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In Celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On this day when we celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., take some time to read or listen to some of his speeches, sermons, or lectures. While you are doing so, consider the fact that all of these were written and delivered in the 1960's and think about all the work that still needs to be done. One of the major concepts at the heart of Dr. King's worldview is the idea of the Beloved Community. For Dr. King the Beloved Community "was a realistic, achievable goal that could be attained by a critical mass of people committed to and trained in the philosophy and methods of nonviolence . . . (it) is a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. In the Beloved Community, poverty, hunger and homelessness will not be tolerated because international standards of human decency will not allow it" ( https://thekingcenter.org/about-tkc/the-king-philosophy/ ). As you can see, this is not something that is just going to
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Here we go . . . again

Happy New Year! And with the coming of the new year comes a whole lot of things . . . some are old and some are new; some are reliable and some unpredictable; some are stressful and some are no big deal. One of the things that people often do at the start of the new year is take the opportunity to make resolutions. These are things they are going to commit themselves to work on as the year begins. Most of the time, these have something to do with self improvement or personal development. These new year's resolutions have kind of become a cliche in our culture because most of us have a hard time making it to or through February keeping them. Then, if you are like me, the frustration, the guilt trips, and feelings of worthlessness set in.  So, what if we avoid all of that this year.  What if we tried something a little different instead. What if we took a look at something we already really enjoy - reading, walking, working out, drawing, listening to music, playing an instrument, coo

Love is . . .

Love Love is... Love is decisive. Love is relentless. Love is stubborn. Love is no matter what. Love is no matter when. Love is no matter the cost. Love is "yes, and". Love is "with". Love is that thing, that mysterious, indescribable thing which holds us together when all else seems to be crumbling apart. Love is reckless and illogical. Love stands when it more convenient to sit. Love stays when it is easier to leave. Love is silent when all you want to do is speak. Love speaks even when fear tries to steal your voice. Love is beyond us, Yet simultaneously dwells within us. Love makes no sense. Yet love is the only thing that makes sense out of our everyday nonsense. Love cannot be found... because Love is. This Advent, we await the arrival of Love made flesh. If you listen closely you may even hear Love's voice... in the cry of a child. As Love, the love that is the presence of all of love comes down to make its dwelling with us; within us. Love is... 1 John 4

Good News of Great Joy

Photo by  Tim Mossholder  on  Unsplash   A few weeks ago, our oldest child, Ella, in the middle of playing in her room randomly said, “I wish coronavirus was a dream. Then it would just go away.”   Same.   And honestly, in that moment, I thought to myself, “I wish all of 2020 were a dream. Then it would just go away.”   I know, what an overwhelming sentiment of joy.  And yet, in this season of Advent, that is a part of the invitation – Who brings you joy? What brings you joy? When have you felt joy? Where is the joy? How have you experienced joy?    In a year like 2020, joy is a lot like that fancy new gift everyone wants, but no one can seem to find. Our “shopping carts” are empty and we’re left feeling defeated and deflated.    As I’ve been reflecting on joy, I got to thinking about the shepherds. Remember them from Luke’s gospel? (See Luke 2:8-20)    They were simply minding their business, “keeping watch over their flock,” when all of a sudden, an “angel of the Lord” appeared. Righ

A Different Kind of Present: Peace

  As we enter the holiday season and the second week of Advent, where are we practicing peace? In any other year, this week's devotion would be focused on centering ourselves in a season of immense hustle and bustle. Of quieting ourselves in a world of feverish shopping for the perfect gifts, and sneaking calming moments between getting the whole household packed and ready for holiday vacations and trips to visit family and friends. And maybe some of that is still our world this year, but much of it isn't. This year should have allowed us to have the least distractions we've ever had for taking care of ourselves. After all, we've spent much of it at home (whether by choice or not) and many of us have gotten the most time around our families we've had in years - if not ever. Yet the anxiety and distraction of the unknown, and the fact that our ability to be present with those in our own household is a muscle that probably had a bit too much atrophy before March, has

A Presence of Hope

  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.          Hebrews 11:1 We are called to hope. If you're anything like me, the last months have taken their best shot at your ability to hope. Between sickness, uncertainty, fear of what we don't understand, anxiety over what we can't control, conflicting expectations and uncomfortable recommendations, 2020 has not exactly been conducive to being hopeful. Here we are, months into what every retailer sending emails on Black Friday will once again call "unprecedented times", and so much of our outlook on daily life has been upended. Many of us have had to change and adjust much of our lives in just this past 24 hours, much less the last week or month. No matter how much sleep we get, we somehow still always wake up a bit too tired. Even though we just ate an hour ago, we somehow need another snack or meal already. The activities that we relied upon for rest, relaxation, and escape, d

Preparing for Advent: Waiting in Gratitude

The season of Advent invites us into a posture of waiting. We wait expectantly for the arrival of Jesus, Emmanuel – God with us . There is no doubt that most of this year has felt like one long season of waiting. This year, with its constant chatter of change, division, turmoil, and transition, has kept us waiting in ways that have drastically altered our way of being in the world. And so, we continue to wait.  Yet, we continue to wait in new, unique, and unexpected ways. So, as we prepare for this particular season of Advent, what posture of waiting are we being invited to take in 2020? What if our invitation is a posture of gratitude? How might we wait in gratitude? What are you feeling especially grateful for this year? Who are you feeling especially grateful for this year? How might you express your gratitude? It is our hope that our waiting will be guided and grounded in this gratitude throughout the Advent season. As such, over the next four weeks, as we wait in gratit