Conducting a workshop for a statewide gathering of Ph.D.s in psychology, my colleague and I asked the group, "How many of you have ever said to your patients, 'You've got to forgive yourself?' " Quite a few hands in the crowd went up. The next question was, "How many of you have had success with that approach?" Not a single hand was raised.
We talked together for quite some time about that lack of success and pondered the reasons. Our lessons for the day might help us explain why the approach meets with so little success.
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Bill Thomas Frank Ramirez Ron Love Mark Ellingsen Bonnie Bates
Isaiah 7:10-16 Kindness seems in short supply today. Think of nastiness of a lot of social media posts – cyberbullying. The Cyberbullying Research Center reports that in 2016 38% of American children had experienced this at least once. Let’s not forget all the unkindness appearing on Twitter since the last Presidential election. Victorian-era art critic John Ruskin once put it just right: “A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.”
What’s in a name? A lot. Parents spend months thinking and arguing about what to name their children. Before we can speak, we learn that there is a specific sound that means us. We later learn that sound is “Sam” or some other name. Our name is the first thing that is ours unequivocally. Some of us hold onto that with a firm grip, for example I am Bethany and never Beth. Others love to play around with nicknames. I have a friend who changed her name every four years or so. You can tell at what life stage someone met her based on what name they call her.
Call to Worship: Just before the first Christmas, an angel appeared to Joseph to tell him that Jesus would also be called "Emmanuel", meaning "God With Us." Let us listen to the guidance of the angels today as we prepare to receive God With Us once again. Invitation to Confession: Jesus, fill me with the awe of Christmas. Lord, have mercy. Jesus, fill me with the mystery of Christmas. Christ, have mercy. Jesus, fill me with Emmanuel -- God with us. Lord, have mercy.