Thursday, December 21, 2017


This has been and continues to be a meaningful Advent season for me, but not in the way I have experienced it in previous years. In the past, I have found meaning in different Advent devotional books, which I’ve read in the early morning darkness each day. And while I’ve read Advent devotions this year, the meaningfulness of this Advent has been found in relationships.

Reflecting over Advent thus far, what shimmers forth for me are the experiences of laughter, hugs, meals shared, worship, work done together with gladness and conversations that help me to know others better, that open doors to deeper connections. These have been for me the gifts of Advent for me this year. I am grateful for each of these experiences, which represent God’s lavish gift of love and koinonia.

What I’ve received so richly cannot be contained in a box, cannot be tied up with ribbon, cannot fit under the largest tree. The gift of relationships that incarnate God’s love is what I treasure this season.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

An Advent Prayer

“. . . you’ve hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have shown them to babies. Indeed, Father, this brings you happiness.”   Matthew 11:25-26

Loving God, don’t let me be so wise,
so intelligent, so busy, so practical, that I miss
the miracle before me. Do not let my heart grow numb,
unable to muster awe and wonder and love.
Keep me from the cynics, the complainers,
the rushing-arounders who have no time and
no use for a tree full of joy,
gifts given in love, or the sparkle in a child’s eye.

May I find a silent night, or several,
in which to sit with The Story,
in which to enter it afresh.
Light the Christ candle in my heart today and throughout
this season, that I may be aglow with your love
and presence. May my heart
be a welcoming womb for your Great Gift to us.
O come Emmanuel. Amen.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

All Flame

Therefore, everyone who acknowledges me before people, I will also acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven. But everyone who denies me before people, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.     Matthew 10:32-33

Let me not be one who denies you with
my life, while professing you with
my voice. I want my heart to be
open always to you, to be
your dwelling place. I want you
pulsing through my veins, filling every
cell with your presence. And yes, I know
you are already present in these places.
Yet I want to feel you there, in my heart,
in my blood, in my cells. I want,
like Abba Joseph*, to be all flame with you.
May it be so today, gracious Christ.
May it be so. Amen.

*Abba Joseph was one of the Desert Fathers. The reference is to this saying about him:
Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can, I say my little office, I fast a little, I pray and meditate, I live in peace and as far as I can, I purify my thoughts. What else can I do?” Then the old man stood up and stretched his hands toward heaven. His fingers became like ten lamps of fire and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.”