Tag: Larry Livingston

Dec 12 2012

Advent reflection: ‘God dwells within the human family’

Larry LivingstonEvery Wednesday during the Advent season, we will post a reflection in hopes that it may help you on your own journey through Advent. This weekís reflection is offered by Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director.

“Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.” (Isaiah 12:6)

More often than not, living our faith is simply a matter of doing the right thing.

What tends to complicate it is the impressive ability we humans have to con ourselves into not recognizing the right thing when we see it.

In today’s Gospel for the Third Sunday of Advent, John the Baptist is urging the crowd to change their lives in preparation for the coming of the Messiah. Read more

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Nov 28 2012

Advent reflection: Awakening our hearts to love

Larry LivingstonEvery Wednesday during the Advent season, we will post a reflection in hopes that it may help you on your own journey through Advent. This weekís reflection is offered by Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director.

“Ö May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all Ö”
(1 Thes 3:12)

Most of us know to be on guard against hardness of heart. Nor do we want to be faint-hearted, cold-hearted or broken-hearted.

But do we take care to keep from becoming drowsy-hearted? In the Gospel reading for the First Sunday of Advent, being drowsy-hearted is the condition that Jesus seems to be most concerned about.

In the Gospel, Jesus cautions us to keep our hearts awake and attentive for his coming.

On the surface, the reading seems to be about his final coming at the end of time, but a deeper examination shows our more immediate concern should be the various encounters with Christ that might happen at any hour of any day. These are the encounters that a drowsy heart would be most likely to miss. Read more

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Feb 22 2012

Lenten reflection: Preparing our hearts for God’s wonder

Larry Livingston Every Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by CFCA church relations director Larry Livingston.

The readings for the First Sunday of Lent offer some powerful images of cleansing. First we have the story of God’s covenant with Noah following the flood that cleansed the earth.

The second reading, from the First Letter of Peter, follows on the Noah imagery and connects it to the cleansing death of Jesus on the cross, while the Gospel offers Mark’s simple and direct account of Jesus’ purifying trek into the desert before he began his public ministry.

This cleansing motif makes me recall the times when, as a kid, I would find myself sentenced to cleaning my room.

My usual pattern would be to spend a few minutes pouting over the sheer injustice of it all, and then start figuring out ways to hide the mess so it would look as if I had actually straightened up. Read more

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Jan 4 2012

Christmas reflection: Recognizing Christ when we find him

Larry LivingstonThis is the last in this seasonís Christmas reflections from Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director. We hope these reflections have helped you on your own journey through this time.

“And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was.” (Matthew 2:9)

It is interesting to observe how differently families and faith communities deal with the “Three Kings” in their Nativity scenes.

Some place the figurines right there at the manger, along with the baby Jesus, as soon as Advent begins, while others keep them hidden away until the Feast of the Epiphany and only then allow their crËches to be complete. Read more

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Dec 28 2011

Christmas reflection: We are God’s partners in serving others

Larry LivingstonEvery Wednesday during the Christmas season, we will post a reflection from Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director. We hope these reflections help you on your own journey through this time.

ìAnd Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.î (Luke 2:19)

Raising children is always an adventure, but perhaps even more so for adoptive parents.

Often I am completely clueless about the whys and wherefores of my sonís personality because, unlike some, I canít look at him and see myself at his age.

And I learned pretty early on in my parenthood that it is a mistake to try.

Sure, this can be frustrating at times, but it can also be a delight. I canít count the number of times I have been bowled over by the creative insights Ben has or by his left-field sense of humor.

He sees things just a little differently from me, and I have come to cherish that difference as a surprise bonus of him being my son.

My experience with Ben gives me, I think, a little insight into what it must have been like for Mary and Joseph as they raised Jesus.

Even before his birth they knew that this child would be different and that they would have to get used to sharing him with the world. Read more

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Dec 21 2011

Christmas reflection: Glorifying God with fully human lives

Larry LivingstonEvery Wednesday during the Christmas season, we will post a reflection from Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director. We hope these reflections help you on your own journey through this time.

[This reflection is based on the Scripture readings for Christmas Mass during the day.]

Communication is a tricky business. First you have to come up with the right words to say, then you hope the listener hears what you intend. Between your original thought and the listenerís final interpretation there is plenty of room for misunderstanding.

So you can imagine Godís frustration in wanting to communicate to a wounded humanity just how sacred and deeply loved we are, only to have some hear only judgment and condemnation, while others hear nothing at all. Read more

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email
Dec 14 2011

Advent reflection: God dares us to dream big

Larry LivingstonEvery Wednesday during the Advent-Christmas season, we will post a reflection from Larry Livingston, CFCA church relations director. We hope these reflections help you on your own journey through Advent.

ì…for nothing will be impossible for God.î (Luke 1:37)

An unopened Christmas present is a wondrous thing. When I was a child, many times I would park myself under the Christmas tree and gaze at a brightly wrapped package with my name on it, trying to guess what was inside.

My imagination would always kick into high gear on such occasions. This was possible because of the simplicity of a childís mind, which knows nothing of recessions, budgets or the laws of physics.

As far as I was concerned those presents could be anything, and believing that gave me the freedom to dream big.

Sadly, that sense of infinite possibility tends to fade away as we grow older, especially where God is concerned.

Instead of embracing the glory and wonder of our Creator, in our limited imaginations we try to rein God in.

The Scripture readings for the Fourth Sunday of Advent include two stories of people struggling to understand the limitlessness of God. In each situation, God lovingly reminds the person in the story of who he or she is dealing with. Read more

Share this post:
Facebook Twitter Pinterest Plusone Reddit Email