Archive for December 2014

Christmas Day Devotion

The first to bow down, and the first to rise up When:  A few days before Christmas 1971. Where: The fellowship hall of Lutheran Chapel Church in Gastonia. What: The kindergarten Christmas production. More importantly? My debut as a shepherd. Could very well have been the best, most authentic shepherd in the history of kindergarten…

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Christmas Eve Devotion

Love has come down Last year, a young man in our youth group experienced Christmas Eve for the first time. For the first time he heard choirs singing phrases like, “O Come Let Us Adore Him.” For the first time, he sat with a community of faith and found himself captivated by the story of…

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Advent Devotional – December 23

‘The Lord is with you’ Please read Luke 1:26-35, 38 God’s story unfolded through Mary in a way that would change the world. God’s story with Mary began with a simple greeting that invited Mary to faith: “The Lord is with you.” Mary’s response, Mary’s story, began with fear and anxiety. Mary was shaken by…

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Advent Devotional – December 22

More than a party The yearly celebration of Jesus’ birth has become a big, long-lasting party — which seems to start even before Advent. In the congregation where I preach the Word and preside at the sacraments, we had our congregational Christmas dinner on the first Saturday in December.  But during this time of preparation,…

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Advent Devotional – December 21

From pitch darkness to great light At 23, I had just completed my first year at our Lutheran Seminary in Philadelphia. I was hungry to experience ministry, and I wanted to explore a non-church setting. I accepted a 10-week assignment as resident chaplain for Valley Forge Boy Scout Camp in eastern Pennsylvania. Things went very…

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Advent Devotional – December 20

Not what we do but who we are In Isaiah 42, God promises that through God’s people he “will bring light to the nations.” In John’s gospel, Jesus says: “I am the Light of the world.” In Matthew, Jesus tells his followers: “You are the light of the world.” Jesus is the light of the…

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Advent Devotional – December 19

Shine forth with God’s promise In John 8:12 Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but have the light of life.” Our good Shepherd was referring in this verse to the light of his truth, of his word, and of  eternal Life. Those who perceive…

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Advent Devotional – December 18

God lights up the sky One of my favorite holiday traditions is taking a day trip to the beautiful North Carolina mountains. My husband and I began this tradition nearly 10 years ago. We packed a picnic lunch, and spent a couple of hours driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, enjoying the beauty of the…

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Advent Devotional – December 17

A spark of the divine I recently attended my 30th college reunion at Earlham College, a Quaker school in Indiana.  The campus has always been beautiful, with huge, old hardwoods. Saturday was gorgeous with that bright, brisk streaming autumn light that seems to set everything glowing and the leaves swirled in mini-tornadoes. The Quakers believe…

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Advent Devotional – December 16

Running toward the light The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, upon them has light shined.  – Isaiah 9:2   This summer, I quite literally walked in darkness. Or, to be more accurate, I ran in darkness. My friend Laura and I were…

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