Thursday, December 13, 2007

HOPE by Dr. Jim Savage

Responding to the Word HOPE


Perhaps no other word better illumines the Advent story. Hope that Mary would say Yes! Hope that Joseph would not reject her upon hearing the news of her pregnancy. Hope that their long journey to Bethlehem would bring no harm. Hope that the bright star overhead would bring only Good.

Parents hope for room in an inn. Shepherds hope for Good News of a birth in a manager. Angels hope for peace in human hearts. Advent could not be Advent without hope. Not at the first and not today, for without the borning crying of hope, the world could descend into deadening discouragement.

Hope opens something in the human heart. Like shutters slowly parting to admit a winter dawn, hope permits strands of light to make their way to us, even when we still stand in cold darkness; but hope also reveals a landscape beyond us into which we can live and move and have our being. With hope, closely held interior thoughts are gently turned outward; deep desires, perhaps long hidden secret corners of our heart, might be lifted up to the light. At times, hope peels back the edges of our imagination to free what waits underneath----a changed life, a new resolve, a yes to pregnant possibility. In other moments hope dares us to unfold a layer of desire---for relationship, for clarity, for courage.

In the stories of the Season of Advent, God opens everything to us through hope born of expectation----expectation that Christ is coming to make all things new. And in the coming of Christ we find the coming of hope, made real in time, space, and flesh.

May you live through the Scriptures this Season, in which the Light of God's Hope breaks in on a waiting world to illumine the landscape in which we live and move and have our being.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Anticipation and Reflection

By Dr. Jim Savage

(Matt 24:36-44)

Here Jesus tells how, with the help of God, Noah anticipated and made ready for the flood, while others ignored God and lost their lives. Perhaps the others were too consumed with the ways of the world, distracted by their own interests. But Noah had learned to pay attention to what mattered to God; and what mattered to God were the ones who mattered to Noah.

We are entering a season when much of the world will be attracted by glitter and glimmer, but we are invited to anticipate with God what really matters in our lives.

Take pen and paper to a quiet place where you can be alone for a while; a place with few distractions. Begin a list of the people you love, all those persons who are dear to you, the ones you want to carry in your heart this season. Keep this list over the whole Advent Season; add to it any time. Be satisfied with remembering these individuals in prayer and thoughts for now.

Heart-and-Soul Connection.
I naturally want to connect with people in loving ways. So I express love and appreciation of family, friends, and acquaintances.....All given as a Gift in my life to Love. In meetings, calls, cards and e-mails I stay in touch with the special people in my life.

How good it is to be in touch with All for then I am Aware of the Sacred Love that is within All and is to be Shared by All. Thank You, Loving God. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Thank You, Holy Spirit.

Dear Lord, we ask for the steadfast, trusting faith of Noah. We can only imagine the scoffers...all those caught up in apathy, who didn't care to take time to know You. Noah persevered regardless of doubters, maybe those who tried to dissuade him from his building task. Even though he didn't fully understand God's covenant with him, he focused on obeying and made a difference in the lives of his family. He Allowed himself to be used in an unfolding Divine Plan. A Lesson to contemplate now.
You are worthy of our trust. Thank You for Such Love!

Our prayer today is to let us Know the warmth of Your Presence with us so that we may Share Your Love with All.
Today we anticipate Who has been..... Who is..... and Who is to come. Amen. Amen.