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Advent Week 1

REFLECTIONS DURING ADVENT Words, Word, Exhortations, and Greetings By Angier Brock I love words, and my hope for language is always that it might elevate, inspire, and illuminate—not frighten, insult, and obfuscate. What draws my attention in this year’s gospel readings for Advent are the words words, word, exhortations, and greeting. I hope you will reflect on them too this Advent season as we move through our troubled times and busy days toward the lowly, the holy, and the hope of the Word-made-flesh that dwells among us. ADVENT WEEK I Lasting Words Luke 21:33. “Heaven and

Gratitude and Guilt

For so many of us the Holidays are a tricky time of year. In the lead-up to this Thanksgiving, I’ve certainly been feeling some ambivalence. My daughter was born two years ago on November 23rd, so as she approaches her second birthday a healthy and vibrant girl, I have a lot for which to be grateful. …And I also have this voice in the back of my head that pesters me. You should always be a grateful mother! Why do you struggle so? Aren’t you glad you finally got what you wanted? You see, my husband and I struggled with infertility for six years. I say “we” struggled, but really I took the brunt of all the “treatments.” Then, in early 2016, we were ready—spiritually, emotionally, and financial

Prayer for the Starlings

Do you know starlings? Many people consider them nuisance birds. It is true that they are not native to North America and that they can be both destructive to crops and hazardous to air craft. To be honest, when they descend on my yard in large numbers and gobble up all the seeds and nuts in my bird feeders, I too find them irksome. I understand the impulse, even the need, to find ways to control starling populations. But starlings also have redeeming features. While they are not as brightly colored as cardinals, bluebirds, goldfinches, or parrots, when seen up close they are beautiful in their own right, clothed as they are in iridescent feathers and sometimes bearing star-like spots. The v

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