Stories

Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 11

by Mike Kinman

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 10

The further we get into December the more ubiquitous the Christmas music becomes. This morning one of the carols on the radio was James Taylor singing “Some Children See Him” … and listening to it was a great antidote to the parade of bad-news news stories this last week … in particular the ridiculous backlash against the Mall of America Santa story. I mentioned that to Lori as we were pulling Christmas lights out of the plastic storage bin and she said, “You know it has an All Saints connection, right?”

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 8

The Gospel from Matthew this week begins with the words: “When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing …”

Wait. John was in prison?
Oh, yeah. Right.
When you defy the Empire, it resists.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 7

by Susan Russell

This week we light the third candle on the Advent wreath and pray the prayer “Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us.” Sounds great – but what exactly does that mean? Sometimes I think we pray these things a little too lightly – it doesn’t hurt to occasionally consider what it is we’re asking for. What exactly happens when that power comes among us – rests upon us?

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immigration-rally2

Featured Ministry: Immigration Task Force

We are — all of us –in some sense immigrants and sojourners, strangers in a strange land seeking a homeland. Some of us or members of our families have personally experienced hardships and, at times, unspeakable indignities, in coming to America. Others of us fortunate to have been born here have trekked into the desert wilderness to see for ourselves the migrant path of tears and triumph.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 5

by Mike Kinman

O come, O come, Emmanuel. Advent is about longing. And we know longing. We know it well. From the moment we are born, we long to be touched, we long to be held. From our first cry, we long to be understood.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 3

by Mike Kinman

“But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.” (Luke 1:20) Probably my favorite minor character of Advent is Zechariah.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 2

by James Walker

As I write this short reflection on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent, I find myself in a place of deep gratitude for this season of expectant waiting and hopeful contemplation. Even at this very moment, as I returned from my favorite lunch place where the restaurant staff was removing pumpkins and replacing them with baby Christmas trees and reindeer, I have once again made the conscious decision to not surrender. Advent, yes!

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: December 1

by Antonio Gallardo

Every time that the Advent season starts I can’t avoid thinking about this time of the year while I was growing up in Venezuela. On a day like today –December 1st — all the traditions to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s started.  Every house got a new coat of paint, decorations were all over the city on houses, streets, and buildings. 

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: November 30

by Susan Russell

God of light and shadow, mystery and miracle: prepare our hearts to receive your precious gift of love. Reawaken us to the wonder of this holy season. Keep watch with us as we await the new advent of justice and compassion.

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Advent Wreath

Advent Meditation: November 29

by Susan Russell

The first candle of Advent — the Candle of Hope — is lit on the Advent wreath. We’ve prayed the familiar words “give us grace to cast away the works of darkness” and now we wait.

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