Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Change of Heart at Christmas

Lord Christ, Emanuel,

You bent space and time to join us.
But it was surprisingly subtle. 
A baby, born in a stable,
Who became a teacher,
And your lessons were spurned.

Yet the Kingdom of God is near.
It remains understated,
Behind a veil, not imposed.

And still, we rebuff your invitation.
Your message is obscured by
Selfishness, materialism and violence.
(We have erected a concrete wall.)

That we would hear the baby in the manger,
Appreciate your tender call,
And heed the teacher's lessons.

To love, to care, to forgive, 
To share your spirit and power,
To hope, to believe.

Hearts are changed!
The Kingdom comes!
At Christmas. 


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Advent Test

Another thought-provoking photo from my daughter, Melissa.

Lord Christ, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace,

Is this an Advent test? A tortuous discussion question: How do refugees, terrorism and gun control bear upon our preparation for the coming of Christ? And vice versa? St. Paul's prayer from today's Lectionary sets a high bar:

For love that abounds, discern what is best,
That we may be pure and blameless before You,
Filled with the fruit of righteousness,
Bringing glory and praise to You.
(from Philippians 1:9-11)

...but there's so much fear. Our better angels are not singing sweetly o'er the plain right now. Build a wall! Buy a gun! Go to war! Those seem to be the loudest voices. 

...but Charles Wesley's hymn from this morning's service rings in my ears:

Jesus, thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love though art,
Visit us with thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.
(Love Divine, All Loves Excelling - #657, Episcopal Hymnal)

May it be so! That in trusting You, our trembling hearts find true security. Amen.