“While all things were in quiet silence, and night was in the midst of her swift course, Thine Almighty Word, O Lord, leaped down out of Thy royal throne, Alleluia.” Christmas Vespers, Western Rite
Father God, we read that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him. What came into existence was Life, and the Life was Light to live by. The Life-Light blazed out of the darkness; the darkness couldn’t put it out.” (John 1:1-5)
Heavenly Father, may our hearts in quiet silence be open to the entering of Your Word, that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened, and that the Word manifest in the flesh may abide in us. Great is the mystery of Godliness!
We pray we will once again consider with reverence the coming of the Christ-child - Immanuel, God with us.
Protect us this season, Lord, financially, physically, and emotionally. May we always be conscious of Your loving arms wrapped around us.
Thank you for sending Your Son Jesus, for His birth, His death, and His glorious resurrection. We pray Your light – our light, will shine in the darkness.
In Jesus name we pray,
In his first letter to the church that met in Corinth, the apostle Paul challenged them saying, "Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win" (1 Corinthians 9:24). The imagery he employs reveals that life with Christ involves the discipline, commitment, purpose and intentionality of a world class athlete.
The thing about a race is that only one individual can bring home first prize. So is the apostle encouraging the Corinthian Christians to focus on their own personal journey with Jesus at the expense of their brothers and sisters in Christ? Not at all.
I am ignoring an inconsistency, you say?
Well, in another letter - to the church that met in Ephesus- Paul articulated more of his perspective: "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places"
To be clear, the race Paul is encouraging followers of Jesus to run is not against other people. We aren't trying to "win" at the expense of other Christians. Each and every one of us is in a race against "evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." And friends? These forces do not want us to succeed.
So we each run a personal race against unseen forces. Forces that never run fair.
Time and again through Paul's letter he reminds us that though we run, we are not alone in our efforts. We have a whole community of training partners available to come alongside. Let us commit to encourage each other, training together for the race before each of us. Let us move forward as a church family with discipline, commitment, purpose and intentionality. Let us run to win.
So friends, run!
In the words of St. Patrick,
“Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise”
Heavenly Father, in the words of the Psalmist,
“You have searched us and known us.
You know our sittings down and our risings up;
You understand our thoughts afar off.
You comprehend our paths and our lying down,
And are acquainted with all our ways.
Where can we go from Your Spirit?
Or where can we flee from Your presence?”**
Draw us closer to you, teach us your immanence, that as we breathe in…and as we breathe out…we are conscious of You, You Who indwell us, You Who make us the Temple of the living God, and You who dwell in the beauty of Holiness.
Heavenly Father, we pray for those who need a special touch from You for their relationships, for their finances, for their emotional health, for their physical health, for all the needs that are known only to You.
Holy Spirit, comfort us. Holy Spirit, teach us.
May Jesus be glorified in all that is done and said today
In His name we pray,
- Carolyn Davey
** Psalm 139
This past Sunday, participants of our morning gathering witnessed the baptism of two young men. Their journeys couldn’t have been more different. One young man was born into a solid Christian home, started following Jesus at a young age, and has maintained a faith-based orientation through the years into young-adulthood. The other was born on another continent, into a different religious culture, and didn’t have a chance to hear the name of Jesus until recently - but when he did, he found it compelling! Two unique journeys that brought each to the same baptismal pool, on the same Sunday, celebrated by the same church family, as they publicly declared their personal decision to follow the same Saviour-King: Jesus. Beautiful.
We celebrate the beauty and uniqueness of each and every individual’s journey with Jesus. The narrative thread of each is woven together in community of shared life; which is then woven into the larger tapestry of God’s kingdom work here on earth. The bold and bright God-colours and God-images emerge through a creative dance of life. Beautiful.
We don’t have the power to dictate the context of our journey. We don’t choose the family we are born into and we can’t get away from our past; however, we do make choices everyday of who we are going to be each moment of every day. We make choices to lean away from God’s presence in our lives so that the God-colours and God-images become more obscured. We make choices to lean into God’s presence in our lives so that the God-colours and God-images become apparent to those who see us.
My prayer is that throughout this week the meals shared in our community would be a context for people to build on their own unique journey; that God-colours and God-images would be evident to all at the table.
Lord, you are good and creative and worthy of praise.
Thank you for the world you created, that you declared it good, and that you invite us to participate in forming it.
You are a creative God.
You spoke your visions for the world into being, and we marvel at sights we've seen before a thousand times, as much in awe as we were at first glimpse.
You are a creative God, and you make us in Your image. You have made us creators like you, and in creating we call forth reminders of Your beauty and goodness.
You are a creative God, so delighting in the act of Creation that You gift us with the ability and skill to shape and mould, to craft and refine, to imagine and dream, to experiment and change. Creation continues, as a collaborative union of Holy Spirit and humanity.
You are a creative God who calls us to create and give shape to our corners of the world and develop our gifts that glorify Your being. Be it art or music, math or science, atmospheres or relationships, the naming of animals in a garden or the building of a city becoming the Kingdom of God's redemption, you call us to bring forth what is coming. You invite us to work alongside you.
Lord Jesus, inspire visions within us. Give us eyes to see what could become, and the boldness and courage and the willingness to pursue it. Help us to challenge our thinking, to be open to new ways, to reimagine and discover life to the full in following you. Bless us with opportunities to collaborate with you in creating moments and relationships.
Show us where You are, moment by moment, as we build Your kingdom here.
Words by Stephanie McNab-Scott
Art by David Wierzbicki