Scripture Reading: Lamentations 3:22-26

Continuing in the old testament, our reading is from Lamentations, written by the prophet Jeremiah. As Isaiah feared, his countrymen were vulnerable; vulnerable to other kingdoms, vulnerable to exile. These words scribed by Jeremiah were written after the destruction of Jerusalem and the beginning of the great Exile to Babylon. He never forgot of God’s loving faithfulness and mercy.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
    His mercies never cease.
 Great is his faithfulness;
    his mercies begin afresh each morning.
 I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
    therefore, I will hope in him!”

 The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
    to those who search for him.
 So it is good to wait quietly
    for salvation from the Lord.

The promise that God’s mercies are afresh each morning speaks to my heart this morning. I went to sleep sad as a dear friend succumbed to drug addiction on Monday. She lost her job, her reputation to the perils of emotional pain. She has lived in exile, total emotional hell after losing her son several years ago. This morning as I pray for her I can only lift her up and pray for mercies for her soul. She has fallen in the pit of destruction, just as Jeremiah’s and Isaiah’s Kinmen did. But those prophets of old continued to pray for their friend’s afflictions. Now it’s time for her to see and feel the Lord’s inheritance, to lift her soul and see his mercies afresh in the morning.

Who can you lift up in prayer today who needs God’s mercies? Maybe you need this reminder. I invite you to spend a few moments in prayer and thanksgiving right now, wherever you are.

Nativity Fast

In any fast, we look forward to the end. At the end of the nativity fast comes a day of celebration, a feast to celebrate Jesus’s birth. Let’s spend a day or two this advent season planning the feast on Christmas day. We will not dismiss the principles learned about healing, incorporating a plant-based diet in our lives, but let’s plan a little fun to look forward to on that special day. This morning I purchased a traditional Italian sweet cake, a Panettone, for Christmas morning. Our oldest daughter is marrying, in the fall, a young man with Italian heritage. We decided to have a little fun and devise a theme for our feast, a traditional Italian feast to share with his family on Christmas Day. So many of the items I share and recipes during this season will be Italian. I also purchased this great plant-based book with Italian recipes, learning to make nut-based cheeses, more about this to come…… Many of the recipes do include oil, so I will save those for Saturdays and Sundays and of course “the feast”. What do you look forward to at the end of this fast, for your feast day?