January 16, 2020

A Pastoral Prayer for the Baptism of Jesus

Dear God, we praise you that you are with us, and that the reality we all too often sense around us is not the ultimate reality in which you would have us live. We are immersed in distrust and despair. Those around us do not keep their word. History seems to repeat itself. And so we feel that all we have to look forward to is more of what we have already lived through.

Baptize us, therefore, in faith and hope. Help us to see you at work in places where we had thought there was only bleakness. Show us that you are faithful, and that hope placed in you is never lost.

We are immersed in conflict and surrounded by violence. Voices crying out for

January 12, 2020

Jesus, Our Lens and Filter

Religious magazines and newspapers used to be very important. They were very often the mouthpieces of the various denominations. Back before we began to prefer radio and television to the printed word, we had all kinds of choices in what we might read. And the various churches were happy to do their part to supply us with reading material.

But even after we began to choose listening and watching over reading, churches still kept us up-to-date with denominational news or inspiring

January 4, 2020

Hiding Place

Corrie ten Boom  Righteous Among the Nations
You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. 
Psalm119:114 ❦ 

In 1942, after the Germans had invaded her native Holland, Corrie ten Boom and her family began to hide Jews in secret rooms above their watchmaker's shop. They called this hidden apartment the hiding place. In 1944, they were arrested by the Nazis, and her father died shortly thereafter. All were subsequently released, except for Corrie and her sister Betsy. But despite the

December 24, 2019

Noel

Todd Smith (arr. Brad Holmes)

Noel, Noel
Yesu me kwisa ku zinga ti beto
Noel, Noel
Yesu me kwisa ku zinga ti beto

Kana nge zola ku zaba mwana
Nge fwiti kwisa ku fukama
Kana nge zola ku zaba mwana
Nge fwiti kwisa ku fukama

November 19, 2019

La Hija del Mar y el Sol

Today is the day Puerto Rico marks as the day Europeans "discovered" their island. Puerto Rico's national anthem, called La Borinqueña, fancifully describes this discover in these words:
Cuando a sus playas llegó 
Colón exclamó lleno de admiración,
Esta es la linda tierra que busco yo, 
es Borinquen, la hija, la hija del mar y el sol
Translation:
When he arrived on her beaches, Columbus exclaimed, full of admiration, This is the beautiful land that I seek, it is Borinquen, the daughter of the sea and the sun.