Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Work of Christmas...

"When the song of the angels is stilled,
when the star in the sky is gone,
when the kings and princes are home,
when the shepherds are back with the flocks,
then the work of Christmas begins:
to find the lost,
to heal those broken in spirit,
to feed the hungry,
to release the oppressed,
to rebuild the nations,
to bring peace among all peoples,
to make a little music with the heart…

And to radiate the Light of Christ,
every day, in every way,
in all that we do and in all that we say.

Then the work of Christmas begins."

-- Howard Thurman

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Right thing for the wrong reason...

"Do I want social justice for the oppressed or do I want to be known as a socially active person? I spend 95 % of my time thinking about myself anyway. I don't have to watch the evening news to see that the world is bad, I only have to look at myself. I talk about love, forgiveness, social justice; I rage against American materialism in the name of altruism but have I controlled my own heart? The overwhelming majority of the time I spend thinking about myself, pleasing myself, reassuring myself and when I am done there is nothing to spare for the those in need. Six billion people live in the world, and I can only muster thoughts for one. Me." -- Donald Miller

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Advent means living with hope in a broken world

As if by loving pieces…

Once, in my carelessness,
I broke a tea cup.
An heirloom,
All we have left of my wife’s grandmother.

I break a lot of things.
We just sweep the shards into a pile
And toss them in the garbage.

Not this time.
We carefully picked up each piece;
Saved it,
As if it were an act of love for grandma,
As if by loving pieces we could restore the whole.

Once, in our carelessness,
We broke the world.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Keeping our heart focused in Advent...

A shoot will come out of the stump of Jesse, and a branch will grow from its roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear; but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth. (Isaiah 11.1-4a)
"...That was when I realized that Jesus had come to church that morning. Twice. He came as that homeless man – I was hungry and you fed me, I was confused and you took me under your arm, I was sorrowful and you held me as I wept. And he came in the arms of my rich friend with his expensive suit who held a neighbour in his sorrow. He will not judge by what his eyes see, and what his ears hear."

Read the rest of this great post by Brian Walsh here...

Friday, December 03, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Chris Hedges on Hope...

Chris Hedges always pushes me to think. In this season of Advent where we feed on hope, his words offer a challenge to our ways of thinking and our ways of acting...
Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and the more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope’s power and it is why it can never finally be defeated. Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves. Hope does not separate us from them. Hope sees in our enemy our own face.

Read the rest here.