1 Peter 4:8-11 (CEB)

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.


When I listened to Pastor Joe’s sermon from this past Sunday some key phrases jumped out at me:

                        What if holiness is doing something?

                        Gestures and words do not save us.

                        Christmas is meant to be a practical celebration of what God is doing in the world.

The world is not changed by celebrating Christmas unless our celebrations

 are oriented toward changing the world.

I listened to Joe’s message this morning because yesterday we were visiting our daughter and family in north jersey. As you might expect, part of the time was spent asking what the kids wanted for Christmas and the adults as well. We exchange gifts because we love each other and want to support our family and that is a good thing and honestly, thankfully, we have the process tamed to the point that it is not the quantity, it is choosing something truly wanted and/or needed.

The words Joe spoke, and I have paraphrased, along with the words in verses 9 and 10, hit me as fleshing out what more we should do as we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Recently I included some words about the value of listening. Today I would like to highlight Peter’s words about speaking, “If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.”    

by Clarence Beverage

For Pondering & Prayer

When you read Peter’s words, telling us that God gives us strength when we serve, and that our serving will cause God to be praised through the celebration of Jesus’ birth and life, what do you envision as how you would like to serve?

Do you think you agree or disagree that holiness is doing something actionable?

Many people feel that a way to make our world a better place is to give more weight to being sure that we speak the truth and less to echoing what we are not fully sure of. Is it helpful to think, before we speak, I should speak words so true that they would be acceptable to God?

Prayer: Lord, as we approach the season of Advent,  we thank you for words that can prepare us to serve, to be thankful, to love and to sense your very presence. Help us to make time to be in your presence allowing us peace and the opportunity to hear your voice.  Amen