Advent Devotions

All are invited as we Make Room this Advent season. 

Climbing the Hill

Patrick Semansky | Credit: AP

Amanda Gorman, a 22 year-old poet, delivered a stirring recitation of her poem “The Hill We Climb” after the president and vice-president were inaugurated this past Wednesday.  That such a youthful artist could speak so mightily into an historic moment is testimony to the power of the arts to inspire human souls.  There was real beauty in the honesty of her words and a passionate appeal to lift up a common charge to rise above.

There are a couple sections that particularly struck me as I listened:

“We’ve braved the belly of the beast
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace
And the norms and notions
of what just is
Isn’t always just-ice

This is the era of just redemption
We feared at its inception
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?”

I commend the full text of Gorman’s poem to you.  As Americans and as people of faith, we are beginning a new chapter in our shared narratives.  Our callings as God’s children similarly remind us that God’s unconditional love is the source of strength that keeps catastrophe in its place while affording greater progress in our quest of justice for all.

May peace find you this day. -Pastor Peter

Let us pray,
(The Peace Prayer of Saint Francis)

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, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


Alone to Pray

Please read Luke 4:42a“At daybreak, he (Jesus) departed and went into a deserted place.” I know it may seem strange that I’m asking you to read half a verse today but bear with me. Yesterday I invited you to sit with and reflect upon the perseverance of Jesus, how he...

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The Perseverance of Jesus

Please read Luke 4:31-37 This passage in Luke immediately follows the scripture we heard on Sunday of Jesus in his hometown. Sunday’s passage ended with “When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of town, and led him...

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What Stirs in You

Ted Loder I have long appreciated the poetic writing of theologian Ted Loder. He seems to be able to put words to my feelings, my hope in God, and the reality of what it means to live out our baptismal identity in ways that both comfort and inspire me in my faith. As...

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The Call for Unity

While sitting in a Birmingham, Alabama jail cell in 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was given a copy of the local newspaper. Included in that issue was a letter submitted by eight white clergy that became known at the time as “a call for unity.” This appeal for calm was a veiled attempt to silence the enthusiasm created by the non-violent protests led by Dr. King and his associates. And, given its authorship, attempted to leverage the very authority of God.

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