Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Grace to You and Peace

Grace to you and Peace for Christmas and the New Year. As a gift and resource for you to use, I, together with editorial partners Christ deForest and Gloria Stubitsch, have prepared a yearlong journey through the Epistles. To access it,
click here.
This is a resource to be used individually, with a companion, or in a small group. The Epistles are divided over 365 days. Each unfolds just as one would open a new letter, beginning in January with Romans and concluding in December with Jude. This is not a bible history, commentary or collection of stories. The purpose is to reflectively engage the text and let the text engage you day by day. (If you miss a day, it is easy to go back and catch up.) The intent of the author is to not veer far from the text, but to prayerfully explore its core message. The Letters speak for themselves. NRSV is the primary version used, occasionally supplemented by other English versions with aid of the original Greek.

The content and form of the passage dictate how it appears on the page. Each devotion presents words from the text, questions for reflection on our life of faith today, and a prayer. Usually the questions follow the text; sometimes they are interspersed. The prayer often picks up words from the text. In the simplicity of form on the page, you are challenged to explore the complexity of life in the church and world. Our daily lives are not the same as those of the early Christians, but at the very core we live in sin and yearn for grace. We hope you will meet yourself in these scripture texts. Although the prayer is brief, your prayer time might be much longer. Likewise, meditation on the questions could lead to deep reflection, conversation with a spiritual partner or perhaps journaling. The devotions are written to be inclusive.

The challenges of the new year are great. May the power of Christ through his body, the church strengthen each of us to not only have conversations about the church's vocation in the public world, but to be proclaimers of grace agents of peace.

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