Tag Archives: shallow

Glad Tidings, No Matter What

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, December 27, 2015

o come to us Emmanuel

Glad Tidings, No Matter What

What kind of situation do I come from?

When I consider the Christmas reflection Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote, I cannot complain. By no means can I complain. Bonhoeffer was imprisoned by the Nazis. I read a portion of a letter he sent to his parents before Christmas 1943. He considered the occasion of the Christmas celebration within the prison as opposed to other places.

Can I possibly understand what Bonhoeffer really meant? I mean, really and truly? I must be honest. I have only a small idea what it’s like to be in misery and suffering. Just a little bit. I am struck by this sentence: “For many people in this building it will probably be a more sincere and genuine occasion than in places where nothing but the name [of Christmas] is kept.” [1]

That sentence did, indeed, pull me up short. How do I consider Christmas? Do I keep the holiday in a sincere and genuine way? Or, am I shallow, uncaring and inconsiderate? (Not considering my Christmas observance in a judgy, condescending manner, but instead in a thoughtful, contemplative one.)

Bonhoeffer’s contention is that a prisoner in a cell may well have a better understanding and more sincere appreciation for Christmas. So much better and more sincere than that of some people here on Chicago’s North Shore.

Dear Lord, help me to make room for You here. Help me to be open to Your work, Your will and Your ways.

Thanks.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, trans. O.C. Dean, Jr., compiled and edited, Jana Riess (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2010), 70.

Be the Best Me I Can Be

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, November 6, 2015

be who you are, not who the world wants you to be

Be the Best Me I Can Be

Oh, I can relate to the topic of today’s reading. Dear God, how incredibly strong is the temptation to “fit in!”

Different people crave different things. Some want to “fit in” by wearing the “right clothes” thinking the “right ideas” or driving the “right car.” As our meditation book Keep It Simple says, “Many of us used to care so much what other people thought about us.” [1] (Some still do care.)

But, how shallow is that? How important is it for me to want to “fit in” with my shallow, self-centered peer group? Or, do I have the firm foundation and self-confidence to march to the beat of a different drummer? My Higher Power’s drummer?

Instead, I am encouraged to stay in touch with my Higher Power (vertically) as well as my fellows (horizontally). Yes, I can be easily influenced by a group of peers. Not always the most positive thing. And yes, I need to be following my Higher Power (God as I understand God).

Can I follow God in my own way, today? And, every day? Can I be okay with being different, with being “me?”

The prayer at the end of the reading today is short, moving, and humbling: “Higher Power, help me be the best me I can be today.” [2]

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Keep It Simple: Daily Meditations for Twelve-Step Beginnings and Renewal. (Hazelden Meditation Series) (San Francisco: Harper & Row Publishers, 1989), November 6 reading.

[2] Ibid.