Gratitude is a Practice, a Virtue, and a Way of Life

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” I Thessalonians 5:16-18 The commands to rejoice and give thanks are repeated time and time again in the whole Bible. We often think of whether we feel joyful or thankful, but the Bible gives…

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The King We Didn’t Know We Wanted

More than a few years ago, when opening presents on St. Nicholas Day, Rachel said, “This is exactly what I wanted, and I didn’t even know!” The gift was an unexpected delight that caught her off-guard. Sometimes I wonder if we are still open to being caught off-guard by God.  When Jesus came, everyone was holding…

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The Complicated Faith of Hannah

There is a small detail hidden in this week’s readings that can make a huge difference to the way we understand the text. Elkanah the Zuphite from Ephraim had two wives, Peninnah (whose name is probably derived from the Hebrew word for pearl) and Hannah, חַנָּה, whose name means favored or blessed. The story makes…

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The Gifts of the Spirit and You

The good news of the Bible is that God loves creation and is working out the redemption of the world through human beings. God is the true ruler of the world as creator, through Jesus as the messiah and redeemer, and through the Holy Spirit as the incarnation of the Godhead in human beings redeemed…

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