Thursday, December 31, 2009
1970s ~ My childhood
1980s ~ The questioning years. What will I do? Who will I marry? Where will I live? Who am I?
1990s ~ The answering years. I got my degree, got married and gave birth to my children.
2000s ~ The growing years. Watched my kids grow into a pre-teen and a teen. Self-discovery and growth. Marital growth. Spiritual growth.
2010s ~ Perhaps the letting go years? Our nest will empty. I will turn 50. I expect it to be a decade of challenges and some loss. But I'm ready. Bring it on!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Another revamped re-post.
Last December I mentioned several people who were hurting.
Denis had just been diagnosed with stomach cancer. His family will be having Christmas without him this year.
Linda was fighting ovarian cancer. She is still in the fight. She also lost her husband in October when he drowned while fishing.
This year my friend Kate is in the process of being re-staged for her Melanoma. They found a spot on her lung.
My friend Erin is in the hospital. She went in because she was pregnant and didn't feel right. They admitted her and a couple of days later she suffered a brain aneurysm. They had to take the baby three months early. Erin is recovering well. The baby, Riley, has several issues that will need to be surgically addressed. He's already had one surgery that I know of.
I have several friends experiencing broken marriages. Betrayal and rejection of the worst kind.
Not everyone will have a Merry Christmas.
"Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows." Isaiah 53:4
Saturday, December 12, 2009
What about you? What do you miss?
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
The moment God the Son left Heaven and became a wee little embryo, the sacrifice began.
Every tear He cried because He was hungry, tired, or had a tummy ache was a sacrifice.
Every drop of blood from skinned knees and split lips.
Every time a neighbor died, every time He saw a loved one suffer.
Wearing shoes, having an itch, being stung by a bee, eating, breathing, sleeping were part of the sacrifice.
Every headache, every smashed thumb, every day – a sacrifice.
He was God. He didn't have to be here. He chose to be. He chose to leave Paradise and come to live among men. The sacrifice was in the coming and in the living.
We all know He sacrificed Himself in His death. When He hung upon that cross and bore terrible physical pain. The moment that He took my sin upon Himself and wore it as a covering; that was the greatest sacrifice of all. When God the Father looking down could no longer bear the sight of His own Son because He was wearing my clothes. Jesus looked like me hanging there in that filth and grime, the sins of my soul, and the Father turned away. God the Son forsaken by God the Father. God forsaken by God. Christ the man hanging utterly alone dripping with my wickedness mingled with His atoning blood. Then He could give to me His spotless robe so that when the Father looks at me, He sees Christ's Righteousness and I am accepted. The sacrifice.
But it began the moment He stepped into time. The instant He was conceived in a young woman's womb.
This is Emmanuel. God With Us.
God bless us, every one.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
God With Us.
Every Christmas that thought just floats around in my brain, tickling things. It's too huge to grasp.
In the Old Testament, God was often with people in a tangible way. Like the cloud and the pillar of fire that accompanied Israel through the wilderness. The glory that descended upon the Ark of the Covenant and filled the temple. But, God was distant.
Moses knew Him. So did Abraham and David and many others. But most people only encountered him vicariously, through the priests and the system.
God wants more. He wants relationship with us.
(Here I have to try to explain God: He is self-sufficient and all powerful. His word alone created a universe that extends beyond our reckoning. We can't begin to understand His vastness. Just a glimpse of Him, or even one of His messengers sends a person into a dead faint.)
So, this Powerful God stepped off of His throne, removed His glorious robe, and slipped down into humanity. He shed His royalty to wear rags and be born in a building full of animal dung. He became insufficient. He was as dependent upon His mother as any other babe. Completely helpless. Completely empty, naked, vulnerable and human. I can't get over that.
And yet that is really only a small part of it. Because the much bigger part is that He left behind His place of Holiness and purity to come and walk around in sludge and sewage. He did not ever sin, but He was affected by it just as every human is. And He was affected by it as only God can be. He felt every sorrow we have ever felt. Rejection, ridicule, loss of loved ones, disappointment. Don't think that because He was God He was above the pain and misery.
God came to earth. He walked with us. Ate with us. Talked and laughed with us. Wept, anguished, and suffered with us.
Now we can know God. Have that relationship He longs for and we need. He came to clear the way and He left His Spirit here, so that God is and always will be with us. All because of that little Baby in a manger.
God became man. Get it?
Neither do I.