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Showing posts from December, 2011

Chain of blessing

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The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the Israelites: You shall say to them, The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. So they shall put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them (Numbers 6:22-27).

Every day for the past 3,000+ years, these words of blessing have been spoken to the people of Israel. This "priestly blessing," named as such because it was given to Aaron and his sons, the hereditary priesthood of Tabernacle and Temple, has echoed through the ages, in that lineage, and adopted by the presiding ministers of the Christian Church.*

The photo above is contemporary, taken yesterday. "A descendant of the priestly caste pronounces the High Priest Aharon's blessing at the Western Wall," 70,000 attend Priestly Blessing at Western Wall, Jerusalem World News, 12/31/11.

They are said so…

With us is God

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Gracious God, born of Mary and ever-coming into the world, this Christmas may we receive the grace to adore you. May we worship your glory in humble places. May we honor you with fine gifts for those in low estate. And may we, with shepherds and angels, sing praise to God Most High, God Most Near, God Most Holy, God Most Merciful, Jesus Christ our savior, our brother, our king. Amen.

Joy to the World

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A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together...” (Isaiah 40:3b-5a).

Three weeks ago the season of Advent began with the reading of these words of prophecy. Isaiah knew that there are so many obstacles between us and God, between the world we have and the world God is bringing into being.

As Advent proceeds, we are asked to be attentive to the ways that God is working in the world, perhaps even look to and minister in the “rough places” as precisely the places where God's glory is being revealed.

The Hudson County Correctional Center (pictured above) is tucked into one of those corners of the County that pass for “wilderness,” surrounded by tangles of concertina wire. If your loved one is ins…

Prayer for healing

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Healer of our every ill,
Light of each tomorrow,
give us peace beyond our fear,
and hope beyond our sorrow.


Great God, your very life is healing for illness, for sorrow, for that which is broken. Lay your hand upon us, that we might be made whole, renewed in life, upheld by your Spirit, and possessed by your love.

Bless all those engaged in the ministry of healing, and help our hospitals, clinics, doctors, nurses, aides, therapists, chaplains, and health care administrators be enablers of healing for people and communities. We ask in the name of the great physician, the One whose ministry heals the sick and the world itself, Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.

"Healer of our every ill" verse by Marty Haugen, (c) 1987, GIA Publications, Inc. "Flower Mandala" by Carole Devereux.
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