaos, let's listen for the brush of angels' wings.
This Advent, let's go to Bethlehem and find our kneeling places.
IT IS NOT OVER
It is not over, this birthing.
THere are always newer skies into which God can throw stars.
When we begin to think that we can predict the Advent of God, that we can box the Christ in a stable in Bethlehem, that's just the time that God will be born in a place we can't imagine and won't believe.
Those who wait for God watch with their hearts and not their eyes,
for angel words.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
i am continually amazed at people's capacity to be unkind. it makes me so sad and frustrated.
but...as mother teresa encouraged, i will refuse to allow the poison of unkindness, bitterness, and unforgiveness to touch my heart...
DO IT ANYWAY
People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.
What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.