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Archive for January 2nd, 2021

Close your eyes, breathe, and clear your mind. Be still. Center your scattered senses on God’s presence.

SCRIPTURE: James 3:13-18

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.

CHRISTMASTIDE REFLECTION

Basil (329-379), Bishop of Caesarea, was influential in development of monasticism in the Eastern Orthodox church. Gregory of Nazianzus (329-390), known as “The Theologian” by the Greeks, served as the Archbishop of Constantinople.  Gregory had significant impact on Trinitarian theology and the doctrine that Jesus was fully God and fully man.  They were both born in the area of Cappadocia, Turkey and studied together in Athens. They were friends throughout their lives and, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, developed the backbone of Eastern Orthodoxy and monasticism during a period of doctrinal struggle and confusion. They are also honored in the Western church. Basil famously wrote:  “The bread which you do not use is the bread of the hungry; the garment hanging in your wardrobe is the garment of him who is naked; the shoes that you do not wear are the shoes of the one who is barefoot; the money that you keep locked away is the money of the poor; the acts of charity that you do not perform are so many injustices that you commit.”  Basil’s words exemplify the wisdom that Jesus practiced in his life on this earth.  During this Christmastide, we should reflect upon where we seek wisdom. Is our notion of wisdom based on God’s goodness, mercy, and joy or more on the secular worldview of wisdom?  How does following Jesus help make us wiser, more peace-loving, considerate, humble, and merciful.

COLLECT:  Written by Collects are short general prayers used in Christian liturgy to draw our focus of worship.  .  The collect today is from the Church of England Book of Common Worship.

Eternal Lord, our beginning and our end: bring us with the whole creation to your glory, hidden through past ages and made known in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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MUSIC VIDEO:  Anthem Lights: Go Tell It On The Mountain

IMAGE: Jeanie Truitt: Go Tell It Over the Mountain

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