The Sunday after Christmas is a “light” Sunday – one to let the worship wash over you and do its thing to shape your heart. A poem by Irish poet Paul Durcan included about the beauty and wonder of a “fast mass.”
The story of Christmas is rare in that the characters demand nothing from one another but are simply together. A relationship can be born when one takes the time to simply delight in such a thing.
As God broke into the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus, an ordinary peasant girl, God breaks into our ordinary lives, too. Like Mary, we are transformed by this in-breaking so that we can begin to see the world the way God sees it. (Luke 1:39-56)
In this Christmas before Christmas service, we read the nativity Gospel, Luke 2:1-20, with the congregation divided into groups to speak different parts. The sermon elaborates on how participating in the Gospel reading this way reminds us that we participate in God’s grand story of humanity each day.
John the Baptist is not shy about calling everyone who comes to him to change. “May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease.” (From For Longing, by John O’Donahue)
In the introduction to John the Baptist, we see the past, present, and future of God’s work come together. It is a moment that encourages us to have faith today that God who has begun a good work in us will see it to completion, even when it doesn’t look that way.
On Christ the King Sunday, Jesus doesn’t seem to want to talk about being a king. He wants to talk about God’s truth–that we are all equally worthy in the eyes of God. God’s kingdom is based on this fundamental truth, to which Jesus witnesses with his life. (John 18: 33:-37)
Practicing gratitude involves putting aside the worries of tomorrow that are distracting us from the joys of today.
The first chapter of Samuel gives an intimate view of a married couple burdened with the pain of infertility. Faithfully they walk with the unsettled ache of grief and, in doing so, help us reflect on what to do in times when we or someone we love is deeply grieving.