The poet Robert Burns said it is a “power” to “see ourselves as others see us.” Self-knowledge makes us stronger. ... Real power rests near our hearts in Holy Communion.
After the bells and carols of December — and after the spectacle of the ball dropping in Times Square on New Year’s — we now enter the season of “nothing special.” We now enter what the Church calls “Ordinary Time.”
“Behold, I make all things new.”
So said God our Lord from his throne in heaven, and so we can believe it is so. He alone has the authority to make the promise and the power to fulfill it.
I’m sure you occasionally have a day when everything goes right. You speak and people understand you. Somehow, you just miss the worst of the traffic on the freeway, and the bosses see that you showed up to work early. They take the occasion to tell you they appreciate the work you do. On your lunch break someone stops you on the street to compliment you on your clothing.
If you say nice things about my preaching — or my writing, or my shoes — I have to admit, I’ll be pleased. I’ll remember what you said. Pay me a compliment, and it may even change the course of my day. That’s the power of praise when it’s directed at another human being. For a moment, it makes us feel like we’re the object of admiration and even love.
It’s a happy day when an engaged couple comes to the rectory to plan their church wedding. The conversation is almost always upbeat and full of hope. Bride-to-be and groom-to-be are eager to talk about their future together — their dreams about children, about a house and maybe even a picket fence.
We are — whether or not we choose to admit it — a fighting people, and we’ve been at war for many of the years we’ve been a nation.
I'd love to read the Gospels in Greek. I'd love to read the Prophets in Hebrew. So why don't I? Because I don't like to suffer, and I would need to suffer a bit in order to read these languages with any fluency.
It can actually be pleasant to drive in the city early on a Sunday morning. The epic traffic that makes us famous is mostly at home in bed.
“They are Israelites, and to them belong … the promises” (Romans 9:4).
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