Softly now. Softly. Walk with care; handle the stuff of life with gentle hands.

Settle slowly into your chair and seek the stillness. The child has come and your heart is warmed now that you see him.

Softly now. Softly he comes. Handle the stuff of eternity with the gentlest of hands.

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I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the Lord has done for us, and the great favor to the house of Israel that he has shown them according to his mercy, according to the abundance of his steadfast love. For he said, “Surely they are my people, children who will not deal falsely”; and he became their savior in all their distress. It was no messenger or angel but his presence that saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.

Isaiah 63:7-9

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I’ve done a lot of stupid, ridiculous things in my life. I’ve been grumpy and mean and hurtful to others. I’ve made mistakes and failed more times than I can count. Yet, despite my faults, I’m constantly reminded of God’s steadfast love for all of humanity, including me.

Even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances, the prophet Isaiah says, God mercifully redeems us. Knowing this, how can we not confess, corporately and individually, our shortcomings and begin to live with the gift of grace?

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once wrote, “Our living as real human beings, and loving the real people next to us is, again, grounded only in God’s becoming human, in the unfathomable love of God for us human beings.”

Each day God arrives in our lives and stirs us to keep on loving.

Andy Acton

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Forgive me for my sins, God. Thank you for lifting me up and carrying me forward in love. Amen.

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Eternity has whispered your name
And so you have waited,
Waited with great anticipation
While preparing yourself for the coming of God's great gift.

Now the gift is here.
Waiting is over.
The anticipated arrival has come to pass
And your preparation is accomplished.

Go now in the blessed peace of Immanuel. God is with us!

Andy Acton

Andy Acton is the associate pastor for youth and mission and outreach at Pleasant Hill Presbyterian Church in Duluth, Georgia. Andy lives with his wife Elizabeth, their 5-year-old daughter Katie, their newborn son Davis, his mother-in-law, two Labradors, and a cat.


Jim Morgan

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