Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Not Rushing off

How many ads on my email, facebook, twitter pages tell me to hurry up and rush right in for the last minute deals? Too many to count. But it doesn't matter I am rebelling against all of those messages, I refuse to rush anywhere. The weather is rainy, the roads flooded, so on a practical note, it is not safe to rush about on the roads right now. However, the other reason is that it is against my religion. I am not saying shopping is against my religion, but rushing through this time of Advent is. Christmas is a great time to celebrate the birth of Christ, and how his life changed the world. So, I am spending more time thinking, meditating and celebrating that gift more than worrying about rushing right in to my nearest mall to buy something. Of course it is true our family is not giving very many gifts this year due to a recent vacation where we spent money on having a great time. So there is that practical side of the season I do not feel as much pressure about. But I have also been giving people smaller thoughtful gifts, to tell them how much I appreciate them and their relationship. I am so blessed with friends and family who enrich my life, who challenge me, who care for me, and I for them. What I wanted more than anything this Christmas was time, time to spend with those who are important to my life, time to express my thanks to them. As the rain pours outside, I want to take the time to pour my heart into those relationships, for they are the gifts that last my whole life through.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Comfort Ye

For these next couple of weeks I am leading a Sunday School class on the scriptures contained in "The Messiah" by Handel. I am struck on this World AIDS day of the command found in this particular scripture and used by Handel in a very moving recitative for tenor. In my work with people who are living with the reality of a HIV+ or AIDS I find that comfort defines the work. I comfort those who have been dismissed by their families, congregations, work, friends, and left alone. I comfort those who have friends or family members who have not put up walls and want to be of comfort to those they care about. I comfort those who hear the statistics and wonder who is the voice calling in the wilderness for the rights of those suffering.
We celebrate the birth of Jesus and what his presence means for us in this month. I believe Jesus brought comfort, especially to those who are so often are uncomfortable to care for. On this World AIDS day, I challenge myself, the world to bring comfort to those who are suffering those who are considered holy in Jesus' eyes, those who are looking for hope, love , peace and joy in the midst of the struggle to be whole.
I include a link to Linda Bales sermon, which speaks to this issue and who inspired me to write!