Our Strength, Our Hope

Israel’s strength and consolation,
hope of all the earth thou art.
-Charles Wesley
“Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”

Jesus, Child of God, you are our strength, our hope, our comfort, and our consolation. You are, indeed, the hope of the world. Send your strength and healing to every broken place, every despondent heart.

From Child of the Light by Beth A. Richardson. © 2005 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books.

Photo: St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland.

Blessed Is the One

If Jesus
Was entering
Nashville today
Would the crowds wave
Dogwood branches?

A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, and others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
– Matthew 21:8-9

A Message from the Trees

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I walk outside
And look up at the tree
In my front yard.

Its branches, bare.
Leaves, long shed,
Were raked and carried
To the backyard months ago.

But I see buds growing in the branches,
Promising life that will return
In its season.

What message for me, for us,
In these months of fear and challenge?

That though we have lost
Hopes and dreams …
That though our plans,
Swept up,
Now lie in the bottom of dust bins …

We are alive, growing,
Dormant, but still grounded in earthy hope.

Step outside and look toward the sky.
Life and hope and promise
Are growing in hidden places,
Preparing to break forth
In beauty and strength.

The Uncluttered Heart

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Blessings to you, friends, as we have begun another Advent season. In case you are looking for The Uncluttered Heart, I wanted to direct you to its new home.

I am grateful for the chance to share the Advent journey with you through The Uncluttered Heart.

Update: To sign up to receive The Uncluttered Heart via email, choose: “Get updates about My Quiet Spaces” on the My Quiet Spaces email list.

Blessings and Love,
Beth

Love Came Down at Christmas

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Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love divine;
Love was born at Christmas;
star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the God-head,
Love incarnate, Love divine;
worship we our Jesus,
but wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token;
love be yours and love be mine;
love to God and others,
love for plea and gift and sign.

– Christina Rossetti, 1885

I Am Weeping, But I Don’t Know Why

  
I am weeping, but I don’t know why. 
I am weeping and knitting
And hoping that God hears the prayers of my tears.

I am weeping, but I don’t know why.
I do know why — maybe — but which why is it?
The cruelty of a church I thought I once knew
And once was proud to represent?
Sorrow and gratitude
For a friend and teacher whose life is in decline.
The stories of families
Desparate, dying,
Fleeing wars and fires and death.
This world, so terribly broken
By racism, by fear, hatred, greed.

So much pain,
So much despair, hatred, need.
And so I sit and weep and knit.
I am weeping, but I don’t know why.

Take these tears, God of Hope.
Take these stitches, Great Weaver.
Take these prayers, Gentle Lover of the Universe.
We are yours.