Lent Devotional 4/10/20 – Good Friday

Good morning Horned Frogs.  While we may be separated by the miles, I hope each of us is still seeking out ways to stay in relationship with one another and with God, especially as we move through Holy Week.  The rituals and rhythms of our faith traditions surely look different for us these days.  I know they do for me. Some of us may connect in small groups online, listen to livestreamed worship or just find quiet spaces for prayer that this year are quiet in a different way. Whatever our time may look like, I believe what matters is just that we continue to carve it out  – no matter what goes on around us.

So our devotional as we end this week comes from my beloved colleague and friend Tracy Rundstrom Williams.  Tracy is a gifted leader, a thoughtful scholar and a long-time committed member of our horned frog family. Above all, she is one who is committed to helping students and indeed all of us, see the world beyond ourselves and not just get to know, but also serve our neighbors near and far. Never has her calling and heart been more important than perhaps now, as we care for our campus, our communities, our families and friends in new and uncharted ways. Today she helps us prayerfully reflect on how we turn to God  – who through everything is always our light in the darkness. I hope her words encourage you as much as they have me.

As a reminder, you can find previous devotionals on our devotionals web page. As importantly, you can find other spiritual and general care resources, including information about the Frog Family Crisis Fund on our care and support page.   All my best and all my prayers as always as we move into the Easter weekend.  Even though Lent is drawing to a close we’ll have another devotional or reflection next week, so “see” you then!

A Reading for Good Friday

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. ~ John 1:5

This Week’s Reflection

These feel like dark times in many ways. Whether it is the stress of new ways of learning and what feels like more work; the worries of illness for ourselves and our loved ones; the sense of loss and disappointment as don’t see one another and special events are cancelled; the fear of what’s next.

God always reminds us that we can turn to him for a light in the darkness, but sometimes that doesn’t feel like enough. He doesn’t take away the assignments due. He doesn’t turn back the clock for missed events. He doesn’t bring more masks and gloves to the many who need them.

But He does provide solace and comfort. He does promise to be by our side through everything. And He does encourage us to be lights to others.

We are a culture of “doers,” and this period of time is particularly challenging. The thing we are called to do is stay at home. To forgo our goods, our comforts, our independence for others.

However, I believe in all places of challenge and despair, God is actually creating space for us to grow closer to him, and space for us to be more like Jesus. During this season where I seem to have limited access to people, I have more time to sit quietly outside and speak to God. During this time when I feel different kinds of work pressure, I am drawn to thank God for these new opportunities to draw upon my strengths. During this time when I feel like I can’t do anything to help, I have more time to pray for others who can: healthcare workers, scientists, leaders, manufacturers. During this time when I feel overwhelmed, I realize that I actually never could get through life alone, but I can with God.

Prayer

Dear Lord, thank you for being a light in the darkness, for calming my soul and providing me solace and hope. May I be reminded of new opportunities to draw you in and call upon you.

Lent Devotional 3/27

Good morning Horned Frogs.  While we may be separated by the miles, I hope each of us has found ways this week to stay connected and in relationship with one another.  Maybe that’s through Zoom meetings or Google hangouts.  Maybe that’s through just sending someone a note or leaving a meal on someone’s front steps.  There are countless ways to connect, even now.  What matters is that we keep doing it.   For as I read this week, it’s human relationship above all else that’s our great natural resource.

So our devotional as we end this week comes from my dear friend and colleague in chaplaincy Britt Luby. Britt is an alumna from TCU who’s worked here in various roles for over 10 years. She has a boundless and compassionate heart as well as a spirit that is relentlessly driven towards justice and serving those in need.  As the one who leads our Interfaith initiatives, she encourages us to always see one another as neighbor, even in the most difficult of times. Today she helps us reflect on how we see one another and love another – both in the season of Lent and in this altogether other new season.

As a reminder, you can find previous devotionals on our devotionals web page. As importantly, you can find other spiritual and general care resources, including information about the Frog Family Crisis Fund on our care and support page.

All my best and all my prayers as always – Angela

Reading: 

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. [1 John 4:7]

Reflection:

On Ash Wednesday this year, I had my forehead marked with ashes.  This liturgical practice is a physical way to mark the beginning of lent—a reminder that from dust we came and to dust we shall return— but it’s also a physical marker of who is a practicing Christian.  On Ash Wednesday, you can fairly easily see who shares your faith practices.  Who shares your theology.  Who, more or less, thinks like you.

It makes it easy to see who is like you.

You might bump into someone in line for coffee, for example, and see her forehead smeared black like yours. “Me too!” you say, pulling back your bangs.  You chuckle together, maybe share with each other what you are giving up for lent.  These ashes are a great equalizer: smudges look a little odd on everyone.  Once a year, these ashes make strangers feel a little bit like family.

Strangers do not feel like family today.  Today, I confess, when I am out getting groceries I fear just about anyone with a cough.  I want to keep my older relatives safe and isolated.  I bump elbows instead of shaking hands.  I avoid touching doors.  Does she have a fever?  Has he travelled far?  Am I safe with this person?  Should I be afraid?

In addition to being afraid, I am angry.  Angry at people for hoarding goods, angry at crowds for still gathering despite guidelines, angry at my small children for demanding so much attention.

It is easier for me to love you because we are alike.

This is the refrain looping through my head as I reflect back on Ash Wednesday just a few weeks ago.  And this must be my refrain, it must be our refrain, every day.  Especially now, dear ones.

We must pretend that everyone we meet has ashes on their forehead.

We must assume that everyone is part of our community.  Because they are.  And if you didn’t already believe that in your bones, this virus shows us how connected we are each and every second.

I wash my hands because I love you.  I keep distance because I love you.  I buy only what I need because I love you.

I love you because we are the same.

Prayer:  

God of love, help us see that everyone we meet is loved by you.  Give us the strength to love one another as you love us.

Peace and good, dear ones-

Britt Luby

Lent Devotional 03/17/2020

Welcome back to our Lenten Devotionals and our hiatus over “spring break”.  Since 2007, devotionals have been shared by students, faculty and staff during Lent and Advent, and yet today we find ourselves in a challenging time across creation. There’s so much we’re figuring out now throughout our communities – some of it life-threatening and critical while other things routine and mundane. Perhaps it leads us to ask – what can digital community look like not just in times of great celebration, but also in times of great struggle? Does community only exist in person or can our digital connections be places of hope, relationship, and possibility?  All of here in the RSL community believe they can.

So starting today our devotionals will shift slightly. We will continue to ask students, faculty, staff and alumni to share their hearts with one another in the Lenten season, but do so acknowledging another new season is upon us. It will be a new direction, but one that has the same heart as when these devotionals began long ago.

As a reminder, you can find previous devotionals on our devotionals web page. More importantly, you can find our chaplains and campus ministers here to support our entire TCU community.  We’re always available, and while that may mean connecting virtually  or in new ways, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Later today, you’ll find a new and most certainly evolving list of spiritual care and support resources on our website.   All my best and all my prayers – Angela

Reading:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Reflection:

When I was a child my father often talked about having a “contingency plan”. I remember this especially well one time when we were packing up for a Girl Scout father-daughter camping trip and he was walking me through his overly-extensive packing list. Mind you, as a six-year-old Brownie Girl Scout I had no earthly idea what “contingency” meant, but I realized later it was just one of the many ways he was always encouraging me to be prepared.

In recent days, we’ve seen our communities follow that same advice – to be prepared.  In some cases this is happening in abundance as grocery carts are filled with non-perishable food and jumbo size toiletries. Many of our store shelves are barren as hard-working employees patiently restock or graciously help someone find that last loaf of bread.

While there is much to say another time about how we’re preparing our pantries and our homes in this season, that it not my point.  Instead it’s about how we prepare something completely different. As a colleague of mine pointed out last week there’s been much advice from the CDC and other official sources on how to prepare physically and practically, but there’s been no official advice of course on how we prepare our hearts and souls. For some of us we turn to friends and family.  For others it may be scripture in our various traditions and virtual services at our places of worship. For some it might just be finding a new routine, a new way to balance or even binging on Netflix and ice cream.

I believe that it’s here that the Lenten journey, just like many rituals and stories across our traditions, can speak to us. In Lent we’re reminded that while we are part of creation made in God’s image, that we’re also quirky, imperfect, and perhaps just somewhat broken. It’s in that brokenness and imperfection that we decide and re-decide every day which path we will take not just with our feet, but with our hearts. Sometimes as we make those decisions we may take two steps forward and one step back. Perhaps we will falter, stumble and even fall down entirely. However, I believe that at the end of the day the best way to prepare our hearts for this season is to continue leading with them.  To lead with love and not hatred and indifference, with hope and not fear, and with patience and grace to both stranger and friend above all.  It’s hard to do, but it’s a time to ask “what does this moment and this new reality require of me?” and then to head that direction.

That’s what I’m asking today, and I hope I can continue to seek the answers in community with everyone here and throughout the rest of creation.

Prayer: 

(adapted from multiple sources)

Lord help me and guide me so that today I may –

be prepared, but not anxious

be aware, but not desperate

be vigilant, but not fearful

be joyful, but not clueless and

be faithful, but not careless.

Guide my hands and feet for the day ahead, but most of all guide my heart.

Now and always. Amen.

Lent Devotional 03/02/2020

 

Reading:

O Lord, you have searched me and known me.You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from far away.You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways.        Psalm 139: 1-3

Reflection:

So these days our family is slowly, but surely getting ready to sell our house. Soon weekends will probably be filled with packing and all the things that go into selling one house and buying another. Whether we’ve moved from a home onto campus this past fall or moved from one house to another at some point, we all know there’s a lot to it. This weekend my mind turned to the really long contracts and agreements that go into buying or selling a house or even renting an apartment. There will be pages upon pages upon pages to read and to sign.

At some point in everyone’s life, we’ll be presented with pages and pages of contracts and agreements. However, Lent is a reminder that we aren’t in contract with God. Instead we’re in  covenant.  As my colleague Dr. Casey Sigmon says, a covenant is a promise between living and loving parties. A covenant is a way of following God in context and in relationship.  When we name the covenant we have with God, we can then name the covenant we have with other people, whether they be stranger or friend and whether those relationships be easy or hard.

Here’s the best part – unlike a contract, the God who is in covenant with us stays with us even when we falter, even when we fail. The God who is in covenant with us knows what to do with our uncertainty and imperfection, and knows what to do with our loss and struggle.  This is a God who like the Psalmist says searched us and knows us and knows that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.

We belong to a God who sees the dust of Ash Wednesday last week as a place to dream of new possibilities, to envision resurrection and rebirth from the dust.  That’s because the goal of our covenant with God is not perfection like contracts seem to demand, and the goal is not even wholeness. The goal and the hope of that covenant is relationship.

Prayer:

Holy God, who loves us in and through all our seasons, we pray as Lent begins that we turn our focus towards our covenants with you and with one another.  Help us be attentive to what this Lenten season calls us into, to what it will create in and through us, and finally what you will do with it and us along the way.  Amen.

by Rev. Angela Kaufman 

Advent Devotional 12/20/2019

Week 3: Joy

Good morning!  Our final devotional writer for this season of Advent is Miranda Sullivan.  Miranda is a Junior from Des Moines, Iowa, who is double majoring in Religion and Political Science.  Miranda currently serves as the President of Disciples on Campus, also known as DOC, which is our Christian Church Disciples of Christ campus ministry.  I have gotten to know Miranda this year in this role and have appreciated her sense of responsibility and deep commitment to this ministry.  I appreciate her ability to let her responsible approach to leadership rest comfortably beside her joyful presence that helps put others at ease.  When you see Miranda you are greeted with a genuinely warm smile and a kind heart, regardless of what might be going on around her.  In doing so she embodies what it means to choose JOY, which is important not only during this season of Advent but throughout the year as well.  I hope you will take a moment to breathe, quiet the busyness around you, read her words and choose JOY for yourself today.  Since this is our last devotional, I’m wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas this holiday season!

Romans 12:9

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good.

Let us reflect.

My mother has always been my confidant, and since I was young she has patiently listened to my seemingly unending list of tasks, frustrations, and anxieties.  When I finish, she always asks me to tell her about something good—something that brought me joy.  She reminds me often that joy can be a choice.  Even if you can’t always control your circumstances, you can try to control your response and outlook.  You can choose joy because you can “hold fast to what is good” (Rom 12:9).

Unfortunately, the arrival of the Advent season doesn’t wash away the stresses of everyday life.  Classes continue, and work piles up just as it does all year long.  A lot of times, the Advent season brings its own additional, unique stresses as we contemplate the perfect gifts for our loved ones and pack our schedules with events and travels.  These things can be inevitable, but they don’t have to inhibit our joy this Advent season.

We can choose to “hold fast to what is good,” because even though Christmas brings stresses it also brings so many more opportunities for joy.  We have the opportunity to break from our routine to experience the peace, joy, hope, and love of Christ’s birth while surrounded by our loved ones.  We share stories, gifts, and meals that provide countless opportunities to find joy.  I challenge you to identify these joyous moments throughout the Advent season and to hold fast to these moments of joy as you move throughout the rest of the Advent season and into the new year.

Let us pray.

God of love, help us to hold fast to the joyous moments of this Advent season.  May we both experience and share the joy of your greatest gift to us.  Amen.

Advent Devotional 12/18/2010

Week 3: Joy

Good morning!  Our devotional writer for today is Johnny Silva.  Johnny is our Senior Campus Minister to the TCU Wesley, and is currently in his second year as a member of the Horned Frog Family.  Johnny came to us from San Antonio where he also served as a Wesley Campus Minister.  I have enjoyed getting to know Johnny and have always appreciated his ability to create a safe space for all students, thereby making the Wesley a welcoming and affirming place for everyone.  It is evident that Johnny deeply cares for students and genuinely desires to be with them through all that life sends their way – celebrating moments of success and grieving those heartbreaking moments of loss.  And through it all he reminds them that hope and JOY are still present, and that happiness will come again.  We see that message reflected in his words for us today.  I hope you will take a moment to meditate on his message this morning and continue to reflect on it as you live into your JOY this holiday season.

Acts 16: 23-25

After they had given them a severe flogging, they threw them into prison and ordered the jailer to keep them securely. Following these instructions, he put them in the innermost cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.

Let us reflect.

In the midst of finals and with the chaos of everything that is this Christmas season, you might find it difficult to experience or even catch a glimpse of God’s promise of joy. Is it only something we read about in the Bible? Can it happen for me in my life?

In Acts 16, Paul and Silas found themselves in the most difficult of circumstances. And, yet, they prayed and sang hymns to God. You see, happiness is dependent on circumstances; Joy, on the other hand, occurs independent of circumstances and is anchored in the Lord. This is what fueled Paul and Silas to rise above their circumstances and change their very life. This joy is available to you and can change your life too!

So, how might God be positioning you now in your current situation to step into the full and robust expression of God’s promised joy? To find out, keep your heart set on kingdom matters, continuously count every blessing in your life, and let your faith fuel your joy.

Let us pray.

 Powerful and loving God, may you help each of us know within the depths of our souls and every fiber of our being that all of Your promises are yes and amen in Christ. May we live confidently in your joy despite our circumstances. For there is no maybe in a promise when it comes to You, O Lord, our refuge and our strength! Amen.

Advent Devotional 12/16/2019

Week 3: Joy

Good morning!  Our devotional writer for today is Annorah Moorman.  Annorah is somewhat new to the community, having joined our TCU family this semester as the Associate Vice Provost of Student Success.  I have had the wonderful privilege of getting to know Annorah this semester as a great colleague and a trusted friend.  She has intentionally taken the time to get to know many amazing faculty and staff across campus who are also doing great work to ensure student success.  If you have had the pleasure of meeting with Annorah you have experienced firsthand the JOY she brings with her into any room she enters.  A kind smile and warm heart are evidence of her great care for whoever she might be meeting, and her thoughtful questions are evidence of her deep desire to truly know and celebrate you and your work.  From my perspective she embodies what it means to be a joyful person, which is why I have invited her to write this devotional today.  I trust her words will fill you with JOY, as well!

As a reminder, our annual Carols by Candlelight service will be happening in Robert Carr Chapel tonight at 7:00pm, so feel free to come and share in the JOY of the Advent season!  Oh, and stay after the service for some hot chocolate and cookies.   We hope to see you there!

Matthew 2: 9-10

And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.

Let us reflect.

As I reflect on this time of year, I am reminded of how stressful this time of year can be for many, as there can be great pressures and expectations about gifts, the perfect meal, how time together “should” be. Regardless of one’s religious tradition this time of year, whether celebrating Advent, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, the Winter Solstice, Kwanza or another religious holiday, all seem to share certain components of JOY for me: anticipation, sense of community, celebration, and an acknowledgement of God or other powers bigger than we are as individuals.

I think of the many special traditions that my family shared: from opening Advent calendars, decorating the tree, singing Christmas carols, wrapping presents, baking Christmas cookies, anticipation and excitement in counting down the days until the birth of Christ….what made these events so JOYFUL was SHARING these events WITH others. I have found happiness and joy to be byproducts of enjoying what we are doing in our own lives and for the lives of others and spending time with those we care about most, whether it be family of origin or family of choice.

Sometimes we may need to remind ourselves what is really important this time of year….being together, taking time to pause and step away from the day to day pressures and celebrate community, religion, spirituality, and tradition, whether it be old or new!

Let us pray.

Gracious and loving God, during this busy holiday season help us to set aside the pressures and expectations of what “should” be and be present to the things that really matter.  In doing so may we be reminded of the JOY we find in You.  Amen.

Advent Devotional 12/13/2019

Week 2: Peace

Good morning!  Our devotional writer for today is Sam Hinckley.  Sam is a Senior majoring in Biology from Azle, TX.  I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and working with Sam the past two years as a member of the Student Leadership Council, which he serves on as the President of the TCU Baptist Student Ministry (BSM).  I quickly noticed and appreciated Sam’s ability to not only connect and form relationships with other Christian student leaders on the council, but to form equally strong relationships with student leaders from other faith traditions.  It was clear to me that Sam’s intentions were to form those healthy and strong relationships with everyone for two reasons – first, because he understands that we can accomplish far more by working together than we ever can individually, and second, because he genuinely cares about everyone he meets and desires to be in relationship with them.  In doing so he embodies Christianity at its best and demonstrates with his actions what it means to follow Jesus’ commandment to love God, love ourselves, and love our neighbor.  He brings PEACE with him wherever he goes, and I think you’ll find he’s bringing it to you in his words for us today.  Peace be with you, my friends…

Luke 2:8-14 English Standard Version (ESV)

8) And in the same region, there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9) And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10) And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12) And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Let us Reflect.

As we approach this time of year where we remember the coming of our Messiah, we all too often feel anything but peace. Holiday shopping, preparing for guests to come, dealing with insurance renewals, and for those of us in school… finals. Sometimes it seems as though we get so wrapped up in the holidays that we lose focus of why we even celebrate in the first place.

As we read the scripture today we read the first command given by the Angels: fear not. We need not fear because they were sharing the great news of the arrival of our Messiah. In the Old Testament, the Messiah was called the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6), and indeed Jesus came to bring us the ultimate peace: reconciliation with God. He came not with condemnation, but to seek and save the lost (John 3:17, Luke 19:10). Because of this, we can say: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased”.

So as we go about this advent season, let us take a moment to remember that Jesus came to bring us peace. Even when things seem hectic or chaotic, remember to inhale peace and exhale frustrations. The theologian Charles Spurgeon once said: “If you know the law of mental storms you may reach peace, and that law may be summed up in one line: Steer to God right away; fly to him, and you will find a peaceful shelter”.

Let us pray.

Gracious God, thank you for the wonderful gift of your son Jesus. Please help us have peace as we go about this advent season. Let us not be so distracted by the worries and frustrations that we don’t take time to stop and reflect on the peace that we have in you. Amen.

Advent Devotional 12/11/2019

Week 2: Peace

 Good morning!  Our devotional writer for today is Karen Bell Morgan.  While still in her first year in her new role as Associate Dean in Campus Life, Karen is no stranger to TCU having worked here for many years as an Assistant Dean in the same department.  She served as Program Director and Assistant Professor at the UNT Health Science Center during the time between those two roles before the university was able to bring her back to the TCU family.  I, for one, am beyond thrilled to have her back.  Her deep care and concern for our students is a product of her deep connection to her faith, which I believe makes her exceptional at her work.  Karen and I have endured several significantly stressful moments together over the years, and through it all I have found her to be a calm and peaceful presence.  It’s for that reason that I have asked her to write today’s devotional.  May her words of wisdom for us today assist you in finding the peace you need to face the day ahead.  Peace be with you…

2 Corinthians 13:11 

Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice!  Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace.  And the God of love and peace will be with you.  

REFLECTION

The end of the fall semester is filled with so many activities- holiday concerts and parties, shopping for friends and family, grading, meeting with students and studying for final exams.  During this busy pace of the season, we can become overwhelmed by all of the things that we have to do.  In those times we often focus our attention on ourselves.  As we celebrate the Advent season let us remember to encourage each other and to live in peace.  Take a few moments to catch your breath, listen to the sounds of the season and exhale.

It’s just that simple, take a deep breath- hold it- now exhale.

Those few short steps can help us when we may feel discouraged or anxious.  As we wrap up the semester, let us encourage each other, take time to comfort a friend and strive to find peace around you.  Meditate each day on the love and peace that God provides.  The strength that we need to sustain ourselves during times of panic comes from the peace that He provides. Rest easy in knowing that He is with us.

Let us pray.

 God of love and peace we come thanking you for the solitude that You provide us during this busy season.  May we move forward uplifting those that we encounter.  We strive to be of calm minds, healthy bodies and rest in your peace.  Amen. 

Advent Devotional 12/09/19

Week 2: Peace

 Good afternoon!  Our devotional writer for today is Jan Quesada.  Jan teaches in the Department of Religion here at TCU.  Many of you are undoubtedly familiar with her great work across the university.  She was recently recognized for that great work as a finalist for the TCU Ferrari Award this past academic year.  Always kind and thoughtful, Jan truly embodies what it means to have a peaceful presence.  And so, as we begin this second week of Advent, who better to speak to the topic of Peace?  Jan beautifully reminds us through her words below that many faith traditions speak to the importance of peace.  I trust you’ll find her words to be insightful and challenging during this second week of Advent.  I hope you will find ways to practice and implement her wisdom not only today, but throughout this holiday season.  Peace be with you…

Isaiah 9:6

    For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named…. Prince of Peace.

REFLECTION

Shalom – Salaam – Peace.  Rough synonyms, as well as standard words for blessing and for greeting one another within Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, these terms can reward our further consideration. On a university campus, a sense of wholeness, tranquility, and well-being—the biblical shalom—can be hard to come by during December. The seasons of Advent and of Hanukkah arrive in the midst of the end-of-semester frenzy. Projects and papers and exams need to be written and graded, even as holiday preparations demand attention. When a crush of obligations leaves us feeling fragmented, frustrated, and fatigued, the intentional quest for peace, both personal as well as communal, becomes imperative.

The New Testament Letter of 1 Peter urges Christians to “Seek peace and pursue it” (1 Peter 3:12b), chiefly through self-control, prayer, and good deeds. Peace, intriguingly, is presented here as an object to be sought, to be pursued.

Below I offer you some practices with deep roots in multiple religious traditions to consider as pathways toward personal and communal peace-salaam-shalom. Consider seeking them . . .

Through forgiveness—of ourselves, as well as others.

Through random acts of kindness and targeted deeds of generosity.

Through the practice of stillness, prayer, and contemplative quiet, in daily increments of 10-20 minutes.

Through overwriting harsh mental tapes with loving detachment.

Through the cultivation of gratitude.

Let us pray.

God of shalom, of salaam, of peace, open our hearts to your healing love; open our minds to your holy presence in each day. Make our lives holy by showing us how to find wholeness, that we may be bearers of your peace. Amen.