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By Rev. Dr. Deana J. Reed
"...I will trust, and will not be afraid, for God is my strength..." This psalm of thanksgiving was a promise to the people of God's reign. Oh, how we long to see and experience God's reign in these days!
As many of our congregations prepare for "Blue Christmas" worship, we are aware of sorrow and loss and fears felt at so many levels -- within our own lives and beyond us. The daily news stands as a stark reminder of the vulnerability of life.
A natural tendency when faced with news of illness, disease, tragic death, injustices, and hopelessness is to lean into fear. But wait! The author of this passage of Isaiah asks us to lean into God -- to know deep within ourselves that God is our strength, our hope, our peace.
How do we do this? The author gives some direction: Give thanks to God. Call out God's name. Ask God anything. Tell others what God has done -- spread the good news of God. Sing songs to God. Shout aloud. Sing for joy. What is it about doing these things that leads to our experiencing God's presence more deeply? Over the years I have been developing a Rule of Life (having studied with a Benedictine community). What Isaiah suggests are pretty good additions to any rule of life. And as we practice these we will naturally find ourselves leaning into God -- not into fear. And in that leaning we will extend ourselves toward God's creation and find ourselves participants in bringing hope and peace.
In this Season of Advent, may we gather in communities that are committed to leaning into God, who is our strength. May we trust and not be afraid; may we be vulnerable enough to be present to life and to dare greatly in our daily living...
May this be so for you and for me.
Rev. Dr. Deana J. Reed is the director of field education at the San Francisco Theological Seminary.
In this Season of Advent, may we gather in communities that are committed to leaning into God, who is our strength.
By Marlysa D. Gamblin and Kathleen King
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as when a person or household does not have regular, reliable access to the foods needed for good health. Black, Indigenous, and Other People of Color (BIPOC) have historically had higher...
With the coronavirus now spreading in low-resource contexts and new waves of infection expected in the coming year, better nutrition for vulnerable people is more important than ever.
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in faith.” These words from Colossians 2:6 remind us of the faith that is active in love for our neighbors.
The Bible on...
Dear Members of Congress,
As the president and Congress are preparing their plans for this year, almost 100 church leaders—from all the families of U.S. Christianity—are...
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is designed to respond to changes in need, making it well suited to respond to crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bread for the World and its partners are asking Congress to provide $200 million for global nutrition in the fiscal year 2020 budget.
In 2017, 11.8 percent of households in the U.S.—40 million people—were food-insecure, meaning that they were unsure at some point during the year about how they would provide for their next meal.