Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘#oholynight’

Advent arrived this weekend … with hope as it’s theme.

I had intentions this weekend. Intentions to haul out the Christmas decorations, to stand the tree in the window to declare to our neighbors that we are celebrating.

It didn’t happen. Other things happened, errands, grocery shopping, chores, but mostly I sat on my behind, watching too much TV and going to bed early.

I find I am so … weary.

I think this Christmas season we are all weary. Though this pandemic may not have touched most of us directly with illness or the death of a loved one, we are all feeling the effects of isolation, withdrawal from social activities and an almost palpable tension in the air.

Then, this morning, I read quote, that a friend had posted :

“As my prayer become more attentive and inward, I had less and less to say. I finally became completely silent. I started to listen. I first thought that praying entailed speaking. I then learnt that praying is hearing, not merely being silent. This is how it is. To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking, Prayer involves becoming silent, And waiting until God is heard.”

Søren Kierkegaard

And I found myself wondering … what if, rather than just be weary, lifeless and silent … what if I listened? What if we listened in the silence, until a still small voice cries out in our pandemic desert? What if, rather than succumb to weariness and apathy, what if we listen for the one who gives us reason to rejoice, to hope?

It is not trees, and concerts, and parties, and gift exchanges, and church services that are the reason for the season … HE is the reason that our weary world can rejoice, can have hope!

Perhaps we need to fall on our knees … and hear.

… the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees
O hear the angels’ voices
O night divine
O night when Christ was born
O night divine

Read Full Post »

If, like me, you didn’t grow up with an understanding of the church calendar (other than Christmas and Easter) you might not realize that the church equivalent to New Years happened this past weekend.

Sunday, November 22, was the Feast of Christ the King. I admit, I had never heard of it until last year, when the pastor spoke about it and his own excitement for this date rubbed off on me.

In the aftermath of World War I, Pope Pius noted that, while hostilities had ceased, true peace had not been restored to the world and the different classes of society … he maintained that true peace may only be found under the Kingship of Christ as the “Prince of Peace.”

holycommunion.org

Thus, the Feast of Christ the King.

Despite the desire for peace through the kingship of Christ, today we still live with the peace-less divisions within classes, genders, ethnicities, economic groups, etc.

We are still in need of the Prince of Peace, Christ the King.

As I looked into the Feast of Christ the King celebration for this past weekend, the gospel passage that was read was Matthew 25:31-46. This passage is that of The Sheep and the Goats, but I would call it Jesus is Gonna Set Religious Peeps, like us, on our Bottoms.

So, as with much of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is flipping the traditional understanding of religion, redemption and of himself as Messiah on the poor religious leaders.

He tells a story, not just a fanciful, fictional tale, but a prophesy of what is to come. It is a story that should reverberate in our minds and hearts even today, causing us to shake in our boots, as we consider how to care for others.

He speaks these words, communicating that if we want to serve him, we do so by serving the least in our communities, “for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’” (v. 42-43)

The people were aghast, shocked with Jesus’ words, for they had not starved him, let him go without drink, not welcomed him, left him unclothed or without a visit.

It wasn’t that something wrong had been done, but that what was right (in his eyes … helping “the least of these”) had not been done.

It wasn’t a sin of commission (doing something wrong) but a sin of omission (not doing what is right).

Jesus calls us to see him as king, as the prince of peace and we are to be his agents of peace in this world, on his behalf but also recognizing that we are responsible to love him, but loving the least.

This reminds me of a curious verse in the beloved Christmas carol, O Holy Night :

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother,
and in his name all oppression shall cease,
sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
let all within us praise his holy name.

Christ the King, the Prince of Peace … for the slave, the oppressed … a most modern (timeless) carol.

Read Full Post »

x

We have shopped, and decorated, and baked, and travelled, and wrapped, and dreamed, and planned, and partied, and ordered, and sung, and …

it is here … it is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.

As Christmas Eve dawned today, all that has been done is done. The grand event to celebrate has come, and our weary world rejoices.

It is not just those of us who celebrate this Christmas season amongst shiny paper, excessive gifting and glutenous behaviours around the table, for whom he came so that the soul felt its worth. Christ came for all the weary world … and his only bling was a star sweetly gleaming.

On this eve of a new and glorious morn, I cannot imagine any better message than that gives the world reason to rejoice more than Luke 2:8-12:

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Read Full Post »

IMG_1613.JPG

Are you tired? Are you weary?

One more weekend, six shopping days, and less than a week before Christmas Day.

Weary is the common word of the season.

It would be a perfectly fitting word for a particular day, just this week, in my life.

In the Bible God speaks to Elijah and to Job in hushed whispers, a still small voice.

Some days I am amazed at how attention-getting that still small voice can be. Days like that particular day this very week, when fatigue was mounting and strength waning, and get up and go had gotten up and gone …

and then, the voice.

The voice through that student who feels safe in your presence, or the one who shares relief in a completed project, or the one that makes ever fibre of you want to reach out and embrace them with a good ‘ol Mamma hug (but you resist because that is so not job appropriate).

During this crazy, long, tiring week I am thankful that God decided to whisper in hushed tones. Through that still small voice of students who try so hard, who are filled with anxiety, who have been so misunderstood for so long that they rarely risk uttering … a whisper.

But, when we are bone tired weary, that can be the perfect opportunity to cease … cease the movement, cease the planning, cease the talking. In our ceasing of movement and noise, our ears are then attuned to the smallest sound, the stillest voice.

On this particular, pre-Christmas, weary day, I came home rejoicing.

God will do whatever is necessary to get our attention … even whisper.

Read Full Post »

Becoming the Oil and the Wine

Becoming the oil and wine in today's society

I love the Psalms

Connecting daily with God through the Psalms

Memoir of Me

Out of the abundance of my heart ,I write❤️

My Pastoral Ponderings

Pondering my way through God's beloved world

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

What Are You Thinking?

Theology is a conversation, and you're invited.

Sealed in Christ

Sixth Seal Ministries

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

FisherofMen

Giving a unique view and input on information to help individuals establish a concrete perspective on terms, words, topics and the world around them.

Following the Son

One man's spiritual journey

Fortnite Fatherhood

A father's digital age journey with his family and his faith

Raise Them Up

Parenting with Purpose

Frijdom

encouraging space to think deeply