Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 18, 2011
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of December 18, 2011
The new church year has begun. The 2011-2012
Liturgical Calendar and Lectionary is now on the
Web Site and available. Please order, go to
As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed.
Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.
Courage in your Christmas stocking
"Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you
who wait for the Lord."
Usually Christmas stockings are full of small stocking
stuffers such as candy and fruit, inexpensive presents
and fun items. But if I could put one word in your
stocking, it would be the gift of courage. Please
write this word on a small card and place it in your
Christmas stocking. Look at it often throughout the
upcoming year and let the word be your inspiration
when facing overwhelming odds.
While writing spiritual meditations for my friends in
Zimbabwe, as they struggled with starvation, economic
collapse, and many legalized acts of injustice from
corrupt government officials, as Internet pastor and
friend, I wrote this courage reflection for them on
August 16, 2002. I offer these simple thoughts to
you as a special Christmas gift. Please share your
courage with others and freely distribute it among
your friends. In this way, the gift goes on and on.
Courage helps us look problems in the eye, rather
than look the other way. God wants us to live
heroically and bravely. Courage is like a muscle.
The more we use it, the stronger we will become.
If we cower in fear, our courage muscle will atrophy
and waste away from disuse. To know what to do and
not to do it is the worst cowardice, Confucius taught.
An old Italian proverb reminds us it is better to
live one day as a lion than a hundred years as a
Great courage is needed by citizens in every country
to confront injustice and familiar patterns of racism
and destructive ways of doing things. It takes
courage to feed your enemies, rather than use food
as a political weapon. Only the brave will change
old ways of thinking and being, while learning how
to live with mutuality, respect, equality, and dignity.
It takes courage to stop death threats, while only
cowards commit acts of random violence. Courage is
needed to stand up and speak truth, and needed to
sit down and listen. Great strength and courage
are needed when working together for finding
peaceable, nonviolent ways to seek reconciliation,
forgiveness, and restoration.
The specific Hebrew word used for strength and courage
in today's verse is "chazaq." "Chazaq" is found here
and in Psalm 27:14. God is our source of "chazaq."
"Chazaq" does not carry a passive grin and bear it
attitude. Here it is being used as a verb,
encouraging the one praying to be strong and
confident while waiting alertly for God. It is the
total opposite of cowardice. "Chazaq" is a bold word
describing the believer's confident courage that is
only perfected while waiting for God. People of faith
from every racial and ethnic background need this bold
yet humble quality of mind and heart.
In the mighty power of God, be brave. Be strong.
Take courage. Do not give up. God is in the chaos
and storms of life, generously giving each seeker the
courage, strength, stamina, endurance, perseverance,
and fortitude needed for every situation.
God, hear my humble prayer. Bless those I love and
myself with chazaq courage and strength. May my
courage make the world a better place. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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