Looking Back

This year seems different.  Not the childhood anticipation of Santa and gifts or the preparations of church and decorations in the hanging of the greens.  This year as many of  us  look back to the preparation of Jesus birth it all feels much more profound.  Remember  Mary’s devotion and acceptance of God’s choosing her as the Holy Mother vessel for a Savior.  Remember ancient telling of a coming King who will rule with love and justice.  Remember wise men who read the stars to know something big is happening.  Remember the working class poor in the fields with sheep who get the first birth announcement.  Remember angels who say over and over, “Fear Not”.  Remember a baby, born in a cattle feeding trough, homeless yet worshiped.  Yes there is deeper meaning for me this year.

Looking back this hindsight view that we take every year, our traditions of celebration have become the focus of the season.  Many have lamented the commercialized event of Christmas yet still the traditions are strong and who does not love to watch a child’s gleaming face on Christmas morning unwrapping gifts they requested from Santa.  What an amazing miracle is uncovered as the empty milk and cookie crumbs next to the tree seem to prove the existence of this giver of gifts.  My heart fills with love and joy as I look back on my own children’s Christmases in our home when they were young.   And now my grandchildren carry the traditions forward.  To me it all feels different.

Jesus was most likely born in March some historians say.  Yes he has been proven to exist.  It seems in our past 2000 plus years of history we have humanly tried to drink the milk and eat the cookies to prove to others that Jesus was and is the promised coming King.  Our winter solstice Christmas celebration and hymns to the tunes of old pub songs lure the unfaithful to belief…or not.  Because it’s just fun to celebrate and exchange gifts and for a few weeks be a bit kinder and happier than usual. To me it all is different.

This year, my heart longs, seriously and deeply longs to live in the presence of this amazing Divine Love.  I am growing to know but will never fully understand the mystery and miracles of  Jesus birth, life, death and resurrection.  As I seek to be a student, disciple of this master teacher and experience glimpses of the amazing love and forgiveness he offers it changes how I live and to whom I live for.  Because we all do get to live in the light of this love, the love of a parent who would sacrifice anything for their children.  The love of a mother who gives birth in a homeless shelter with dirty smelly occupants who knows her child is Divine is the image of God’s love for us.  The love of this same child who would grow to teach us and to pray for us.  The love demonstrated 30 some years later in a giving up of himself for us.

We don’t really go there on Christmas that’s saved for Good Friday when we remember this sacrificial act of love.  I have learned that Jesus died for our sins and what I now know is that he also was crucified because of our sins and to show us just how far God will go to love us.  We in our human and ego driven ways get stuck in our rules, our traditions and what we think we know.  God came down, Emmanuel, God with us to show us a more magnificent love,  joy in poverty, escape as a refugee, healing compassion, and complete self-sacrifice to connect us forever with God in love.  The cookies and milk are eaten now in the Bread and Cup of life and we are all invited to the table of Grace.  We may experience this indwelling hope of love and peace no matter our situation in life.  God with us in our pain of loss, suffering, sickness or poverty seeks to fill us with Love. This Christmas is different.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called, Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”  Isaiah 9:6

No matter how you celebrate this season may you experience the joy, hope, love and peace that is the promise of Christmas.



Monday Meditation- Signs and Signals

Living in the present moment with awareness of others, surroundings and self creates direction for this journey of life.  Not always with certainty but there are practices that provide help to be present and centered.  Prayer, meditation, Gestalt work and Yoga have been guides to quiet my mind and heart to focus on the here and now and decide which steps to take on the path.  But sometimes I need more.  I need a physical symbol,  a wake up call to know I have wandered off the path.

The most obvious are signals of neglect.  When life becomes too busy and I stray off my course my plants begin to wither.  I have a schedule of watering my houseplants, they are important to me and the health and aesthetics  of my home but it seems they are the first to suffer from my negligence.

Others are less obvious and only creep into my awareness when missing.  When I am attuned to my spiritual life with God, when I am focused on prayer and meditation, attending worship and studying scripture I generally wake up with a song of praise in my mind and on my tongue.  On these days other signs and signals are glaringly obvious.  Awakening to God’s presence of love opens my heart, mind and eyes to so much more of life.

Years ago I came to the conclusion that if I believe in a creator God who made the heavens and the earth, and if I believe that God is a love so great that my guilt and shame were erased through that love in Jesus, then I needed to spend more time getting to know Him.  On a Monday, because that is when you start new things, I read from the Bible and meditated on the reading.  I thanked God for this leading and guiding and then went for a walk.  I discovered that my conversation with God, listening to the creation sounds of birds and leaves applauding in the wind, continued with the taking in of so much beauty. Love seemed to wrap around me, joy filled my heart and peace settled into my whole being.  It had not rained in several days,  there was not a cloud in the sky and a soft breeze blew.  I turned the corner and right above me was the largest rainbow I had ever seen, it seemed I could touch it if I wanted to. I felt light and I heard a whisper “thank you” .  It wasn’t my word, the Divine Love touched me in that moment as I decided to love back.  To love the creator is to love the creation, the earth, all people, myself.

Much has happened since that time and I continue to learn and grow, I forget and stumble, my plants can suffer and I can wake up without that song in my heart, but I know God loves, not only me but all of creation.  God speaks to us, in dreams, in nature, in music, and all we need do is open our hearts, our eyes and our ears.

I wish you awareness to see signs of love.



Nothing Found

Words.  Powerful and able to change a situation upon their speaking, hearing or reading. This is a new venture for me.  A blog to express how life lived in the light of The Word is so rich and full.  After 50 some years of life experience there is no denying the existance of God and his actions in our lives.  But most often we turn to our own or the worlds willful way and are left empty.  On editing my first page of this blog I am offered a page title of “Nothing Found” as it is empty.  No post written yet, and a search bar to plug in what someone may be looking for.  Hit enter and hopefully one would be led to a new page with the desired content.  How often do we do that in life.  Seek for the things that we believe will make us or others happy to come up empty or with a temporary joy. 

“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you” Matthew 6:33 NKJV

When we keep our hearts and minds set on God’s kingdom (more on this later)  joy can be experienced in all circumstances.  God is love and I seek to keep my eyes on that love.  I seek to use words that lift up, create healing and bring peace.  God’s Word, Jesus, came as Master Teacher, the light of love to lead us to experience God’s kingdom.  That’s the view from here.

Peace in Christ.