Archive 08

For the weeks beginning: Dec. 31, Jan.14, Jan.21, Jan.28, Feb 4, Feb 11

February 18-24         Theme: “John 3:16-17” 
Sunday, Feb. 24:
   Jesus said, “I’m telling you God’s got such a thing for this loused -up planet that he’s sent me down so if you don’t believe your own eyes, then maybe you’ll believe mine, maybe you’ll believe me, maybe you won’t come sneaking around scared half to death in the dark any more but will come to, come clean, come to life.” —Frederick Buechner
Saturday, Feb. 23:
   “We are made whole by God alone, for God so loved the world that he broke himself open so that we could be whole. All the rest is footnotes.” —Gary Gunderson
Friday, Feb. 22:
   “To say, ‘I believe that God so loved the world that in Christ He gave everything He had, gave His very self,’ to use such words, not lightly or conventionally, but in spirit and in truth, means that the one who uses them binds himself irrevocably to make selfgiving the controlling principle of life: and this is the very essence of mission.”  —James S. Stewart
Thursday, Feb. 21:
   “…the advent of Christ was made possible by God’s love for the world—not God’s love for Heaven, or for the world as it might be, but for the world as it is. Belief in Christ is thus dependent on prior belief in the inherent goodness—the lovability—of the world.”  —Wendell Berry
Wednesday, Feb. 20:
   “The best way to know God is to love many things.” —Vincent Van Gogh
Tuesday, Feb. 19:
   “When I reflect on God’s love, I repeatedly encounter two matters that quicken and hold me. The first of these is the immensity of the landscape where God’s love appears. As often as I have looked, I know I shall never fully chart it. It is simply too vast.”  —Stephen Doughty
Monday, Feb. 18:
   For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.   —John 3:16-17

February 11-17         Theme: “Truth” 
Sunday, Feb. 17:
   “As it happens, the etymology of the word true takes us back to the old English word for "tree": a truth, to the Anglo- Saxons, was nothing more than a deeply rooted idea. Just so, my version of a planted tree—envoy to the future, repository of history, index of our respect for the land, spring of aesthetic pleasure, etc.—is "true"; it has deep roots in the culture and seems to serve us well.” —Michael Pollan
Saturday, Feb. 16:
   Once upon a time a visitor came to the monastery looking for the purpose and meaning of life.
   The Teacher said to the visitor, "If what you seek is Truth, there is one thing you must have above all else."
   "I know," the visitor said. "To find Truth I must have an overwhelming passion for it."
   "No," the Teacher said. "In order to find Truth, you must have an unremitting readiness to admit you may be wrong."
 —Joan Chittister
Friday, Feb. 15:
   “Everyone who, like Blake, has a passion for goodness cannot but in some degree hate morality; just as lovers of freedom hate laws, and lovers of truth hate dogma.”  —Malcolm Muggeridge
Thursday, Feb. 14:
   “For as knowledges are now delivered, there is a kind of contract of error between the deliverer and the receiver; for he that delivereth knowledge desireth to deliver it in such a form as may be best believed, and not as may be best examined; and he that receiveth knowledge desireth rather present satisfaction than expectant inquiry.”  —Sir Francis Bacon
Wednesday, Feb. 13:
   “The often-cited "freedom to be wrong" is thus a valid freedom, but it is a poor thing by itself; its validity comes from the recognition that error is real, identifiable as such, dangerous to freedom as to much else, and controvertible. The freedom to be wrong is valid, in other words, because it is the unexciseable other half of the freedom to be right. If freedom is understood as merely the privilege of the unconcerned and uncommitted to muddle about in error, then freedom will certainly destroy itself.” —Wendell Berry
Tuesday, Feb. 12:
   Truth is in order to goodness; and the great touchstone of truth is its tendency to promote holiness, according to our Savior’s rule, “By their fruits you will know them.  —Book of Order (Presbyterian Church, USA)
Monday, Feb. 11:
   You will know the truth and the truth will make you free.   —John 8:32

February 4-10         Theme: “Faith 2” 
Sunday, Feb. 10:
   “I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year, Give me a light that I might go safely out into the darkness. And he replied, Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the hand of God. That shall be more to you than a light, and safer than a known way.” —M. L. Haskins
Saturday, Feb. 9:
   To be discerned
            only by those
                      alert to likelihood.
 —Denise Levertov
Friday, Feb. 8:
   “The possibility of a kinder future, the existence of God— these are just two of many things that fall into the category I would label "impossible to prove, and proof is not the point." Faith has a life of its own.”  —Barbara Kingsolver
Thursday, Feb. 7:
   “We act in faith—and miracles occur. In consequence, we are tempted to make the miracles the ground for our faith. The cost of such weakness is that we lose the confidence of faith. Faith is, faith creates, faith carries. It is not derived from, nor created, nor carried by anything except its own reality.”  —Dag Hammarskj÷ld
Wednesday, Feb. 6:
   “Many look toward faith to serve as an anchor to slow the drift into social catastrophe, to hold onto the past. We met people living out a quite different kind of faith—one that begins with the assumption that God is driving us forward, and the very structure of the created universe beckons us to sieze the opportunities for better health and wholeness. They lean into the future with expectation.” —Gary Gunderson
Tuesday, Feb. 5:
   “Belief is truth held in the mind; faith is a fire in the heart.”   —Joseph Fort Newton
Monday, Feb. 4:
   Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.   —John 20:30-31

January 28 – February 3         Theme: “Faith” 
Sunday, Feb. 3:
   “To believe in God is easy; but to believe that the world will become different—to do that one must be faithful unto death.” —Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt
Saturday, Feb. 2:
   For we are fallen like the trees our peace
   Broken and so we must
   Love where we cannot trust
   Trust where we cannot know
   And must await the wayward-coming grace
 —Wendell Berry
Friday, Feb. 1:
   “And trust is a form of freedom. It is freedom from the need to control, and freedom from having to expend our energies proving our points and patching over the holes in our information, freedom from having to provide a fully coherent narrative and explain away all inconvenient inconsistencies.”  —Marilyn Chandler McEntyre
Thursday, Jan. 31:
   To choose what is difficult all one's days
   As if it were easy, that is faith.
  —W. H. Auden
Wednesday, Jan. 30:
   “Thus in faith we go forward, with breath-taking boldness, and in faith we stand still, unshaken, with amazing confidence.” —Thomas R. Kelly
Tuesday, Jan. 29:
   “Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of faith is to see what we believe.”   —Augustine
Monday, Jan. 28:
   Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.   —Hebrews 11:1

January 21-27         Theme: “Holiness” 
Sunday, Jan. 27:
   “There is only one sadness, the sadness of not being a saint.” —Donald Nicholl
Saturday, Jan. 26:
   “Whatever education is … it should make you spiritually rich, a person who loves whatever you are doing, wherever you are, whomever you are with; it should teach you what is important, how to live and how to die.” —John Taylor Gatto
Friday, Jan. 25:
   “The responsibility of the saint is to desire to live a Christlike life, to depend upon the Holy Spirit for the power to live that life. This fulfilled will bring all the infinite resources of grace to the aid of the saint and put in operation all the activities of the Spirit in his behalf.”  —Kenneth S. Wuest
Thursday, Jan. 24:
   “Nothing is more certain dogmatically than that human action can be sanctified. 'Whatever you do,' says St. Paul, 'do it in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.'”   —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Wednesday, Jan. 23:
   “The true sacrament is holy personality.” —Richard Foster
Tuesday, Jan. 22:
   “Where do they come from, the Christ, the Buddhas? The villains we can always explain by the tragic conditions that produced them—the Hitlers, the Oswalds—but the births of the holy ones are in a way always miraculous births, and when they come, they move like strangers through the world. History does not produce holiness, I think. Saints do not evolve.”   —Frederick Buechner
Monday, Jan. 21:
   And John bore witness concerning Jesus, “This is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.”   —(John 1:32-33)

January 14-20         Theme: “Humility” 
Sunday, Jan. 20:
   “To be humble is not to make comparisons.” —Dag Hammarskj÷ld
Saturday, Jan. 19:
   “Humility is reality to the full.” —Joan Chittester
Friday, Jan. 18:
   “Humility like darkness reveals the heavenly lights.”  —Henry David Thoreau
Thursday, Jan. 17:
   “Humility is the ability to know ourselves as God knows us and to know that it is the little we are that is precisely our claim on God. Humility is, then, the foundation for our relationship with God, our connectedness to others, our acceptance of ourselves, our way of using the goods of the earth and even our way of walking through the world.”   —Michael E. Williams
Wednesday, Jan. 16:
   “But there is one thing God requires unconditionally at every moment – integrity – that one does not reverse the relationship and try to prove his relationship to God or the truth of his cause by good fortune, prosperity, and the like.” —S°ren Kierkegaard
Tuesday, Jan. 15:
   “Jesus’ humility is the pledge of the greatness of his love.”   —Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Monday, Jan. 14:
   Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented.   —Matthew 3:13-15

December 31–January 6         Theme: “Kingdom of God, part 2” 
Sunday, Jan. 6:
   “If God will not live up to their standards of prudence and wise management, then they have a choice. They can continue to assert their wisdom and live by it; or they can troop off on another one of these goofy rescue missions that God is so famous for. It all depends on how important it is to them to be wise, and how important it is to be where God is.” —David Rensberger
Saturday, Jan. 5:
   “The rule of God takes place when human society, grasped by God's saving action in the exodus, embraces the divine teaching (the Torah) whose emphasis on righteousness and mercy creates shalom. Jesus himself declared that he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it—to carry it forward.” —Frederick C. Holmgren
Friday, Jan. 4:
   “We must show with our lives that men and women can live lives of purity, peace, unity, and love wherever they dedicate their energies to working for the common good; and not only by creating spiritual community, but by building up a practical life of sharing.”  —Johann Christoph Arnold
Thursday, Jan. 3:
   “But Torah's conception of God's kingship tells us just the opposite: that the only real power governing our lives is the Force that makes it possible for us to leave systems of oppression and start over, creating something fundamentally different and new.”   —Michael Lerner
Wednesday, Jan. 2:
   “So Jesus in announcing a kingdom has to be heard as announcing an alternative. In the midst of all the people and organizations which seek, hold, and wield power and authority, he announces, not just advocates, announces another power structure—in the presence of board chairmen, representatives, labor leaders, bishops, and presbytery.” —James L. Mays
Tuesday, Jan. 1:
   “Something new came into [my grandfather's] voice when he quoted Scripture … There was a sense in all this which I could not have articulated then, of an order of being different from mine: an invisible world which interpenetrated the one I saw.”   —Robert Shaw
Monday, Dec. 31:
   Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.   —Matthew 2:2



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