I am struck by how often I have felt what I imagine these parents felt—a paradox between the peaceful, sleeping children and the worries, concerns, and fear that come with living in a world full of really bad news.
For most of my life, I have tried to find peace in doing enough of the right things. I believed if I worked hard enough, busied myself with enough things, and developed skills in enough areas I would eventually arrive at some undisclosed location where there would be peace.
There is a move among many Christians to embrace the mercy and grace reflected in restorative justice while rejecting or minimizing the importance of punishment and retributive notions of justice.
This Advent season, iAt reflects on each week’s theme (Hope, Peace, Joy, & Love) and how the promise of the incarnation transforms how we view what’s happening in our culture today. We continue this week with Peace.
Perhaps the psalmist is right: those who listen to God’s word, who know it, who follow it, they are flourishing.
We all are called to speak the benediction on our hearts. We are called to end every interaction with love, compassion, and hope, so that these blessings too will become known, embodied, and lived out throughout God’s amazing world.
I wonder in the midst of the crazy, unknowns of life — the big unknowns, like placing a child for adoption, or the lesser unknowns, like where to park your car — how often we take the time to recognize the presence of God at work in the details of life.
It’s only when our peace, or, our word, is accepted that we continue to do the work. Only the, do we speak grace and peace into them. We tell them the good news of Jesus. We offer hope.
My speculation is that Jesus breathed on them, not to pour out the Spirit, but as one more proof that he was alive.
Each of us is being led by someone or something. What—or whom—is leading you?
A good shepherd in dangerous times.
Even where evil is present, the pervasive presence of God is more powerful. There is nowhere the sheep can go where the shepherd does not go with them. The shepherd’s presence brings peace in the presence of evil.
How can we sing and believe the words “it is well with my soul” at times when it feels anything but? How can we walk through the “valley of the shadow” when it feels like another trial or loss might be the one that finally breaks us?
Every time I feel the salt of tears against my cheeks—whether my own, or someone else’s, I am reminded of the words of Isaiah: “I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.”
I can only begin to understand the depth of the joy that Zechariah foretold of the incarnate Word entering our world “to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
I’m wondering whether I at least need the Wonder Woman headband as a consistent reminder to live with my eyes firmly fixed. What I don’t have to wonder is whether the spirit of the one who raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives in me. That’s secure.
As Christians, we are not promised an easy life. We all sin, make mistakes, and fall off track. The good news is that our struggles will not last forever. We have mere minutes to toil, but eternity to enjoy and we must not lose hope.
I wonder sometimes if we aren’t all a little bit like my son when it comes to our ability to pay attention and notice God’s work around us and within us. How often are we paying attention?
The idea of God’s hand resting on us, through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, is a powerful image. It brings to mind the stories of Jesus’s hand reaching out to Peter over the waters, and Thomas’s insistence on seeing the nail marks on his Savior’s hands before he would believe.
In this Advent Season we plead for God to restore us; and we’re tempted to cry out for a former time when life seemed better. The truth is, if we could go back, when we got there, it wouldn’t be the same.
How would one begin to walk with the spiritually curious, accomplished Seattleite? Where would one begin to engage in the story of Jesus in a culture disoriented to the Gospel story?
Every year, it seems that the Christmas season gets a little busier, a little crazier, and much more stressful. You may be scratching your head wondering — is it possible to have a stress-free Christmas?
Though the world may be groaning , and violence seemingly unrelentless, somehow God gives peace to the world – peace to us – through Jesus.
There is more to me than my ebullient exterior. It’s not that I am not truly joyful–I am! Internally, however, I am sometimes plagued with self-doubt. I expect a lot of myself, and I’m hard on myself when I don’t measure up to my own expectations.
She walked into the room, dressed simply, dressed beautifully.