United Church of Christ

Devotionals by Mary Luti

Be grateful if you’ve been on the receiving end of selflessness, but don’t regard the service of others as their duty and your right.


I hope your eggnog hasn’t soured, that you haven’t recycled the tree and moved on to other things. I hope you’re still in Christmas. I hope Christmas is still in you.


In the realm of heavenly peace, angels wait for God’s signal to fly. Around fires in the hills, shepherds swap bawdy stories. In a nasty shed, Mary labors. It will come.


If you always insist on relieving others of the burden of you, how will they fulfill the law of Christ? If you never let anyone bear you, how will they bear witness to Love?


Sometimes I think Christian life consists not so much in right thinking and good deeds, but in a flustered objection to divine humility and a daily consent to the unthinkable.


When we are weak, needing kindness, we rarely gravitate towards the perfect and the pure. When what we need is mercy, we look for someone reeking of sardines.


Francis of Assisi wasn’t all peace songs and birdbaths. He questioned Christians’ docility in the face of wrong and contested our easy sentimentality about God.


Unless we know our weakness, we start believing that the world’s betterment hinges on us, that we are saviors. Unless we relinquish the solace of outcomes, the work turns bitter.


Of all the things God tracks, merits and sins are the least. Our griefs in life and love, our tossings and tears—those God carefully collects. Not in a book, but in a bottle.


I’ve believed that I deserve life’s storms. I’ve believed it serves me right. And I’ve known the feeling of relief when adversity subsides, when the end allows me to begin again.