Week of December 27 - The glow of the Christmas season continues to warm my heart; so, with gratitude beyond words, I once again thank you, God, for Jesus...the Light of the World...who brings the promise of joy and hope for all who seek Him. God of new beginnings, as this year comes to a close and a new one begins, remind me of the joys and blessings you brought to my life in the past year even though there were also times of deep pain and difficult challenges. May those good things that happened inspire me to reach for an even better and more intimate connection with you and with others. Teach me to learn from the mistakes I made so that I don't make them again. Help me to trust you more even as I continue to do battle and walk through dark valleys of hard and relentless circumstances that I cannot control. Show me how I can be helpful in serving others, and thereby, helping to build your kingdom here on earth. I choose, Most Gracious and Loving God, to enter into this new year, focused on the Light of the World and committed to your will so as to be the person you created me to be. To you, may my life, bring you honor and glory. Amen.
Week of December 20 - O God, with joy I'll be celebrating the birth of our Savior. Amidst all of my holiday preparations, I’ve strived to keep my heart focused on the true meaning for this celebration. Love…your love came to earth through the birth of a precious baby…your Son. Nothing could stop you from giving this gift of love to the world…not even our sin. Your Love, in fact, saves us from our sin. Knowing this…I humbly approach the manger to worship the Loving Savior of the world. Welcome to our world, precious child. Make your home in my heart so that I too, can share the wonderful gift of God’s love. Amen.
Week of December 13 - Today in this season of Advent, I bring to you, O God, my praise flowing from the joy I find within myself as I anticipate the celebration of the Christ Child's birth into our dark and cold world. The promise of hope and peace that come with his arrival stretch me to think beyond my own current circumstances that I am facing brought on by the pandemic and political challenges pressing in on me. I try not to allow this dark presence to overwhelm me, but I confess, God, that some days, it's tough. Please help to direct my attention towards the bright light of the star that guides me to the manger where my Savior lays. Open my eyes to see before me the precious gift of your love that comes to me through him. May this love so move in me that nothing will rob me of the joy in knowing that I am so precious to you that you were willing to come to this world...taking on flesh and blood...to save me and the whole world from our sinful nature. Because of this, I sing with the angels today, "Joy to the World...the Lord is come!" Amen.
Week of Dec. 6, 2020 - Holy Savior, with this the second week of Advent, I continue to feel the tension between busying myself with secular expectations and resting in the miraculous glory of your birth. You brought God’s glorious and mysterious presence to dwell among us on this, our home, which God created for us. You endured ridicule, faced temptations, persevered hardships and even experienced death before conquering it and rising from the grave…revealing to us in the most intimate way possible that God understands what life is like for us…giving me hope, that with you by my side, I too will persevere and overcome challenges…even the fear of death…that threatens to rob me of my joy and peace. This week, Precious Savior, press in on me with your holy presence and help me to rest in your gift of Love. Amen.