ADVENT 3 — Stories of Joy

And We Live In Joy

And We Live In Joy

Isaiah 35:1-10
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

There is a reason for joy.
And that reason is the abundance
of pure grace!
God loves us. God cares for us.
God is constantly
calling, pulling, luring, shoving, inviting us
into the joy God has for us.
But what exactly is joy?
What does joy do?
How do I recognize it?
Like an underground spring
bubbling up from
deep in the earth causing a river to form,
like the lift of a heart
at a baby’s coo,
like the touch of Spirit on spirit
in our deepest prayer,
or our shallowest excitement,
joy comes from our recognition of
the divine being within, without,
around, about, above and below
making our living worthwhile
and recognizing us as persons loved
by this incredible Creator of all things.
Joy, for me, when I get right down to it,
begins when I awaken to the
realization of the grace around me.
Yes, there is dark, and misery that surrounds,
but there is grace as well.
And grace washes over me
like a wave of pure love—
always, even when I don’t notice…

STORIES OF PEACE — Advent 2

Place for Peace

Place for Peace

Stories of Peace
Isaiah 11:1-10
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Peace…
World peace.
National peace.
Racial peace.
Peace on our streets.
Peace in our cities and towns,
and on our roadways.
Peace within our own restless spirits.
Peace…
What is going on that we don’t have it?
What have we missed that we can’t find it?
What turn did we take that got us so far from it?
Peace…
And yet, right now, here, in this place,
in any place, and not just some place,
there is a peace so profound, so deep,
so unutterably confounding,
that in our frenetic search for it,
we spin right past it.
Peace…
Just as God is not ever what we expect,
similar to a sighting of Jesus we cannot quite believe,
insomuch as we can’t even breathe
in a way that doesn’t seem like we are out of it,
peace lingers near waiting for us to
pause, halt, stop, rest, desist, tarry
long enough to be noticed.
Peace…
Let us linger just a moment and
be refreshed in God’s peace…
Peace…

STORIES OF HOPE

For this Advent my congregation in Geyserville is sharing stories with each other along the lines of the Advent themes.  What is your story of HOPE?  Please share in the “Comments” section if you wish to share.

Peace in this Season of Advent.  Hilary

As With Hope

As With Hope

Stories of Hope
Isaiah 2:1-5
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

There is a story that is beyond all stories:
the stories of disaster,
of tragedy, of loss, of pain and suffering,
stories of revenge and anger and violence—
beyond all stories such as these,
there is another story.
This story is of hope,
it is a story that confounds cynicism,
puts defeat to shame,
even when hatred and fear
seem to win the day.
It is a story that speaks to our
wildest dreams and craziest visions.
It is a story of HOPE and it edifies and
liberates us from the chains of fear.
In spite of all predictions,
this story of HOPE claims that GOOD will triumph,
and it turns out to be correct!
What stories do we have that are about HOPE?
What experiences have we had that lead us
to suspect that it is possible to hope
and it not be in vain?
I will not be embarrassed by hope!
I will not turn my face from hope!
And I will remember when hopes I thought dashed
turned to dreams come true.