Worship Today: Light of the World

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, Oh come Emmanuel

The child prays for peace on earth
And she’s calling out from a sea of hurt
Oh come, Oh come Emmanuel

And can you hear
The angels singing

Glory to the light of the world
Glory the light of the world is here

 

Believe…in What? in Whom?

I watched Macy’s “Old Friends” commercial during the Thanksgiving Day Parade. It speaks to our beliefs. What is stable, consistent in our ever-changing lives? What do we come back to again and again? What pursues us?

What do we believe?

We sometimes skim over such questions, or we revisit them seasonally or in crises or frustration, but maybe today is a good day to pause long enough to reflect on our beliefs. We can get caught up in ourselves and how we change over time, and we can bury some of the consistencies, some of those deep-seated questions, needs, and beliefs. But regardless of how infrequently we think about them, they still pull a consistent thread of connection through our lives. Something that consistently deserves our attention.

So, what do you believe?

 

The Christmas Magnifier

8840292-christmas-magnifying-glass-over-background-with-different-association-terms-vector-illustration-stock-vectorChristmas is a magnifier. Whatever is going on in your life is probably amplified right now. That can feel positive, and it can feel negative. Regardless of how it makes you feel, you can choose to respond with honesty, humility, and a willingness to change. Our joy doesn’t come from our circumstances, so what feels like a magical Christmas or depressing Christmas doesn’t define your Christmas, and it doesn’t define you. It’s not time to place blame, dwell on the inescapable, or compare with others.

Our joy and blessings can be permanent. Yes, they seem to shift from time to time, and they certainly change us. The permanence doesn’t mean we feel the same all the time. It doesn’t mean all is happy and wonderful. It means we have a foundation, and when we let the magnifier be about the source of our faith, we amplify the right focus.

What are you magnifying today?

 

The Less-Than-Perfect Holiday

0913229c6aec0a2173854970ec3f9e86It’s that time of year when many families come together and laugh and smile and make memories and post all their best moments on social media to share with the world and be affirmed with comments about how adorable and wonderful and amazing their family is!

And behind those snapshot moments are struggles, conflicts, unhealed hurts, and wishes that things would be better, not just in the family but in life.

Admitting we have struggles, conflicts, and hurts doesn’t mean we’re miserable. It doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the holidays with family. It simply means we admit that everything isn’t perfect, that there’s opportunity to grow. It means we don’t wallow in how things could be so much better “if only.” We’re willing to be patient, honest, gracious, and humble. We don’t wait until someone else changes before we’re willing to go the next step. We choose to change despite what someone else chooses. After all, we all have a different perspective of the truth of a situation. And most likely, we’re all a little right and a little wrong.

So this holiday season, even today, take a deep breath and resolve to be humble enough to consider someone else’s perspective. Extend some grace. Show compassion. Be authentic with discernment. Take a small step in the right direction. Refuse to expect everything to change and be healed at once. Allow others to grow, and take responsibility for your own growth.

Let go of what needs to go, and hang onto what’s truly important.