Growing in Resilience: Hold Nothing Back, based on Isaiah 54.9-10

flower peach bud openingGrowing in Resilience
Day 15, Read Isaiah 54
Reflection: Hold Nothing Back, based on Isaiah 54:9-10, NRSV

This is like the days of Noah to me: Just as I swore that the waters of Noah would never again go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

Sing! Shout!
Hold nothing back!

We are not what we think we are
What others name us
What we name ourselves

We are not abandoned
Widowed
Forsaken
Cast off for someone more desirable
The Eternal is also our Beloved
Who upholds our sacred union
An everlasting covenant of peace
Of whole and holy love

We are not afflicted
Desolate
Disgraced
Shamed and grieved by our barrenness
Look! See! There is a heritage
Our breath and labor are not in vain

Quick! Enlarge the tent
Open and stretch to make room
For the gathering and birthing of the Beloved comes
Hold nothing back

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Click Here for more on the Growing in Resilience Reading Plan sponsored by Bishop Ken Carter and the Cabinet of the Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. 

Hold Nothing Back © 2018 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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Advent Photo-A-Day: Day 2, Bound

02 boundThe thought behind the photo:
I come from a long line of women who work with their hands- sewing, needlepoint, embroidery, quilting, crocheting. They create by binding together thread and cloth. Their labors cover the walls of my home and wrap me in warmth as I relax on the couch. I wore their confidence in numerous baton competitions as a child and wore their love on my wedding day when I was grown.

One of my favorite pieces is a bear made from an old quilt which belonged to my great grandmother. It’s clothed with a double portion of love. I imagine her piecing together the scraps of cloth by hand, those same hands she folded in prayer for me long before I knew Jesus. I remember my mother fashioning the quilt into a new blessing rather than tossing it because it was worn and tattered, just as Jesus fashions my brokenness into blessing and new life.

I am bound to these women by their words, their gifts, their blood.
The same is true of my Savior.

SCRIPTURE: Colossians 3:12-15 NRSV
As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.

The December 2, 2013 devotion from http://umrethinkchurch.tumblr.com 
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 122:3 NRSV
Jerusalem built as a city that is bound firmly together.

Other translations of this verse use the word joined or compact instead of bound. What experiences have bound you to something or someone? What people and places have built you into the person you are today? What memories do you join together to keep you going?

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Thank you Rethink Church for a great way to make preparing for Christmas more meaningful. Join me and thousands more in setting aside time to reflect, focus, and literally picture the deep themes of Jesus’ birth.

Click here for more information on Advent Photo-A-Day from Rethink Church.

Click here for a master list of links to my submissions. Lisa <><