WRITEON FOR DEC 26
I do hope your celebration of Christmas Eve and Day was wonderful. Filled with the hope, peace, joy and love of advent and then the bursting light of the coming of the Lord! HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JESUS! And that Santa visited you and brought something that really surprised you! Maybe it was a phone call, or a gift you'd have never used. It is a gift, after all...as is Jesus the best gift ever!
This year I was reminded that the shepherds, the local gossips and rather poor and smelly folk visited the cave where Jesus and His family were gathered because the angels sent them. They were aware they didn't know much. At the tail end of the story we find the three wisdom figures arriving from very far away with gifts no one would have imagined to bring to a Child or family in this war-torn neighborhood. They represented the various peoples of the world and were very smart. Mostly what they knew, though, was that they didn't know everything! So we fall somewhere between the shepherds and the angels and we come humbly to the cradle and bow low, being reminded that everything is a gift...stuff, relationships, family and, of course, our sweet little Jesus Boy!
I was also reminded as 2018 winds down of that marvelous photo of EARTH RISING from Apollo 8 in 1968, that horrid year of anguish and despair in our land. Not only a wonderful photo but also words spoken to a world caught in terror, reminding us that it was God who created everything, especially love.
What were the answers to last week's questions? Well, 1) Christmas Tree in Trafalgar Square; 2) 4 hours; 7 courses; 3) 1962; 4) Apples to remind us of the fall and coming of a Savior; 5) Pacific and Indian Oceans; BONUS 6) Alabama and Oklahoma! How'd ya do?
Oh, I loved this church message board:
MORNING SERMON: Jesus Walks on Water
Evening SERMON: Searching for Jesus.
Mostly I am very grateful that as Jesus and His family had to scramble out of Bethlehem to safety in Egypt from the killer King, they were not met with a sign that said:
NO WELCOME FOR MIGRANT FAMILIES (even if they are seeking asylum). The implications are to be pondered.
And finally, here is the end of a little reading from St. Fulgentius of Ruspe (in present day Tunisia):
“...Love, indeed, is the source of all good things; it is an impregnable defense, and the way that leads to heaven. Those who walk in love can neither go astray nor be afraid: love guides, protects, and brings to journey's end. Christ made love the stairway that would enable all Christians to climb to heaven. Hold fast to it, in all sincerity, give one another practical proof and by your progress in love, make your ascent together.”
BLESSINGS FOR THIS CHRISTMASTIDE.