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A man sitting in a window nook reading next to a Christmas tree

Suffering and Glory in Advent

In the season of Advent, we rekindle our hope for God’s future, a future that includes our sharing in Christ’s glory. Yet this season also invites us to recognize the reality of our present experience, which includes suffering. Acknowledging the suffering in our lives and in our world augments our hope for the age to come. It also opens our hearts to a deeper relationship with Christ, who suffers with us and calls us to share in the sufferings of others. 

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A bunch of wrapped presents with different days numbered on them

Advent for the Children of God

Chapter 8 in the New Testament book of Romans offers a different experience of the themes of Advent. It fuels our hope. It accentuates our waiting. It points to our future inheritance as children of God. Yet this chapter also invites us to live today in the Spirit-filled reality of the coming future.

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An empty manger

If You Will Wait, Part 2

While we are waiting and—often—creating stories of doom for ourselves _or for others_ God has repeatedly demonstrated that if we would just wait, God’s power is perfect because we are weak.

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An Advent wreath with one candle lit

If You Will Wait, Part 1

Advent produces waiting. But not a listless wait with no anchor; we wait with root in the soul. We wait like a people who know that God is not done with his people. Like the practice of sabbath, or Habakkuk, or Paul, we pause and look back, look forward and rejoice and press forward.

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The Most Wonderful Reflection of All

What is the most wonderful reflection of all? Perhaps it’s the reflection of Christ’s own glory seen when we look upon ourselves in a mirror. Yes, by God’s grace and through the Spirit we begin to reflect the very glory of God. Yet we’re just at the first stages of being transformed from one degree of glory to another. We are “clay pots,” to be sure, yet pots in which God’s glory is present. 

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Reflecting on God’s Word

According to Psalm 119, if we hide God’s Word in our hearts we will be enabled not to sin. Psalm 1 expands considerably on the rewards of meditating on God’s Word. Not only are those who do so happy, but also, “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper” (Psalm 1:3). When we reflect on God’s Word, letting it fill our hearts and minds as it guides our lives, we will live fruitfully and resiliently.

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article image for Reflecting on God’s Creation

Reflecting on God’s Creation

Psalm 8 invites us to reflect on God’s creation of all things, including human beings. Compared to the grandeur of the universe, we are small and seemingly insignificant. But God has created us in God’s own image and entrusted to us the care of creation. The more we reflect on what God has created, the more we are led to exult, “O Lord, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

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Pope Francis and an Elderly Woman

Leadership Wisdom – Solidarity with the Poor

It’s easy to forget that all of us live lives rooted in gift. 

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Grace before the Meal, by Fritz von Uhde, 1885

Leadership Wisdom – The Upward Spiral of Thanksgiving

Gift is the wellspring of our gratitude.

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Scrabble tiles that say "THANK YOU" next to a vase with white flowers

Sharing Your Gratitude with Others Makes a Big Difference

Yes, it’s right and good to thank God for the people who mean so much to us. But it’s also right and good to let them know of our gratitude. May this season of thanksgiving be a time for you to thank the people in your life who have been a blessing to you, whether at work or home, in partnership or friendship.

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A sign that says "Give thanks and eat pie" with a picture of pumpkin pie

Thanks Helps You Think!

Our gratitude is a fitting response to who God is – a God of steadfast love – and what God has done – wonderful works. Yet as we focus on God and express our thanks in prayer, we receive even more grace. Our brains are strengthened. Our thanks helps us think! 

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A sign on a gate that says "THINK AND THANK"

It’s Time for Thinksgiving

If you can make time on Thanksgiving Day for reflection and gratitude, that’s great. By all means do it. But if you’re anticipating a busy Thursday, let me suggest that you find another time this week for reflection. Think about your life and your blessings. Think about how God has been gracious to you, especially during this past year. Let your thinking lead you to thanking. By all means, thank God for the gifts you’ve received. But you may also want to thank people who have made a difference in your life. Nothing warms the heart on Thanksgiving Day more than expressions of gratitude. Yes, gratitude brings even more joy than steaming turkey! 

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