Today's Devotions

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Showcase: The Holy Spirit

  • A Sanctuary for the Holy Spirit +

    In all your ways acknowledge him,and he will guide your paths. Proverbs 3: 6. It is a bit of a Read More
  • I Believe in the Holy Spirit +

    The I Believe series, of which Rector Michael Green is the editor, illustrate basic Christian teaching in practical, understandable language. Read More
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SylviaThe celebration of Christmas can feel formulaic, especially in the United States.


Stores start advertising Christmas in October. Radio stations play Christmas music in November. People start pulling out the decorations and recipes they cook every Christmas. It is easy to simply fall into the formula of Christmas.

But a quick look at the story of the birth of Jesus will reveal there is nothing formulaic about God. From the virgin birth to the shepherds and the wise men God shows up in the most unexpected places and unusual ways.

Even the place of Jesus' birth is unconventional and unexpected. Micah 5:2 says that Bethlehem is too little to be among the clans of Judah, yet God chose the least significant to bring forth the Messiah, our Savior and Lord. Wouldn't Jerusalem be a much more fitting place for the birth of the King? It is only 5 miles away. But God is the God of the unexpected.

In our Christmas carols we sing of Bethlehem as being the place where the Everlasting Light shines and all our hopes and fears of all the years are met.

We all carry hopes and fears in our heart. Take a moment to really sense what is in your heart. Often times we ignore our own heart because hopes seem to be out of reach and fears are to painful. What are your hopes and dreams? What do you dread? Are there things that you fear are too big or difficult to even hope for? 

Max Lucado says, "Hope is not what you'd expect; it is what you would never dream. It is a wild, improbable tale with a pinch-me-I'm-dreaming ending... Hope is not a granted wish or a favor performed; no, it is far greater than that. It is a zany, unpredictable dependence on a God who loves to surprise us out of our socks and be there in the flesh to see our reaction." (God Came Near, page 89)

May you be blessed this Christmas season to give all your hopes and fears to the God who is for you and who is capable of doing more than you can ask or imagine in the most unexpected ways. 

This season may our heart's cry be that of the last words of "O Little Town of Bethlehem,"
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.

Reflections to Consider

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Publications

  • Worry

    Do we trust God to take care of each and every one of our troubles, or do we act like Read More
  • The Beauty of God

    Apocalyptic and the Beauty of God Isaiah 65. 17-25; Revelation 21.9-27 a sermon at Harvard Memorial Church, October 22 2006 Read More
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Music

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Audio & Video

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Favorites

  • Healing Words From A Dialogue With God by Sylvia Gunter +

    ... Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to Read More
  • Fast Of Words - A Different Kind Of Fast by Sylvia Gunter +

    Isaiah 58:10b-12 Time and again God brings me to my knees over my heart attitude expressed out of my mouth. Read More
  • The power of words +

    Our words have the power to bless or curse, to influence for good or for bad. Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • Easter: transforming how we relate to others +

    As we prepare for Easter, let’s prayerfully consider some questions regarding John 17. Read More
  • Jesus as the cultivator of our heart +

    Day after day our heart experiences dozens and hundreds of interactions: with others, with news stories,  with our thoughts, or Read More
  • Sing to the Lord: Thinking about to praise God each day with songs from our hearts +

    One of the overriding themes throughout scripture is praising God regardless of our circumstances. Read More
  • A focus on blessing others +

    We are called to be a blessing to the world first to those around us. Read More
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