IF GRATITUDE ushers in healing, how do we come by it? The gift of gratitude, while wonderful, is exactly that—a gift. None of us can will it into being or perform exercises to make it happen. It is a gift of God, pure grace. I do believe, however, that we will finally receive it if we look around, hold ourselves open to it, watch for it without cynicism or bullying of the universe, and long for it as best we can from the place of grief where we find ourselves.
—Roberta C. Bondi, Wild Things: Poems of Grief and Love, Loss and Gratitude (Upper Room Books, 2014)
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
—Ephesians 2:8 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Creator God, As you draw us closer to you, draw us closer to each other. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room .
Who came up with the idea of using nativity scenes to celebrate Christmas? Many might be surprised to learn that Francis of Assisi, the well-known thirteenth-century saint, is credited with creating the first nativity scene. The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis introduces readers to Saint Francis and his joyous reenactment of the birth of Jesus, complete with a manger and animals. Discover more.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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