Love in a Mitten

Posted by Sharon Krause on Dec 8, 2021 6:00:00 AM

Brrr! It is a cold morning here in New England! I woke up thinking about how I will have to dig out my gloves to keep my hands warm if I go outside today. Then I remembered a piece of information: mittens will keep your hands warmer than gloves, because your fingers are nestled all together inside mittens. Sure, there are dexterity benefits with wearing gloves, but if it is warmth you are after, mittens are the answer.

In this gloves-versus-mittens topic, I see some parallels in spiritual life. Certainly, each of us has specific gifts and talents that help us live out life as followers of Jesus Christ. On my own, I can give my time, talent, and treasure to help those among us who live in poverty. By myself, I might be a church choir director, a Sunday school teacher, a lay minister, a clergyman, a spiritual blog-writer, a church usher, an altar server, a volunteer at a soup kitchen or convalescent home.

Let us consider the “mitten” side of this discussion. We can enjoy a wonderful warm feeling when we meet with a group of people who are pursuing fellowship with each other and with Jesus Christ. Especially in the season of Advent, as we build our excitement and remind ourselves of the day our Savior came to earth, gathering with other like-minded believers can be very rewarding.

For years, I was a member of a small Christian community of faith-sharers that met on Wednesday afternoons in our church basement. We used booklets that offered discussion questions and reflections about the liturgical weekly readings. (Amazing materials like this are available now from RENEW International.) Getting to know the people in the small group, their expressions and responses in faith, their past and present encounters with the Lord in prayer and action was inspiring.

Jesus was at those meetings. There was no question about that!

   “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

   (Matthew 18:20)


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Topics: faith sharing group, Sharon Krause, prepare for Christmas, pray together

Call Out the Team

Posted by Sharon Krause on Nov 17, 2021 6:00:00 AM

When you listen to the news, there is a good chance you will hear that retailers are urging consumers to start their Christmas shopping now because of expected shortages of products due to backups at shipping docks and the shortage of truck drivers. Couple with all of that our gradual and anxious recovery from the virus pandemic, and we are faced with a good amount of pressure, uncertainty, and stress.

I have noticed stores rushing to display Christmas merchandise and decorations even before Halloween. Right there among the skeletons and bats it was possible to see displays featuring Santa and his sleigh waiting to be purchased by COVID-weary customers.

Clement Moore’s “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” gives Santa’s reindeer names: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. To keep our focus on good spirituality while making necessary Christmas preparations for the next five and a half weeks or so, perhaps it may be a good idea to summon our own personal teams of spiritual reindeer to pull us along. Allow me to introduce you to my team.

The lead deer are called Grace and Joy. Grace reminds me gently that the Lord shares his life with me. God is generous and loving as he gives me strength every day. He is a personal, ever-present God. Joy pushes through any dark or challenging times as she tells me repeatedly that eternal joy is offered to me, that Jesus willingly paid the price for me.


The next two deer are named Sanctus and Serenity. Sanctus helps me to separate myself somewhat from worldly concerns so that I take time to strive to be holy as God is holy. As the holiday season ramps up, it is easy to get immersed in material concerns. Serenity encourages me to be sure I get enough peaceful rest so I can cope with the momentum of everyday challenges.


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Topics: patience, prayer life, Sharon Krause, prepare for Christmas

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