Friday, December 21, 2007

Let the Son rise on Christmas

I've been preaching on the Psalms during Advent this year. On Sunday I'll preach on Psalm 80, but not in the traditional fashion. Psalm 80 is a peom of lament, but also calls, as a prayer, on the Lord to "Restore us, O Lord God of hosts, let your face shine, that we may be saved." As I struggled with how to preach this poem, I found myself faced with the rising sun. So I have decided to follow the lead of the psalmist, preaching in poetry this Sunday. My sermon is as follows, and carries the title, "Let the Son rise again on Christmas."

When gifts grow expensive and money grows tight
In a world growing hard to afford,
And more than a bandage of lead-painted toys
We wish for a hope shining bright

Remember the life that was given for free:
A baby born eons ago.
His wealth we inherit and kingdom we own
By faith we gain eternity.

Let the Son rise again on Christmas!

As years of success become lost days of old
When main street with dreams was aglow
When milking brought profits and work better pay
Yet now children flee from the cold

Remember the glory that does not depend
On anything built with our hands
And trust in the one who comes down from above
To bring ev’ry woe to an end.

Let the Son rise again on Christmas!

When souls weep with sorrows no doctor can hear
And limbs cry with voices of pain
As bills stack up higher than letters and cards
And hope seems a debtor to fear

Remember our master whose touch cures the ills
Of everyone who would draw near:
Lord Jesus our saviour, physician, and friend,
All cups of desire he fills.

Let the Son rise again on Christmas!

When mem’ries fade slowly in sepia tones
And bright crowns of youth turn to grey
When dreams of the rest at the end of this race
Preserve us from dining alone

Remember the one who flung grace open wide
Who carries our burdens above
Who giggled first under the starry night skies
To show us that he’s on our side

Let the Son rise again on Christmas!

No magic elixir can keep at the door
The sufferings and sin of this world
But promise and miracle call in the voice
Of Jesus our lives to restore.

This infant so lowly, this swaddled young boy
Who later rose king from the grave
Revealed that God loves us and all through this life
We walk with the master of joy

Let the Son rise again on Christmas!
Let the Son rise again this Christmas!


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

In this time of year when spending gets scrutinized and prioritized and we’re rushing around to parties and engagements take a moment to find the little blessings in your day. On Tuesday, mine showed up something like this…

I was running errands in Binghamton, hadn’t checked the weather (duh!) and was out in pouring rain and 34 degree weather running errands to get ready for this weekend’s activities.

I was planning on making home-made hummus for a party on Sunday and had all the necessary ingredients, but over Thanksgiving we had added sun-dried tomato pesto to the basic garlic hummus and it was fabulous and I was craving an encore performance of this special treat.

I headed through the rain and puddles into Wegman’s with my list –checking it twice. Somehow the pesto sauce hadn’t made it on the list- it wasn’t really necessary. It’s very easy to be naughty in Wegman’s and leave with many, many things that aren’t on the list! I walk through the produce section and spot the sun-dried tomato pesto sauce: itty-bitty-jar- $4.69. I my craving and my pocketbook weren’t on the same page. So I walked past it. Then I walk a little farther and see package sun dried tomatoes – those might work. 3 oz bag, $3.69. Mmmm, I don’t really need the sun-dried tomatoes. So I keep on walking. Past the refrigerator pasta and I stop to do a double take. Usually this section is full of expensive pasta and usually I don’t give it a glance. But today there was a $0.99 sign flagged in two places in the case. I stop and look again. And again! Sure enough, all the Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto sauce was on sale for $0.99.

I happily walk out of Wegman’s with only one thing that wasn’t on the list and while balancing my shopping bags, purse and umbrella walk outside to find that the rain had stopped.