Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place;
[Jesus] comes to cleanse and heal, to minister his grace –
No work too hard for him. In faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

from “Be Still, for the Presence of the Lord” by David J. Evans (1986)

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“He shows mercy to everyone, from one generation to the next, who honors him as God. He has shown strength with his arm. He has scattered those with arrogant thoughts and proud inclinations. He has pulled the powerful down from their thrones and lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty-handed. He has come to the aid of his servant Israel, remembering his mercy, just as he promised to our ancestors, to Abraham and to Abraham’s descendants forever.”

Luke 1:50-55

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As she walked into the room it was clear something was on her mind that she wanted to share. “How’s it going?” I inquired. “My life has been changed forever!” she replied. A pause hung in the air as I waited, not knowing what might come next. “Forever my parents have told me that I should be proud of my red hair because it was a part of my Irish heritage. And I just got the results from one of those DNA tests. It turns out I’m less than 1% Irish.” And then she laughed and said, “I’m actually 15% Norwegian, which is what my grandmother always quietly told me!”

Our personal family identities often give us a sense of deep connection to our ethnicity, culture, and even geography. Yet our identity as a part of God’s holy family supersedes all others. While the distinct characteristics from our personal family identities are important, they often focus on our uniqueness. Our identity in God’s holy family, on the other hand, unifies us all. We are all God’s beloved children on this journey, bound together from generation to generation.

Brian Prior

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Loving God, prepare me this day to fully embrace the person you created me to be. Amen.

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My soul magnifies the Lord,

And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

For this day, I know I am a beloved child of God.

Brian Prior

The Rt. Rev. Brian N. Prior is the IX Bishop of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota. Before becoming Bishop, Brian served as the founding Rector of the Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in Spokane, WA and as Executive Director of Camp Cross. Brian is married with two sons and is an avid cyclist, runner, swimmer, and basketball coach with a life-long passion for working with young people.

Advent Waiting: Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

David Burroughs

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