A Time of Joy by Marva Usher-Kerr
12/12/2013 Of the four themes of Advent, it is joy that is in my opinion one of the hardest to reach. Joy is often substituted for the word happy, however, joy goes much deeper than happiness. I ask you today: What do you have to be joyful about?
Remembering the Child by Michelle Okabayashi
12/05/2013 In this Advent season, in the midst of our preparations, gatherings, and our long list of “to dos,” I am reminded to not let the Christ child get crowded out on the sidelines. Honoring Christ and preparing for his coming into our lives is the goal of this often-frenetic season. Let us place Christ in the center of our lives during this Advent season and for all time.
Preparing the Way by Michelle Okabayashi
11/29/2013 The four weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas are all about preparation for Jesus’ coming. It is a seasonal reminder of the work we should be about all year long. We are preparing for the coming of the Christ — the One who ushers in God’s Kingdom here on earth.
Easter Reflection by Harriett Jane Olson
03/29/2013 How appropriate that one of the lectionary readings for today is Acts 10—Peter in the house of Cornelius. This event is not a retelling of the Easter story itself.
Being Bearers of Palms of Peace and Praise in the Midst of Needs and Conflicts by Julia Yoder Elmore
03/15/2013 We can wave palms of peace and praise because we have hope that the worst things are never the last things. As Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the day we celebrate as Palm Sunday, he knew that the week ahead would be physically, emotionally and spiritually demanding. Amid the peace and praise of those waiving their palms, the religious leaders were watching from afar, in conflict with Jesus over all he was doing.
“Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” by Glory E. Dharmaraj
03/14/2013 Psalm 22 is a lament. Jesus, in his excruciating pain on the cross, uses the opening verse of this psalm of lament. This cry of Jesus, captured for us by the Gospel writers in Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34, is one of deep despair and abandonment.
Beyond the Golden Rule by Carmen F.S. Vianese
03/13/2013 Whether Christian or not, we’ve all been taught the Golden Rule: "Do to others as you would have them do to you." Jesus said it in a positive restatement of something in the Jewish oral tradition. It sounds simple, but as we all know, living it out is very difficult. Not to mention that within the Golden Rule is the focus on “you.” No matter how many lessons you learn from doing to others, they’re still your lessons, and it all still depends on your human capacity to love. And unfortunately, too often, that capacity is more like a dinner plate than a deep well, far too shallow when compared with the task at hand of living a different, loving kind of life.
Responsively Yours: For God So Loved the World by Harriett Jane Olson
03/05/2013 If "God so loved the world" - what about us? Do we so love the world?
Christ-Bearing People Pressing On Toward the Goal by Ruth E. Robinson
02/26/2013 A little over a year ago, the Dallas Bethlehem Center came to a crossroads in its ability to deliver educational and social services to its constituent community. The center experienced a significant lack of financial support, caused, in part, by the downturn of the economy.
Bearers of the Message of Reconciliation and New Creation by Gary Locklear
02/25/2013 Today is a new day, and we’re trusted to be bearers of this message of reconciliation and hope for all humanity.
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