Monday, December 24, 2007

4th Sunday in Advent Reading.

Though my personal readings and reflections are, indeed, very personal and private, I find it timely and necessary to share a portion from yesterday's invocation from "A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants." Please excuse the King James-like Old English. It is a beautiful prayer.

"Bestow upon us, we beseech thee, that most excellent Christmas gift of charity to all, that so the likeness of thy Son may be formed in us."

My personal translation (or, rather, paraphrase) reads:

"We beg you. Give us the greatest gift of all. Give us hearts and minds for giving to all so that we may reflect the very gift given to us: salvation, freedom, liberation, life."

No comments:

Matthew 5:38-48, NASB

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone want to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only you brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."