Friday, December 19, 2014


Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary men, must you also weary my God?  Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.  Isaiah 7:13-14

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.  Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.”  Luke 1:30-31

Come Holy Spirit, you who overshadowed the temple and the Virgin Mary with your glory.  We humbly ask you to overshadow us so that when others encounter us in this holy season they sense being in your presence.  Transform our meager hospitality into heaven’s welcome mat.  Make us kind and good and gentle in ways that point to your presence in our midst.  As other are with us, may they sense a growing measure of being with you.  Come Holy Spirit, Overshadow.  Hear our prayers for nothing is impossible for you.  (Praying the Story:  Learning Prayer from the Psalms by Marie Dunham) 

The action continues to build to the Christmas crescendo as Mary learns more about the part she has been destined since the prophecy of Isaiah to play in this story. 
God’s role in our world has always played out indirectly through signs like the Virgin giving birth.  However, the scholars continue to debate the place of the historical Jesus in the world. Was this child ever even born?
The debate was renewed Friday on the pages of the Washington Post. Don’t click on the link below.  Thomas Merton had it right when he wrote: "The ox and the donkey understood more of the first Christmas than the high priests in Jerusalem. And it is the same today." 

Is there a better place to spend the final days leading up to Christmas than the proverbial shopping mall or reading the newspaper?  Dishing out a meal at S.O.M.E. or the Lamb Center are some possibilities that come to mind.  Visiting friends and family.  Providing hospitality.  Allow the spirit of the Lord to come upon you and overshadow you. 

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