This week….

Developing a Holy Squint

FIRST SUNDAY OF ADVENT

Isaiah 64:1-9
Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19
1 Corinthians 1:3-9
Mark 13:24-37

Prayer of the DayStir up your power, Lord Christ, and come. By your merciful protection waken us to the threatening dangers of our sins, and keep us blameless until the coming of your new day, for you live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

“Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come.” Mark 13:33.

Rev. Kyle Childress, a pastor and teacher I greatly admire, grew up and ministered most of his life in the state of Texas. He tells a story about an old rancher whose face was permanently sunburned and lined from decades of living outside. He had developed a “perpetual squint,” so that, daylight or dark, indoors or out, he always looked like he was squinting, looking across some pasture for a stray cow in the face of glaring sun and blowing wind. Squinting, looking into the distance for so many years had shaped his face. Indeed, it had shaped the way he looked at everything.

Pastor Childress goes on to reflect on how we are shaped by where our gaze is fixed and how the course of our lives is determined by who and by what we love, hope for and expect. Seems to me that is a good thought with which to start the new church year. It is a great parable through which to view the season of Advent. Truth is, we are shaped by our longings and what we desire determines how we live and how we treat each other.

In our gospel lesson for this Sunday, Jesus encourages his disciples to keep their gaze, their perpetual squint, on his coming. Read more

17 thoughts on “This week….

  1. I’m new to your blog. I like what your doing. The combination of spirituality, satire, humor and literature is great. I look forward to reading more.
    Best wishes,
    James

  2. Rare is the Christian anymore who seeks to uphold Jesus’ teaching, the Beatitudes. Instead, they rattle sabers and clamor for war “in God’s name.” It’s why religion, especially Christianity, is losing numbers steadily and, likely soon, exponentially.

  3. I am new to your blog. I found your recent post to be interesting. I do not believe that religion and politics belong together. What a unique idea that you can hear what anyone is saying if everyone is shouting and calling names.

  4. I just found your letter to frank, what a great job in expressing what everyday Christian’s feel. Preaching war in jesus name is not why I gave my email or donations to any television church. Thank you for writing a letter that represents why we choice to attend church and read the teachings of Christ Jesus.

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