As we get back into our regular routines in the new year, I’m thinking of how I will incorporate more prayer into my days. If I look at some of the blocks on my calendar, full of doctor’s visits and other appointments, I might be inclined to think that I’ll have to wait until I have more quality, spare moments in which to talk to God.
But in the Spirit of prayer, and especially as I look at an already busy year, a question nudges out the “noise” of appointments:
Why not now?
It’s a powerfully simple question, but one with great implications. Why now, indeed, pray in traffic (we probably do this, already!), in line at the store, as we fold laundry, feed the cat, brush our teeth?
Yes, why not pray now?
That’s the spirit!
Blessings for today – and this brand new year!
After Christmas, we take down our tree and the lights that adorn it. We stow away our Advent wreath, and perhaps stow away partially-used candles. We remove decorations, including lights around our windows and doors. And we might find the result of all of this clearing Christmas activity to be barren. Bleak. Even perhaps a bit depressing.
But in the midst of a darker surrounding, we still have the light of Christ within us. In fact, as our worship and celebration of this Christmas time has shown us, we have more than just a little flicker of a flame. In prayer and faith, we have a whole blaze of enthusiasm, appreciation, and joy at the birth of Our Lord, God’s promise fulfilled.
So, as you pray after Christmas, remember the light within you. Let it warm you, illuminate your thoughts, and kindle a fire in your actions.
Hallelujah! He is born!
Today, Christmas, may this glorious light illuminate your heart and soul, bring peace ot you and your loved ones, and spread God’s redeeming, everlasting love throughout the world.
Joy to the world! The Lord is come!
So often, we hear about “holidays” and “vacations” in the same breath that we forget that so many people might not be so fortunate as to have time off this week or next. There are the obvious workers : the first responders, servicemen and women, and medical professionals for whom work does not take a holiday (nor can the). There are also the members of the clergy, church musicians, and others who combine faith with work and for whom Christmas is a highly-busy, energetic time to not only worship but, also, labor.
If you are juggling a chronic illness with work and the holidays, you’re probably feeling more stress and pressure than usual. And even if you don’t have health challenges, it can be difficult to raise a joyful voice and sing “Hallelujah!” (except, perhaps to herald the end of the frantic holiday season!).
For those who work, this TLC Tuesday I’d like to gently encourage you to take a break however you can. Step back, sit down, and breathe. Do invite the simple message of Christmas into your heart, let it dwell there, and let its comfort and love bring you peace even if you have to work hard throughout December 25 and beyond.
If you’re working this week and next – thank you for your labors! You are in my prayers and, no doubt, you are in the hearts of those whom you serve.
Joy and peace,