Showing posts from December, 2015

Barren Woman - There is a place for you in the Christmas story!

"In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old." - Luke 1:5-7

"Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: 'Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John." - Luke 1:11-13

"When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion. 'The Lord has done this for me,' she said. 'In these days he has shown favor and ta…

Funeral of the Elderly Barren

One of the things I wonder about as a pastor is what my funeral will be like.  I have the privilege and honor of officiating many a saints service of passing and in the process of preparing such a service I get to provide pastoral care and counseling for their families.  Most frequently I meet with the deceased's kids, sometimes his or her spouse, and rarely a niece or nephew.  But what becomes of the person who dies of old age without any kids?  The individual who has been "home bound" - living in a care center for years with occasional visits from her pastor and maybe an elder from the church with which she identifies.  Perhaps this is why these individuals grab my heart so - because I see my potential future and I do not want their last years here, nor their death to be neglected.

It would be satisfying to know that perhaps some youth that I have mentored along the way, or the child of a family I have helped would come alongside me and care for me. But who would plan…

Sandra Bullock is lucky!

The Washington Post printed an article about Sandra Bullock's recent adoption of a daughter and commented how refreshing it was that she told her son they would be lucky to adopt.  This article reveals a judgmental perspective against those who adopt.  It assumes that those who adopt feel like they are "rescuing" an orphan and don't understand the child's grief or difficulty in adjusting.  This assumption neglects to recognize the fears related to becoming a parent of an adoptive child, or the adjustment that the parents also have to make. Adoption is a difficult process from both directions.  It is a major change that takes time.  There are a lot of decisions and risks that are taken to create a new family.  It isn't just celebration, although celebration is a part of it.  Suppose it could be compared to the mix of emotions couples go through in the months before conceiving and giving birth and then the adjustments that are made during those first several w…

that Christmas card!

I got that Christmas card in the mail today.  The one that in the past just made me cry.  The one that feels like it is a parent bragging, "Hey, Look at this picture of my perfect family! Don't my kids look great! We are so blessed!"

No, it didn't make me cry this year - it made me laugh.  Really?  This is what you are sending?  It came in a beautiful costly envelope.  You know, the kind that you pay extra for.  Thick material, nice closure, and of course a stamped family seal on the outside.  Opened it up, hoping that this year the envelope would include more than it has in the past.  But, it didn't.  Same old thing.  A picture perfect family photograph of mom, dad, and four children.  Everyone is happy. They look like they are ready to run for Senate.

No names or ages are listed.  No comments about the meaning of the season.  Just a family photo.

Now, if this family weren't Christians, it probably wouldn't bug me so much.  But their card says nothing …