Showing posts from December, 2019

Get Ready for New Beginnings

By Brenda Rivas, Communications Manager “The thing to do, it seems to me, is to prepare yourself so you can be a rainbow in somebody else’s cloud. Somebody who may not look like you. May not call God the same name you call God... But be a blessing to somebody.”  —Maya Angelou As the end of the year approaches, we get ready for Christmas and to welcome a new year. From an early age I thought the fact that Christmas and New Years are so close together always made sense. For me, it is more than just about celebrating the birth of Christ and having the chance to embrace the promise of a new year. It is about more than mere resolutions. It is about the chance of getting a fresh start and finding new ways of seeing Christ in our everyday lives. It is about opening ourselves up to the love and grace Christ shares with us through others. About taking another step towards living in His example to love each other, to give a little bit of grace and forgiveness to ourselves and every

Getting Ready for Something More- Peace on Earth

By Rev. Rob Corum, Director of Prison Ministries for the Nebraska Synod Peace on Earth, Goodwill to all.   For many people, that is what Christmas is about, what makes it worthwhile, even for those who don’t follow Jesus.   It’s what the world needs, and a Christmas refrain often seems to be the lament that we can’t live like that all year.   There is a famous painting by Edward Hicks called “The Peaceable Kingdom.”   It is his vision of the future God promises in Isaiah 11 after a child comes and judges the world with righteousness.   In the promise, the wolf lives with the lamb, the calf and lion are led together by a little child, and so on.   None shall hurt or destroy, because the whole earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord!   Hicks lived in a time of westward expansion by European settlers in the “New World,” which resulted in a lot of conflict with the people who lived here already.   His painting not only shows all these animals – predato

Getting Ready

By Rev. Steve Meysing, Assistant to the Bishop It had been a glorious Christmas Eve service. Our regular pianist and flautist were supplemented by the college student home with her cello and the children who’d not left for vacation. The new Advent and Christmas decorations transformed our worship space. The singing was inspired, the candlelight so warm and the mood even warmer. I don’t recall anybody being in a hurry to leave. Just before leaving, Paul, one of our most faithful members, asked a question that sticks with me a dozen years later. After saying what a beautiful worship service it was, Paul asked, “So is that all there is, Pastor? After all the work done to get ready for Christmas—the shopping, the concerts, the decorating, the parties—Christmas is over now? When do we get to enjoy Christmas?” Getting ready can be hard work. This Advent and Christmas, give yourself the gift of a tiny break from the work and spending a few moments with our Lo

Get Ready!

By Bishop Brian Maas But when [John the Baptizer] saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming for baptism, he said to them, “You  brood of vipers ! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?” (Matthew 3:7) Good old John—forever winning friends and influencing people. Someone has said John’s insult would better bet translated, “you sons-of-snakes!” These highly religious types spend so much of their days ensuring they don’t let the wrong people into their groups, their worship, their community, their salvation. John won’t have any of it. They are truly offspring of serpents—of THE serpent, as are we all from time to time. Remember THE serpent? The one who in the Garden said to Eve, “eat this, and you’ll be like God, knowing Good and Evil.” She and Adam lived in a creation in which everything was created Good (even Very Good) and nothing was evil. There was no division; neither good/evil, nor right/wrong, nor in/out, not even naked/clothed. It was all good