Lord of the EarthThere is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:4-6


As we begin this Advent season, it is clear that this nation—indeed this world—is divided. While I have always made a concerted effort not to get too political in these devotions, I cannot turn a blind eye to the differences of opinion about a lot of things in my community, my church, and even my family. These differences simply should not stand in the way of our celebration of Christ’s birth. Our Lord and Savior came “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10), and He meant all of us, for we all are truly lost without Him. First Corinthians 12:13 says, “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.”


Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). We make enemies; this is a human offense. Christ had no enemies and never will have. God saw that the world was literally in crisis and He humbled Himself by coming to us in the incarnate Christ to die on a cross for our offenses, not His own (Philippians 2:8). He offered His help to a hurting world, and yet we are still hurting, still finding more to divide us than to unite us. Christ is not some “high priest” who has no understanding of what we are dealing with in the human realm. He lived “in our skin,” so to speak, walking the earth in peace and humility, “being tempted in every way, just as we are—and yet He did not sin” (Hebrews 4:15).


This Christmas, as we go about our usual activities, I pray that we will find more about each other that we can love, even though we may not like everything about another person. This is the reason Christ came.


Lord of All the Earth, “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give (us) the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that (we) may know Him better.” (Ephesians 1:17) Amen

Meg Blaine Corrigan is the author of three books: Then I Am Strong: Moving From My Mother’s Daughter to God’s Child; Perils of a Polynesian Percussionist; and Saints With Slingshots: Daily Devotions for the Slightly Tarnished But Perpetually Forgiven Christian. She holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of New Mexico and has worked with survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and war veterans.  Her books may be purchased through her website, www.MegCorrigan.com or from www.amazon.com .


Adolfo Kaminsky and His DaughterThere are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them…different kinds of service, but the same Lord…different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. 1 Corinthians 12:4-6


He didn’t leap tall buildings in a single bound. He wasn’t faster than a speeding bullet or more powerful than a locomotive. But when Adolpho Kaminsky was asked to participate in the French Resistance during World War II, he used his special powers to forge identity documents that saved 14,000 Jewish people from being sent to Nazi prison camps. Born in 1925 to a German family from Russia, Kaminsky’s family settled in France. As a teenager, he worked in a dye shop, learning the chemistry of colorants. He later used his knowledge to “lift” the incriminating word “Jew” from identification papers to avoid scrutiny by the Nazis. Years later, his daughter Sarah learned of her father’s heroic efforts and encouraged him to tell his story. The New York Times documentary “The Forger,” won a World Press Photo Award and an Emmy. In the documentary, Kaminsky told of spending long hours at his post, saying, “If I sleep for an hour, thirty people will die.”


What is it that makes ordinary people “run towards danger” without a thought for their own safety? Does bravery come fully formed at the moment it is needed? Will God give us what we need, at the precise moment that we need it, to do His will and change the world for the better? We will never know if we do not surrender our will to God’s and make it our keen desire to do His divine bidding. Not all of us will have a profound opportunity to serve humankind as Kaminsky did, but each of us possesses unique, important, needed talents that, when harnessed by God, can effect great change in a moment or a year or a decade. Planting a seed of kindness in another life may seem like nothing to us, but it can mean all the world to that other person.


A scientific theory called a “strange attractor” says a butterfly in Brazil can cause a tornado in Texas. Will you be that butterfly and use your unique talent for God?


Creator God, when my unique talents are coupled with Your Super Powers, together we can change the world. Amen


Doves FlyingThis is what the Lord says: “A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more.”  Jeremiah 31:15


“Some bright morning, when this life is o’er/I’ll fly away/to a home on God’s celestial shore/I’ll fly away.” For the first time last Sunday, our worship group led this old American Negro spiritual of everlasting life. Many slaves believed in a “Promised Land” in “free country,” north of the Ohio River, . The hard life of slavery was expressed in the words and music, and by singing together, the slaves cheered one another in their meager existence.


At about the same time the song rang out in our Minnesota Lutheran church, we knew nothing of the horrific events unfolding in the quiet town of Sutherland Springs, Texas. No one there thought that twenty-six souls worshiping together would “fly away” together at the hands of a lone crazed gunman. The guest preacher did not know he would die, with his wife, their son, pregnant daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren. Only the preacher’s father was left to mourn. The shooter’s estranged wife wasn’t there, but her grandmother fell dead, along with the regular pastor’s fourteen year old daughter. Most of the slain were found inside; two were outside. The gunman fled, but was eventually wounded by authorities before he took his own life. Again, our nation is searching for answers.


In spite of the US having more guns and more mass shootings than any other nation, our government continues to defer to the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, that the right to bear arms is not debatable. Many other “rights” have been challenged and we have moved forward—the “right” for slaves to be freed, the “right” for women to vote, the “right” to keep children from performing adult jobs. Two years ago, a British journalist named Dan Hodges posted on Twitter, “In retrospect Sandy Hook (the 2012 attack that killed 20 young students at a Connecticut elementary school) marked the end of the US gun control debate. Once Americans decided that killing children was bearable, it was over.” I cannot believe that God would want these senseless killings to continue. Shame on us for failing to seek real solutions.


Everlasting Redeemer, when I die, Hallelujah, bye and bye, I’ll fly away! Amen and Amen




worryfaceDo not fret because of those who are evil or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Psalm 37:1-2


I bought my niece a tee shirt which says: Anxiety Girl: Able to leap to the worst possible conclusion in a single bound. My niece and I are both worriers, but we try to have a sense of humor about it. We know we both have much to be grateful for, and that we sometimes make mountains out of mole hills. And it helps to get on the phone and talk to each other because together we discover better ways of coping with the frustrations of life.


One of the best ways to survive those frustrations is to say—and take to heart—Rheinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. In everyone’s life, there are just going to be things we can do absolutely nothing about, and we are wasting our time and energy believing otherwise. And often times, the things we need to change are things within ourselves: the way we react to events and to other people, and the way we conduct ourselves and maintain our own calm in the face of difficulties. And, as the prayer says, the real challenge comes in knowing the difference between what we can and cannot alter, and even whether trying to change something is even the best thing to do under the circumstances.


I am convinced that the key to overcoming worry is to evaluate problems as they arise and maintain a sense of proportion. If I bring out the heavy artillery and assume my hair is on fire before I look at an event critically, then each new thing in my life will always appear to rise to crisis level. As Psalm 37 says so clearly, why “fret” when quiet prayer would work miracles?


French writer Victor Hugo once wrote, “Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake.”


Calming God, make firm my steps as I delight in Your everlasting grace. Amen