Tuesday, January 8, 2019

What's next?

Monday, January 7, 2019
Friends of our celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary today. The world has changed since their wedding, no doubt about it. Congratulations, Dave and Gigi!

I always look forward to a Monday morning call with my friend and mentor. We haven't talked for a few weeks and both of us are weary. So it's nice to relax, catch up on the prayer list, and thank God together that the holidays have come and gone.

W and I have the privilege of listening to Jakob and Dayana, who are speaking next Sunday. I feel enriched, tuning in to what's coming up for the BIC family.

A new Indian restaurant has opened in town. You'd think, with about 5 million hungry people plus Jakarta coming here on the weekends, that Bandung would have the best pick of restaurants. There are a lot of Indonesian choices, but few truly great foreign ones.

We all meet with Dr H, Josh and Clau over lunch at Spice Affair. It's a cousin restaurant to our Jakarta favorite Queen, so of course it's delicious. And the food tastes authentic. Most restaurants here end up tasting similar since many local chefs never travel abroad; they use spices familiar to them.

Tuesday and Wednesday
Our errands Tuesday morning take longer than expected, but we're home for a late lunch with some kitchen purchases. A generous women's organization sent funds for house set-up. A few months ago, we purchased a huge pot (saving me over an hour each month in movie-night prep) and other essentials. Sometimes I feel like we run a restaurant. We finally decide on a buffet heater. Here, most food is left out to cool (in 80+o ambient temp) after cooking, probably not the best plan for healthy digestion. I keep running out of big serving dishes, so this - thanks ladies! - will take care of that.

I'm eating heating healthier. That means a few evening hours of prep - cooking grains, looking at healthier recipes, and thinking ahead to meals. Usually, it's one meal to another, but trying to eat more whole foods means more deliberate foresight.

Breakfast is good: a homemade whole-grain waffle with fruit. The blackberries come from the freezer at a SDA store; the mangoes are local.
 I'm also planning the next year, starting with the new few months. This is a natural and comfortable activity: I like to look back at what's happened, lay out possibilities, and dream of what might be accomplished. Next step is putting those intentions into workable habits.

Can't remember where I found this, but it's an ideal bird to-do list, isn't it? Wish my list was this short and succinct. At the turn of the year, I think about what is done and left undone - and what is coming.
One of my friends encourages me to spend a few hours thinking about doors possibly closing in the future. That way, we are not caught off guard by redirection, but move ahead whether opportunities materialize, morph, or disappear entirely. She's a genius, I think.

For those of you who are stuck or not sure you can accomplish what God seems to be asking of you, here's a hint from Chandler Bolt, whose blog I appreciate and often read:
Truth be told, I can't quite wrap my head around wanting to hear my own voice every day, but oh well. Maybe.

We're happy when visitors stop by the house or office for counseling, and for non-profit stuff. There's so much going on - so many people are serving locally and globally that my heart just sings.

Seems like a lot of people have been sick lately with dengue, typhoid fever, asthma, and other conditions. Most locals blame their low resistant to disease to the transition of weather, from dry to wet and back again.

We drop by to say hi and pray for those we know.

Read more:
*Take care, or you will be seduced into turning away, serving other gods and worshipping them. Deuteronomy 11:16

*A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
The tongue of the wise adorns knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly.
The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good.
The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit. Proverbs 15:1-4 NIV
*You have looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because my house lies in ruins, while all of you hurry off to your own houses. Haggai 1:9
*Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Romans 12:11
*For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.  Galatians 5:1
Moravian Prayer: Holy God, whatever you command of us, let our whole heart be joyful, ready, and willing to do your work to your glory. Let us go forth this day and shine your light to others. 
Breaker of oppressions—destroy our allegiance to the lesser gods of our world; prevent us from submitting to yokes of affluence, pride, fame, or power—enfold us in your love which frees us to live forever. For yours are the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Ah, relax!

Thursday, January 4, 2018
We're at Gracia Resort for 2 days and 3 nights, courtesy of (a gift) from our study groups. W and I don't realize how much we need to leave town - even to go an hour away in the hills. The road in looks unpromising.
The resort is beautiful. The Christmas decor is a bit over the top, especially since I put all of mine away this morning.
 The foyer is red from top to bottom.
We have time while we're away to reflect on how much we love the city where we live. I also think through the coming months. When the pressure's off, ideas fly around my head and land in good order.
The hot springs are clean and well-maintained. It's another world, quiet and cool. Practically perfect.

Friday
The breakfast buffet is pretty. There is rice porridge, fruit, and breads. And the main course is from a menu.
Breakfast looks as expected. Since Muslim restaurants serve no pork, the beef bacon changes the taste.
I love chicken porridge - but later, I walk by the plate of eggs I put in my bowl. I guess a few flies never hurt anyone. They must have been chased away by the people just before me. I wish the restaurant would cover the food.
Waldemar is happy repairing the menus - he tightens the screws with his spoon.
We go for a walk through the nearby town, where we see all kinds of interesting things.
The cauliflower fields have just been harvested. And there's a Dutch-style house with plaited bamboo siding.
We swim in the afternoon. I've always loved to relax in the water. It carries me, soothes me. We stay by the pool as the sun goes down.
The crew lights the bonfire for the evening. They sprinkle the wood with a heavy gas - bbq lighter fluid - for a fast flame. The smoke drifts over the pools and hangs over the swimmers in the water. Wow. I'm glad to be sitting on the side.
The young girls  and women are covered from head to foot, while their brothers and fathers wear Western-style shorts, some with T-shirts.

Saturday
It's our last morning. We take advantage of it with a restful soak in the hot tub, scooping out the little flies that land on the water every few minutes. We bought a bamboo bird's nest at a shop yesterday and it works great at catching them.
Beside the swimming pool, I quickly sketch the fountain that we love to sit under. The page is bent and I have only a few minutes. I'll remember this memory though.
We will miss our private little teras with the hot tub off our bedroom.
 And we'll miss the perch above the resort pools, where we ate our breakfasts.
We say farewell to this beautiful spot. We have happy memories to go with the place. (Thanks, friends. What a lovely surprise this was.)

Sunday
W and I speak together in the morning - our topic is Creation. This month we're examining "New Beginnings," appropriate for the New Year. Next week, Jakob and Dayana will speak on Adam and Eve. Can't wait. After that, we'll talk about humanity's fresh start with Noah, and recovering from tragedy with Job.

BIC has finished raising a Christmas gift for two charitable projects. They are disbursed today. We are so proud of the community.
In the afternoon, I get an art surge. Usually that happens after an idea floats around my head for a few days. Then I get up-and-at-'em. Oh oh. I've been pondering how to decorate the back bathroom. I haul out my lovely MOLTOW acrylic markers and write all over the walls with whatever pops into my mind. Makes me happy - and I don't have to think about those walls again.
Read more:
*Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. Isaiah 60:1
*“O that my people would listen to me.” Psalm 81:13
*Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear. They will say of me, ‘In the Lord alone are deliverance and strength.’  Isaiah 45:23-24
*The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly. Titus 2:11-12
*“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. Revelation 1:8
Moravian Prayer: Almighty God, you truly are the one and only who can forgive us and love us unconditionally. We pray that we will always praise your name to everyone we meet. Give us strength for the day.
O Guardian of our very being, we strive to hear you, though our thoughts go astray. Please help us to have the self-control to listen when you call. Amen.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Out with the old ...

Wednesday, January 2, 2019
I wanted to update the Advent art map from a few years ago, but I didn't find time for that. I didn't have energy to paint the 12 Days of Christmas.

But I feel good about the personal challenge of illustrating the day in January. I've let myself off the artist hook: "you have to do something special." I've decided to be happy with whatever happens. Yes, a quick sketch is fine. I tell myself, "It doesn't have to be "good" or artsy - it just has to describe the day, beyond words." I hope you enjoy it with me.

First thing on my to-do list is taking down all Christmas decorations. I waited an extra day (NY Eve with the neighbors) and then was too tired yesterday. So today's the day.
The tree and decor feels festive and warm when we put it up in late November. By the time January rolls around, I'm ready for calm, less colors (mostly black and white), and less stuff. Everything flies into the boxes. We go from this to fully loaded (6am) to a plain ACE lit tree by the time the sun comes up and the helper arrives.
Off come the wreaths, the furniture is cleared and dusted. W blows the tree free of dust with a shop-vac nozzle and packs that away, too. Ibu Sumi carries two big boxes to storage upstairs.

By the morning meeting at 9:30, it's all gone. Hurrah. Even the nook feels peaceful--I break off a green stem from a flowerpot on the porch and pop it in a vase. (Well, maybe the cushions on the wood bench are a bit wild but they are black and white.)
The meeting confirms our direction on a new project. We'll get together again next week - it's good to be thinking and in motion.

Thursday
We take the dogs along on the walk to W's regular study group at Ethnic - good food, pretty courtyard. I talk to the owner while W finds a spot to park the dogs. She chooses a table near the fountain. Thanks, ibu! Our friends arrive soon after, but the dogs bark on and on - at dogs passing by, motorcycles parking a few cars away, and people walking along.

It's no longer the dog-friendly parking spot we had before the restaurant redid their gate. Now there's nowhere to hook up the leash. We loop it around a tree, but the dogs will have to stay home next time.

Our friends gifted us with a trip to the hot springs above the city (close to the volcano) - so we enjoy it. The driver has malaria so I send him home. He insists he can drive us up and be back in plenty of time for a nap. I make a quick sketch upside down since that's the way the book is open. It looks ... well. It tells the story and it's done.No judgment pls. Celebrate the wins, R. Pat pat (on the back).
One of the joys of non-profit work is paperwork. Or maybe not. W and I are tied up most of the morning, just catching up.

New year, sunshine, and there's green beauty outside the window. I have no complaints. A friend sends good advice (the proverbs below). Thanks, Tillie.

And Happy New Year to you all. Let's let go of the past and move with joy and hope into 2019.

Read more:
*Joseph said to his brothers, “Do not quarrel along the way.” Genesis 45:24
*David prayed, “And now, O Lord God, as for the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, confirm it forever; do as you have promised.” 2 Samuel 7:25
*The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer. Proverbs 9:10-12 NIV
*Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other. Colossians 3:13
*In Jesus Christ every one of God’s promises is a “Yes.” For this reason it is through him that we say the “Amen,” to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20
*Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV
Moravian Prayer: Holy Savior, it is difficult at times to forgive each other. Please be with us during these times to spread your grace and understanding to each other.
Great Amen, again and again you affirm everything good; lead us to say, “Yes,” to life, “Yes,” to love, “Yes,” to wonder, “Yes,” to redemption, “Yes,” to healing and, “Yes,” to community. Lead us to your “Yes” every day. Amen and Amen and Amen.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Love.2019

Love. It's going to be my word of the year. I kept forgetting my word for 2018 but I think I can remember this one. I don't want that word. It feels like a huge effort for something that should be natural.

I've resisted for a while but give in. There are so many ways to go with ... love. Love you. Love it. Beloved. Lover. Loving that. Love handles (nope, not that one.)

I'm willing to give it a try. I'm not very good at love: better at showing than feeling, at doing than relating. The challenge feels like a gauntlet, honestly. Maybe if I approach it as listening rather than speaking, as waiting rather than plunging ahead, it will be easier to experience. (See, already task-focused. Lord have mercy.)

Sunday
W and I are at BIC early - we're speaking together. This week, I wrote the talk and W edited - we trade off so the temperament and type of talk changes, depending on whether he writes the original draft or I do. When we speak as a duet, there's a lot of back and forth and a few read-throughs before Sunday morning.

There's always a lot to do before people arrive at the building. The musicians are warming up already. The chairs have been set in stern straight rows - lots of them - instead of left in the open curves of Christmas Eve. We probably won't have a big crowd today; people are traveling. We pull out a few rows out entirely, take some chairs out of the rows we leave, and have just enough for the morning.

It's a pleasure to pray over Daveena, who is leaving for school in Germany. Her family and friends gather around and speak words of affirmation and grace over her. I forget to record the prayer as I usually do.

We're asked to take some pictures with a family. Indonesians love being in pictures and several people come into the photo with us. What fun.
We have lunch with a few friends. The back gate  of BUMI is open so we can walk straight across the street. nice! Usually we have to go around a long city block for lunch.
The lovebirds are happy to see us at home - they're W's Christmas gift to me. Their chirping and jumping from perch to perch cheer me up. it's so relaxing to watch them.

Monday - New Year's Eve 2018
This week, the office is closed. We meet friends for breakfast at Two Hands Full. Our first pick is an Indian restaurant. The website says it's open 10-3. But no.

"They open at 11. Always have," says the security guard. W is a Google Maps editor so he corrects the listing. We end up nearby. The food is delicious - plus it's so much fun to have a non-working lunch with Josh, Clau, their kids, DrH and Alice.
We've invited our neighbors to an open house. We put our old sign on the gate but tuck under the time from last year: this year it's 5-7pm.
On the way home from breakfast, we stop at the store for 5 little chickens. They're cute and still pink - on ice. As usual, we don't know how many will show up so better more food than less.
The helpers come in the early afternoon to cook Sundanese food: rice, vegetables, fresh sambal (spicy sauce), and chicken. Their instructions are to "make whatever you think the neighbors like to eat." And they do. Their food gets rave reviews. (I'm pretty sure that's better than me cooking Western dishes.)

The cook finds a package of sweet rice in the food stores at the back of the house. She whips up sticky rice and coconut cream. It's so good that I go around and ask our guests for the recipe - until she tells me, "Hey, I made that." Oh yum! Please make it again, I say.

We love our neighbors - they have been unceasingly kind to us. A few grandparents bring their kids and grandkids along. W gets a chance to demo a 3-D printer - a teaching moment.
The last guests leave after 8pm. The helpers wrap up food,which will be tomorrow's New Years feast for their families. They help us clean up for another hour or two. I tell them they have given me two special gifts: First, when a huge roach scoots from under the oven and tries to find refuge under my feet - eek eek eek, I dance - one of the helpers crushes it dead with her foot. Then, a few minutes later, W mentions that there's a rat in the trap outside our bedroom. The other helper dispatches it with a smile and tosses it in the garbage. Awesome helpers! I give them a hug.

We don't bother with a New Year's TV show tonight; the fireworks are crackling around us throughout the wee hours of the morning. We push in earplugs, trust the dogs to wake us if someone breaks in, and fall fast asleep. That's our last planned event for a while - we have no other obligations this week. Thank God for it all. Including rest.

Tuesday - HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019
What a treat to sleep in. (I'm up 1-4am, so I sleep in until 8:30. Wow!) We call our families, have tea and stollen (marzipan sweet bread) for breakfast, and walk a few blocks to the office to return a flower vase. It's the last day for Christmas ornaments, I think. Our tree is full of cards and meaningful memories.
Then we stroll to the main street, catch angkots (little buses) to town (2 busses and a 500 meter walk). We make a hospital visit to a friend with dengue. He has someone sitting with him - so we read Psalm 91 and W prays with him before leaving.

A friend has raved about a Rawon soup restaurant near the hospital. W's tried it but I haven't yet, so we walk down the street. Yup - there's Toko You.

My head is still pounding from sleeping in. The hearty black beef soup hits the spot. It is delicious! We sit under a tiled roof, open walls, breezes blowing through, and surrounded by enthusiastic eaters.
Just as I'm about to combine my tea and mango ice cream, W intervenes. "I don't want a float." Hmmm. He'll have to eat the first half next time so I can play with my food. The ice cream by itself nips at my headache. My head ceases to pound a half-hour after the food hits my stomach. Ramon soup is a  perfect cure for what ails me, I think.
We make it home in a Grab car (private taxi) before the afternoon rains hit. "So expensive!" grumbles W. "How much?" I ask - it's almost $2US. Wow. That's a lot? Guess we've acclimated in more ways than one.

Read more:
*Surely, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. Psalm 54:4
*Let them praise the name of the Lord, for his name alone is exalted; his glory is above earth and heaven. Psalm 148:13
*A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. Proverbs 15:13
*The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
*Now to him who is able to keep you from falling, and to make you stand without blemish in the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Jude 24-25
Moravian Prayer: God, like a grandmother, gather us up when we are hurting; hold us tightly when we are filled with sorrows; dust us off, and kiss our souls, and send us off with your love to enter the world again. With gratitude, we pray.
Supporter of our souls, hold us through the day, and all the temptations it brings us. Hold us through the night, and all the fears it begets. Hold us through the years, for you keep us always inside your love. Amen.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Merry Christmas 2018 from SE Asia!

Friday, December 21, 2018
We have a nice dinner out at the end of the day. The fish says hello from the center plate in the Chinese restaurant. Claudia and I enjoy a visit with Jane, an architect working on a big Bandung project.

Sunday
We light the fourth Advent candle (PEACE) before W speaks at the international church. He uses Dr Seuss' The Grinch who stole Christmas" as the parable and reads about Jonah in scripture.

"Is your heart two sizes too small?" he asks us. Peace comes from serving others with an open heart, which only God can give us.

After, we hang around in the sunshine, snacking, talking, loving on each other.
When W and I walk into the house, it's aglow with Christmas lights. It's become a bit overwhelming after a month of decorations. A few more days, I tell myself, but I don't light the tree in our bedroom. I have to think through details for the next few days - that takes visual and auditory quiet.

Monday: Christmas Eve
Someone gave us 4 rattan chairs without cushions. We head out early to the "foam street" and purchase a double mattress and a leftover piece. The shop cuts the longer pieces into cushion size, and W cuts the rest with box cutters later.
By 10, we've left traffic behind and are home. My trusty Bernina sewing machine comes out of the case. I check the bedding-fabric scraps Tessa and Veronica gave us. Some pieces are big enough for seat covers. I have a stash of zippers in a box. Ready or not, here we go.

The first three covers take a few minutes each. We break for lunch after I finish the third. Bad move.

With  the last one, a shape as easy as than the rest, it's fussy from start to finish. Grrr. I piece together smaller scraps. Oops, the fabric bunches and catches in the zipper seam; I have to rip it out and start over. One edge of fabric is 2" smaller so it needs a long scrap on one side. And then the cover is too big overall. I pull it tight on the foam form, pinch the overage with my fingers to approximate what I have to cut off, and go back to the machine. It fits well in the end.

All in all, it takes less time to sew than to explain the curves and rectangles to someone else, a few hours for custom-fitted covers. They'll eventually be the foam liners under upholstery fabric. There's time for a nap in the afternoon, so all is well.

We have some overnight visitors but I need to snooze. (I must rest between energy surges.) W greets them before we leave for a Candlelight Service.

Guests make up for the regulars who are traveling to celebrate with family. Eleven readers tell the Christmas story found in Matthew and Luke - they're old and young, from every continent but Antarctica.
The first reader is Caron. She's highly pregnant, appropriately reading Mary's part.

Except that she goes into labor in the afternoon, a few hours before service. It takes her and her husband an hour in traffic to reach the hospital. When they arrive, the nurses catch little Susy on her way into the world. She's too quick for a doctor.
And so I read Caron's part, after letting the congregation know what happened. We sing carols between scriptures. Then the lights dim and one candle is lit from the center of the Advent wreath. We pass the light back, candle to candle, row to row. "Jesus is the light of the world," we say to each other.
And we hang around the community snack table for another hour with family and friends, old and new.

W picks up my Christmas gift from the office: two lovebirds raised by Reza. They're beautiful - but I catch only a glimpse of them when we get home, put away everything from the evening out, and fall asleep.

Tuesday: Christmas Day 2018
By 5:00am, I give up on sleep and get to work in the kitchen. With no idea who or how many will show up, I have to cook a lot of food. The menu is finished by 9:30am (so I can nap again before people arrive).
I make a few dips for crackers so people can munch before the meal, too.
At 11:00, guests start arriving for the Open House Potluck. Everyone brings food to share.
Slowly the house starts to fill up. There are about 80 people, from 17 nations.
And of course, we have the annual White Elephant gift exchange. There's a lot of swapping and yelling and laughter.

 For quite a few, it's their first Christmas. Many of them have gotten to know each other at our place, and they're like our own kids.
  One group hauls out Uno cards and has a friendly competition.
 Others relax on the porch.
 The new chairs are great.
 "Can we do this again next year?" many guests ask us. We hope so! We plan to wrap up at 4, but first we shoot a group photo with whoever wants to be in it. We pile off the porch onto the lawn.
Young Ben plays fearlessly with Gypsy and Coco before his parents take a picture with us. Love this young family!
 The last group leaves just before 7pm. W and I are exhausted. We put most things in order and bring in the cushions so they don't get rained on. God was good - there was only a brief shower under a thunderous and dark sky. It is rainy season so the mostly-dry day was a gift from God.
One of the beautiful bouquets from BIC (flowers provided for decades by Fenny and her friend -  thank you!)
Two helpers arrived at 10:00am. By 8:00pm, they finish washing dishes and leave happy - with double Christmas pay, their White Elephant gifts, and lots and lots of leftover food to share with neighbors.

We can't leave food on the counter because of roaches and ants, so every day the kitchen has to be completely washed up and put away. (We would have worked until midnight without them.) The hot weather - 80+oF days, low 70oF nights - means food left out will spoil, too. Our candy canes on the tree have melted to a puddle of sugar at the bottom of the wrapper. "Baby, it's warm outside."

Before bedtime, we open a gift from WuJin, a dear Chinese friend. It's a beautifully packaged box of teas. Can't wait to try them!

Wednesday: Boxing Day
"Go to the bird market for any supplies," we're told. So we do. The two lovebirds have temporarily been in one of our two long metal canary cages; they'll eat through a wooden cage. Here, birds are not kept inside. The cages are hung outside on the porch, near the front door, or around the courtyard. We love the songs of our canaries, but the squawk of the bright little parrots adds a new dimension.

There's a section of town where you can buy birds and worms to feed them, lizards and rodents, civets (cats that poop out the famous Java coffee beans) and more. I inhale feather dust and bird poop and cough and cough. A drink of tea helps.
 A 2' lizard bakes in the sunshine.
 Civets eat fruit at the side of the road.
Maggots swarm a bucket, soon to be bird food.
W and I eat lunch at D'Cost overlooking South Bandung. We love this city.
Back home, the birds seem to enjoy the big cage we found at the bird market. W sets it up, adjusting the clips to make sure it won't fall apart.

Read more:
*And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Nativity of the Lord — Isaiah 52:7–10; Psalm 98, Hebrews 1:1–4,(5–12); John 1:1–14
*In the Lord my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him. Psalm 28:7
*An angel of the Lord stood before the shepherds, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.” Luke 2:9-10
*[After rushing to Bethlehem to see what the angels said,] The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20
*[When Jesus was dedicated in the temple as a baby,] Simeon took the child in his arms and praised God, saying, “Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation.” Luke 2:28-30
Moravian Prayer: Heavenly Father, the shepherds followed your signs to the manger to see your blessed Son and share the good news of his birth. May we continue to sing your praises as we experience your deep and abiding love for us. Thank you for this beautiful gift of Christmas, the truest form of grace.
Lord of heavenly armies, you are powerful enough to bring fear as you enter our lives. Yet, too, you are balm for the wounds of the world. Calm our fears to hear your message; send us forth to discover your good news and give us courage to share it.
Thank you for holding us so dearly. Stay with us always, for we cannot live alone. Embrace us when we need your touch. Gaze into our souls each time we need reassurance, and speak your promises until we see your salvation. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.