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Church programs for Monday, Jan. 22 will resume their normal schedule at all locations this evening.

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Leawood’s Sunday night in-person worship has been moved to 4 pm for Sunday, February 11. 

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Prayer Tip: It's a Wonderful Life

December 4, 2022

Daily Scripture

Galatians 6:2 (NIV), Luke 2:8-14 (NRSV), Hebrews 13:1-2 (CEB)

Galatians 6:2 (NIV)

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Luke 2:8-14 (NRSV)

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

Hebrews 13:1-2 (CEB)

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.

Prayer Tip

by Jennifer Creagar, Community Assistance Coordination Director

In It’s A Wonderful Life, George Bailey is a man hitting rock bottom, right in the midst of Christmas. A serious business problem (that could very well turn into a serious legal problem), an evil nemesis watching his every move, waiting for him to fail, a family and a whole town full of people depending on him, and the weight of dreams that haven’t been fulfilled, all come down on him all at once. The audience has not seen anything that would lead us to belief that George is a man of great faith, but as his life falls apart and he is standing on a bridge looking down at the dark water, he begins to pray-–to beg, really, for God to help.

Prayer of lament are the prayers we pray when everything falls apart and we realize that, above everything else, we need God. In those prayers, we are as open to God as we are ever going to be. We don’t have any reason to pretend that everything is all right. We can’t see our blessings (just as George can’t see how much his family and friends love him), only our failures. We are lost in the dark and we cry out to the source of all light to show us the way out. And sometimes, we have to wait. Though angels appear throughout the Bible, we can’t always expect a cinematically perfect apparition like Clarence to appear. Sometimes, we are so far into the dark that we don’t even have words to speak in our prayers.

That’s ok.

In Romans 8:26, Paul reminds us that “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

God hears us, and knows us, even when we don’t have the words to express our sadness, or our fears, or our frustration.

Some of us hit rock bottom at Christmas. Family problems, financial stresses, deeply personal struggles that we’ve shared with no one, can all come to overwhelm us in the middle of the joy and celebration. God heard George Bailey. God hears us at our lowest times. We are not alone, and if we can rest in that fact, we can begin to see how wonderful our lives are.

Oh God who gave us life, be with us as we struggle, hear our heartfelt pleas, spoken or unspoken, and grant us your peace, and your wisdom. Help us to see your love and power all around us. Bring others to hold our hands and show us the way to the wonderful life you have for us. Amen.