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Above Every Name

In today’s Gospel Lesson — Matthew’s account of the birth of Jesus, we read, “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son and they will call Him Immanuel, a name which means God-is-with-us” (Mt. 1:23). The following poem, entitled “Windows of Wonder,” offers us a moving reflection on our Gospel Text. In it, …

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On Wings of Faith

There is the story of a man crossing the desert in the days of the early American pioneers. He had run out of water and was dying of thirst. Suddenly, he spotted a water pump near an abandoned shack. He inched his way to the pump, mustering enough strength to work the handle, but nothing …

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Mr. Apology

The British-American poet W.H. Auden wrote an extended musical work based on the story of the Three Wise Men. In it, each man tells why he is following the star. The first says, “To discover how to be truthful now is why I follow the star.” The second one says, “To discover how to live …

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Music to One’s Ears

In a book called “The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” the author recalls attending a concert performed by an elementary school band. The youngsters took their places on the bandstand, adjusted their music stands, and tuned up their instruments. Then, with a touch of drama, the music teacher raised her baton. I sat back and, …

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Bad or Good?

In a magazine cartoon, Santa Claus is pictured at his workbench, putting a new toy together. From his nearby TV set, he hears a reporter saying, We continue our look at the real meaning of Christmas sales indicators. In the fourth quarter, consumers have dramatically cut back their spending, which could slow the economy, which …

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It’s Contagious

At her eighty-ninth birthday celebration, it was clear to all present that Flo had lost none of her zest for life. “What advice would you have for people your age?” asked one of the party-goers. “Well,” Flo said, “at my age, it is very important to keep using all my potential or it dries up. …

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What a World it Would Be

Rembrandt did a painting that portrays the Biblical story of the storm on the Sea of Galilee. Perhaps some of you have seen it. A huge wave is hitting the little ship occupied by Jesus and the Apostles. You can feel the shudder running through the whole boat. The storm is all around. The rigging …

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What’s in it For Us?

One of the top 10 bestselling motivational books of all time, “Looking Out for Number One,”-1 was first published in 1977, and since, has been released in dozens of editions and formats. The author’s additional book titles include “Winning through Intimidation,” “Million Dollar Habits,” and “Getting What you Want,” among others. In “Looking Out for …

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Prayers For Worship October 2020

PRAYERS FOR WORSHIP October 4, 2020 Greeting “It is marvelous to behold.” The Kingdom of God is at hand. Let us join together and worship the Lord, our God. Penitential Prayer Father, we make many bad choices: in our family relationships, when compassionate silence is called for, we choose to speak harshly; in our business …

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The First Two Words

Back in the late 1980s, a popular television newscaster-1 delivered the commencement address at Duke University. He based the speech on the Ten Commandments. The Dean of the Chapel at Duke said later, “It was the most popular address ever given at a Duke commencement. In a nutshell, the newscaster said that if you look …

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What Our Words Can Never Say

Emerson wrote: “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” -1 Indeed, actions not words are most important. These days, we don’t have to look past the morning news to find glaring examples of such hypocrisy – the “do as I say, not as I do” condition that has plagued …

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Finally, Fulfilled Forever!

There is an old saying that goes something like this: To look is one thing. To see what you look at is another. To understand what you see is still something else. But to act on what you learn is what really matters. In terms of what God is doing in our Church – and …

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Don’t Go it Alone!

Carved in wood over the door of a Church in Ohio, are the words, “Enter at your own risk.” Consider the meaning of those words: When you seek to experience God’s Presence in Jesus Christ, it should be with the understanding that your life may never again be the same. When you seek to enter …

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Doing, Not Dreaming

Back in the late ’80s, there was a survey conducted by a major advertising agency entitled “Fears and Fantasies of the American Consumer.” Among the findings, they reported that seventy-five percent of Americans have daydreamed about saving someone else’s life, and fully one-third of the population has daydreamed about finding a cure for cancer. But …

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