This Sunday will begin the season of Advent. We celebrate four weeks of Advent to prepare our hearts for the celebration of the birth of Christ. One practice that can help develop a deeper connection to the meaning of Christmas is to focus on a certain value each week. This Sunday we will light the first candle of the Advent wreath. Traditionally it carries a meaning of hope. We light a candle for hope because the Light of the World brought us everlasting hope. The second Sunday of Advent we will light the candle for faith. Faith is trusting in God’s everlasting love for us as His children. The third Sunday of Advent is often represented by a pink candle in the Advent wreath. The third Sunday has a special name; it is called Gaudete Sunday. “Gaudete” is the Latin word for “rejoice”. It is also a Sunday to remember Mary, the mother of Jesus. In Luke 1:46-49, we have the beautiful words of Mary singing of her joy at being part of God’s work in the world:
Last evening I found myself a little disappointed that more of the candidates I had wanted to win, didn’t. There was a moment that I even caught myself questioning the time I spent in the process of voting.
If you have not read the letter that Senator John McCain released before his death, I encourage you to take two minutes and read it now. This is not a partisan letter, but the sentiments of a person who strived to make his country better and do it with honor. One of the lines that jumped […]
This week I am in Washington, D.C. to visit The Museum of the Bible. Next year St. Luke’s will take two trips to the MotB; one the first week in April and the second will be in May (let me know if you’re interested!) Each trip will be an immersive Bible Study with the family […]
Do you think that God hears your voice? I’ll be honest – the concept of the Creator of the universe listening to me – is sometimes too much for me to conceive. The reason I sometimes struggle with the idea is that I can feel that my voice seems too small to reach God in the midst of all that goes on in the world.
On this particular Wednesday, I am in the Holy Land. It has been a great trip with a group of wonderful people! Yesterday was a particular blessing for me. I had a chance to relive a special moment. Two years ago I was part of another trip to the Holy Land and we stopped to have lunch in Jericho, part of the Palestinian Authority. The restaurant was owned and run by a Muslim family and they were good friends of our guide who was Jewish. Not only was I moved by the hospitality that was shown to me and my family, I was moved by the friendship that existed between my guide and the family. I had a picture taken with the two men and I thought how funny for the three of us to be together – a Palestian Muslim, an Israeli Jew, and an American Christian.
In two weeks St. Luke’s will be leaving on a trip to the Holy Land. I am working on all the last minute things I have to get done before I leave. I am making up a half dozen to-do lists of personal tasks, things I still need to pick up from the store, people I need to call, things to do for church, and so on. But in all the things I have to prepare, I realized that I had neglected to put myself on any of the lists.
In honor of teachers (and in hopes that this post will make its way to Mr. Goodner) please share this status and add the name of a teacher who changed YOUR life!
Teachers have changed my life – over and over again!
Fifty years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
On the previous evening he said the following in what would be his final speech:
I was driving to work one day and was caught in the morning traffic on the Broadway Extension. I happened to look in my rearview mirror and saw that the woman driving the car behind me had a big smile on her face. I couldn’t help but wonder about her. At first, I admit when I initially saw her I thought that she was smiling at something I had done. Isn’t that sad? In the blink of an eye I had a moment of self-centered cynicism. Once I got past that negative thought, I wondered if she was on the phone with someone, but I never saw her talking – just smiling. I realized that she just had a natural friendly expression on her face. When I looked in the mirror at myself, I realized that I was not smiling. Now, I wasn’t frowning or anything – just sort of a neutral countenance. I decided to imitate the woman who was behind me and just drive the rest of the way into work with a smile on my face. You know what? It changes the way you feel.