“The value of compassion cannot be over-emphasized. Anyone can criticize. It takes a true believer to be compassionate. No greater burden can be borne by an individual than to know no one cares or understands.” A. Stainback
We can march, we can protest, we can accept, but how do we touch? How are we going to act personally with our neighbors?
Despite societal fears and frustrations, we know Christ’s light can never be dimmed or destroyed. Let us move into the new year with courage and compassion, reflecting that light within us, and seeing it in our brothers and sisters as well. We are shepherds to others, not slaves to politicians.
“Surely this is not the time for trembling knees and pale faces among the sons and daughters of new creation. The darker the night, the brighter faith shines and the sooner comes the morning. Look up and lift up your heads; our redemption draws near.” AW Tozer
During these busy times of “doing” Christmas, may we all find moments to simply breathe and be the infinite Love that came to earth so many generations ago, yet still is present and moving in us today.
“Come to us, Holy and Infinite God. Expand our small hearts to make room for your unlimited love and reign in all human hearts as the Prince of Peace.” Evelyn Underhill.
Look up, you whose eyes are fixed on this earth, you who are captivated by the events and changes on the surface of this earth. Look up, you who have turned away from heaven to this ground because you had become disillusioned. Look up, you whose eyes are laden with tears, you who mourn the loss of all the earth has snatched away.
The battle is not lost, the victory is yours—take courage, be strong. There is no room here for shaking your heads and doubting, because Christ is coming.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“One thing we know for sure about our God: Our God is a God of the living, not of the dead. God is life. God is love. God is beauty. God is goodness. God is truth. God doesn’t want us to die. God wants us to live. Our God, who loves us from eternity to eternity, wants to give us life for eternity.
“When that life was interrupted by our unwillingness to give our full yes to God’s love, God sent Jesus to be with us and to say that great yes in our name and thus restore us to eternal life. So let’s not be afraid of death. There is no cruel boss, vengeful enemy, or cruel tyrant waiting to destroy us – only a loving, always forgiving God, eager to welcome us home.” Henri Nouwen
“Our short lives on earth are sowing time. If there were no resurrection of the dead, everything we live on earth would come to nothing. How can we believe in a God who loves us unconditionally if all the joys and pains of our lives are in vain, vanishing in the earth with our mortal flesh and bones? Because God loves us unconditionally, from eternity to eternity, God cannot allow our bodies – the same as that in which Jesus, his Son and our savior, appeared to us – to be lost in final destruction.
“No, life on earth is the time when the seeds of the risen body are planted. Paul says: “What is sown is perishable, but what is raised is imperishable; what is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; what is sown is weak, but what is raised is powerful; what is sown is a natural body, and what is raised is a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42-44). This wonderful knowledge that nothing we live in our bodies is lived in vain holds a call for us to live every moment as a seed of eternity.
“The wonderful knowledge, that nothing we live in our body is lived in vain, holds a call for us to live every moment as a seed of eternity.” Henri Nouwen
“Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.
“O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.” St Francis
Despite what the politicians tell us, their rule/glory is not our final destination. We are all part of God’s love, and we are called to reach out to ALL people with that love.
“According to the greatness of your goodness and your many mercies, look down on me and hear the prayer of your poor servant, exiled far off in the land of the shadow of death. Protect and keep the soul of your servant, traveling amidst the many dangers of life. By your grace, direct him along the path of peace until he is back home in the land of everlasting brightness.Amen” The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis
You show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.