A Prayer Reflection for Easter

Beth Herrinton-HodgeLiturgical Year, Prayer

A Prayer Reflection for Easter They went to the tomb and he was not there. In his place, a mound of discarded clothes and a young man. This wasn’t what they expected. So much in these past days had not been what they expected. A festive arrival in the old city. An angry outburst in the temple. A festive yet somber meal with friends. Lonely prayers in the garden. Betrayal. Arrest. Questions. A trial. A … Read More

From the Archives: Teach Us to Pray

Debra RienstraFrom the Archives, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

During Lent we will be reposting some excellent articles from our archives aimed at supporting you, the Educator, during this season of reflection, prayer and spiritual renewal. You may find a new idea or two for future Lenten programming, as well. Debra Rienstra’s article originally appeared in our Winter 2007 print issue. Looking for 2018 Annual Event workshop and video resources? Check here. Teach Us to Pray: Crafting Prayers and Other Words for Worship Every act … Read More

Advent 4 and Christmas: Love

Joyce VanceLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas: We blow out the candle of fear and light the candle of love. Lectionary texts: Isaiah 9:2-7; Luke 2:1-20 A child has been born! During the time of preparation, expectant parents have both joy and fear; hope and anxiety; confidence and doubt. What will the child be like? How will their world change when he or she is born? When will the arrival take place? Will the child be … Read More

Advent 3: Advent Joy

Tammy WiensLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

Third Sunday of Advent: We blow out the candle of bitterness and light the candle of joy. Lectionary texts: Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Luke 1:46-55 Mary’s song in Luke 1 is known as The Magnificat. This title grows out of a Latin tradition where titles assigned to segments of Scripture are based on the first word or line of the text. Magnificat is the Latin word for “magnify.” The lyrics of Mary’s song are a medley … Read More

Advent 2: Advent Peace

Jill Ver SteegLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

We blow out the candle of confrontation and light the candle of peace. Lectionary Texts: Isaiah 40:1-11, Mark 1:1-8 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This is Mark’s way of saying “Genesis.” This is the genesis of all things. Even as Genesis chapter one, verse one, took us out into the wastes of formless void and primordial chaos before God spoke and created a good world, so Mark … Read More

Advent 1: Advent Hope

Jen deCombeLiturgical Year, Prayer, Spiritual Practices

First Sunday of Advent: We blow out the candle of despair and in its place we light the candle of hope. Lectionary Readings: Isaiah 64:1-9, Mark 13:24-37 This year’s first Gospel reading of the Advent season comes as a shock to many of us. Unlike the images of Christmas that surround us, there are no joyful angels shining in the sky or three wise men bearing gifts. The only stars in this reading are the … Read More