Friday, December 24, 2010

New Life and Direction

Friday, December 24, 2010 -- Week of 4 Advent, Year One
Christmas Eve
To read about our daily commemorations, go to our Holy Women, Holy Men blog:
http://liturgyandmusic.wordpress.com/category/holy-women-holy-men/

Today's Readings for the Daily Office
(Book of Common Prayer, p. 938)
Morning Prayer:
Psalms 45, 46 (morning)      
Isaiah 35:1-10 
Revelation 22:12-17, 21 
Luke 1:67-80

Evening Prayer:

Psalms 89:1-29
Isaiah 59:15b-21
Philippians 2:5-11

We read this beautiful passage from Isaiah today.  Two weeks ago I preached on it.  Isaiah sees a garden and a highway emerge out of the desert, giving life and direction to a people who were barren and lost.

In our reading from Luke this morning, Zechariah speaks a prophecy over the birth of his son John, who will become the first prophet in hundreds of years, John the Baptist.  Zechariah praises God for fulfilling the promises of new life and direction for God's people.

We are on the cusp of our annual celebration of the coming of new life and direction in the person of the child Jesus.  The days have just turned and are now growing longer.  An old year is ending and a new year dawning.  New life comes to us.  What new direction is appropriate for each of us as we walk along this way?  How can we let the living water of Christ create a garden in our desert?

New things can be born in us.  The ancient promises of God can be renewed.  How will God direct our way and enliven our hearts?  ...today?  ...this week?  ...this coming year?

Lowell

I invite you to our Christmas Eve services this evening:
   4:00 or 6:15 or 10:30
Each service begins with a Choral Prelude


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Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Click the following link:
--
Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at missionstclare.com -- Click for online Daily Office
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html --  Click for Divine Hours

Discussion Blog:  To comment on today's reflection or readings, go to http://lowellsblog.blogspot.com, or click here for Lowell's blog find today's reading, click "comment" at the bottom of the reading, and post your thoughts.

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas


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