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Archive for December, 2016

Christmas Eve, 2016

I’d like to suggest that tonight is about holding a baby.  And being embraced as a child.

A few weeks ago a group of us here from Grace of God went Christmas caroling around the community.  One of the stops on our itinerary was the Woodbury Health Care Center.  We sang on the second floor where we got lots of response and participation and “thank you”s.   After that we crammed into the elevator and went to the 3rd floor – the memory care unit.  Less responsive audience in some ways, and yet it was amazing to see these residents who seem to have lost much of their mental capacities but who can still remember the words to familiar Christmas carols.  It was touching to see their lips moving as we sang; mouthing words that connect them to moments in their lives that they may no longer remember but that still deliver the force of the those sacred texts.  (more…)

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The Word became flesh and lived among us.

 

This is the single most important statement in the entire Bible.

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A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 

a-shoot

The prophet Isaiah gives us a wonderful Advent image in our Old Testament reading today.  “A shoot from the stump of Jesse.”   Imagine a big thick stump – with hundreds of growth rings indicating a long life for the tree that once proudly grew there.  And out of that dead rotting stump a little green shoot manages to find the nutrients to grow.  Only a keen observer would take notice of it.  But there it is pushing its way forward – it’s inner life force reaching for the sun – it’s roots sinking deep into whatever soil it can find – like the summer weed that breaks through rock and concrete.  This happens all the time in nature and there are scientific explanations for it, but it still seems like a miracle.

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In the beginning . . . was the WORD

 

When we think of the word of God, we imagine perhaps letters and sentences and pages in the Bible.  We think about what the word says to us in the words of Scripture – we may think of our favorite passages – we remember the power that these words have on us.

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