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Posts Tagged ‘#starsaligned’

Christmas Day has arrived … with no pomp and circumstance, no concerts or parties, no midnight mass or carol sing, no large family gatherings, no hayrides or white elephant exchanges, no mistletoe or warm hugs to share.

It is as if our world’s Christmas has been ‘Grinched’ by Covid.

Yet, the Grinch learned something in his quest to ‘steal’ Christmas from the Whos …

“And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow,
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled ’till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”

― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

In July the comet NEOWISE made it’s flashy appearance across the skies. In mid December South America was treated to a total eclipse of the sun. Just days ago the great conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter occurred creating a visible ‘star’ which has been called the Christmas Star (as a bow to the three conjunctions of Saturn and Jupiter in May, September and December of 7 BC). While the world’s collective heads have been bowed this year with a pandemic, isolation, racial struggles, loss of freedoms, political power-tripping, fires, floods and our cell phones … the natural universe would seem to be calling us to lift our heads.

Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens.

Psalm 123:1

It is easy to feel a sense of fear and loss this Christmas season.

I feel it, as our Christmas dinner will just be hubby, our son and I … our household bubble.

Yet, Christmas Day is here. The day to celebrate what is here … the Spirit of the God, through our acceptance of Jesus, who is God with us. This day is one of thanksgiving for our Redeemer, who takes away the loneliness, the fear, the anxiety, the sin that is within our humanity.

May we look up this Christmas day. Past the pandemic, the lack of Christmas gathering, the sorrows, the pains, past our melancholy misery for holiday nostalgia of past years … may our eyes be fixed on the gift from heaven, that takes away the sin of the world.

“Let every heart prepare him room”

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maryThe Royal announcement of the engagement of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle this week has captured the attention of people world-wide. The images and interview of the couple have been endearing and sweet.

As I listened to the couple speak of their love story, as I enjoyed their lovely glances at each other, as they spoke about the media scrutiny that they have endured so far, I found myself thinking about duty, service and about another young woman, in love, and standing at the edge of life change.

As a matter-of-fact, it was something that Prince Harry said, that took my attention completely away from the interview of the young lovers,

“the fact that I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly was conformation to me that all the stars were aligned, everything was just perfect.”

… all the stars were aligned … an idiom referring to something unexpected and rare that happens, out of nowhere, or by the direct hand of God.

The book of Luke (verses 26-38) reads of the meeting of the young, engaged, virgin Mary to the heavenly angel, Gabriel … the stars were aligning.

Though Gabriel initiated the conversation with affirming words, he scared her out of her skin! Then, to assure her (?) he tells her that God has a surprise for her … she’s about to become pregnant … with the son of God!

There was no ring, no slow start, no polite interview, just a declaration that she was to about to physically house the Messiah!

He then goes on (and this was supposed to relax her?) to tell her about just how great her progeny would be.

But Mary gets down to practical business, stating something to the effect of, um, I have never been with a man … you know, like never!

I expect that Gabriel was finally understanding the emotional and mental whiplash that he had inflicted upon Mary. So he then explained that her conception was an other-worldly one (as if the stars were aligned) and that she was not the only pregnant lady in her family, for Elizabeth was also in the family way. Gabriel stated, “Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” 

That statement seemed to cinch the deal for Mary, who replied,

Yes, I see it all now:
    I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
    just as you say.”

She understood that her role, for the rest of her life, was one of service to her king, that she was not main event, but that she was to be the vessel, through which greatness was to pass, and that her role was simply to be willing, to be ready to serve.

What came after this royal proclamation of her involvement with the royal family of all time was nothing to do with crowns, gowns and a life of ease. Instead it was one of shame, hardship and a sword that would pierce her heart.

The stars were aligned, and Mary was about to step into a life of  service born, not out of endearing and sweet feelings of love, but out of dedication to the king.

Luke 1:26-38

“God sent the angel Gabriel to the Galilean village of Nazareth to a virgin engaged to be married to a man descended from David. His name was Joseph, and the virgin’s name, Mary. Upon entering, Gabriel greeted her:

Good morning!
You’re beautiful with God’s beauty,
Beautiful inside and out!
God be with you.

She was thoroughly shaken, wondering what was behind a greeting like that. But the angel assured her, “Mary, you have nothing to fear. God has a surprise for you: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son and call his name Jesus.

He will be great,
    be called ‘Son of the Highest.’
The Lord God will give him
    the throne of his father David;
He will rule Jacob’s house forever—
    no end, ever, to his kingdom.”

Mary said to the angel, “But how? I’ve never slept with a man.”

The angel answered,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
    the power of the Highest hover over you;
Therefore, the child you bring to birth
    will be called Holy, Son of God.

“And did you know that your cousin Elizabeth conceived a son, old as she is? Everyone called her barren, and here she is six months pregnant! Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.”

And Mary said,

Yes, I see it all now:
    I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve.
Let it be with me
    just as you say.

Then the angel left her.”

 

 

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