Saturday, December 24, 2016

Advent: Kindness

the pastor,
whom I serve with
when I was an associate pastor,
preached and emphasized "kindness"
at the heart of the Christian life.

I remember squirming
in my chair, thinking:
"The Christian life is so much more...
the call to justice,
the life of compassion...
What about Micah 6:8?
What about morality and holy living?
You can't possibly boil Jesus'
sermon on the mount to simply

And yet,
I am beginning to realize...
would be a good place to start.

So this Christmas I pray for
the kindness of a stable to welcome a baby,
the kindness of Joseph to care for Mary,
the kindness of a mother's embrace,
the kindness of an angel to sing to shepherds,
the kindness of the wise to seek counsel,
give gifts, and to leave quietly protecting the child,
the kindness of God to become flesh and blood
to demonstrate the depth of God's love.

the Christmas story
so quickly turns to violence
with King Herod.
Our world's story and news
is so full of violence;
we need

So, Lord,
this Christmas
give us the gift of
And teach us
to give it to others.

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