This morning at my desk and thinking of all I need to do and making sure I have remembered to buy gifts for all visiting, I soon became overwhelmed. Then I stopped, thought and remembered what I am celebrating! The birth of the Christ is the real reason for this season.
Soon I was led to a paragraph in Miscellany, written by Mary Baker Eddy, which states “Human reason becomes tired and calls for rest. It has a relapse into the common hope. Goodness and benevolence never tire. They maintain themselves and others and never stop from exhaustion. He who is afraid of being too generous has lost the power of being magnanimous.” Psalm 139:23-24 reads “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Today I will check my motives on everything I do and remember that gratitude is riches.
This morning at my desk, I am remembering my sons as small boys and young men. They were brought up in a fundamental Church where we attended and looking back, I know at that time I didn’t have a close relationship with God. Fortunately, over the years I learned to know God as Love, Truth and Life where in the past , I only feared Him and often felt unworthy. My wish is that I could have raised them knowing what I know now.
Then the thought of Abraham comes to mind and it looked like he was asked to sacrifice his son, but I think he was asked to sacrifice the false responsibility of raising him as his child rather than seeing him also as a child of God. My question of “What should I do?” about correcting the past is replaced by “What should I think?” The answer is to know that neither I nor my sons have ever been separated from our true parent. Ephesians 2:13 reads “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.” Progress is the Law of God. That means forward, not backward.
For a while now, the question comes to mind about Jesus being on the mountain and satan tempting Him to jump off because God would save Him if He really were the son of God. Why didn’t satan just push Jesus? Then a light came on in my consciousness! He didn’t have the power! What a revelation for me! The only power evil or error has ever is what we give it. 1 Corinthians 1:23-24 reads “But we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Truth and Love always leave error powerless.
Today I will ask God to protect me from believing that subtle little serpent or error when it attempts to trick me into believing anything that does not come from God.
This morning I am studying in Luke 5 where it tells about Simon and the other fishermen working all night and catching nothing. Can only imagine how tired they all were, when they see Jesus and He tells them basically to start over, continue on! This reminds me of the times I have prayed and prayed and seemed nothing was happening. They continue casting their nets, this time on the right side. The catch was so abundant that the net broke and they had to call for help. The same happens when we trust and pray, knowing the Christ is right here and seeing blessings all around. Luke 5:9 reads “For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken.”
The same happens after we have planted a seed. It may look as nothing is happening and then, we spot a sprout!
As I was studying the prodigal son in the fifteenth chapter of Luke today and have probably read this no less that a hundred or more times, it really came to me that while it only took eight verses for this young man to come to his senses, we don’t know how much time had elapsed. It could have been a couple of weeks or several decades, but it made no difference to his father, God. To me, that is so reassuring that God is always patiently waiting for us to wake up and come to Him! Sometimes my lessons come so easy while other times there seems to be such a struggle. That is always up to me!
Gratitude and humility are the traits always needed to find the Christ and that still, small voice. Luke 15:24 reads “for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found. And they began to celebrate.” Setting aside human will and outlining and turning wholeheartedly to God is the answer.
Luke talks about the two men walking to Emmaus after the Crucifixion and they were so distraught as a stranger began to walk along with them questioning them why they were so upset. This was the Christ but due to their grieving and distraction they didn’t even recognize Him. Sometimes, I am reminded myself when I seem to be distracted by world, family or personal affairs that I don’t even recognize the Christ always with me just waiting for me to turn to God and drop all of these imagined fears.
John 8:32 states “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” This comes after total submission to God and release of personal ego and fear! I am so grateful for these promises and Truths to live by.
As I ponder this story of Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, there are so many things that made it an unusual occurrence. Firstly, for a Jewish man to talk to a woman, much less a Samaritan woman was rare. Her reputation couldn’t have been pristine if she had five previous husbands and was not married to the man she was currently living with at the time. When His disciples returned and found Him, they, too, were surprised. The one thing that Jesus was positive about, was her receptivity; therefore, her recognition of the Christ as He told her about herself. In her humility , she expressed gratitude for this conversation.
1 Samuel 16:7 states “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart.'” Jesus was certainly looking at the Samaritan woman’s heart that day and it remains that way. Today, I will actively work about keeping my heart free from worry, anxiety, jealousy, envy, bitterness and pray that it be filled with grace, love and kindness. That is what God will see.
My study today first took me in the direction of the shepherds watching over their flock the night of the birth of the Christ. When I think of shepherds, Moses or David come to Mind or either “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”. There is a reverence in my thought as I ponder this. Actually, in biblical times, a shepherd was generally rough, unclean and dishonest as referenced in a Bible commentary. Jesus brought the Truth to all; all-inclusive!
Then I began to think of God’s all inclusive, unchanging Love to each of us and was reminded the only thing that changes is my feelings of worthiness from time to time. His Love never changes. Psalm 13:5 states “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”
This morning as I was making the bed, a dream I had just had came to thought. Then, I tried to remember it and it was very difficult. At the same time, I recalled trying to remember a past hurt and it was the very same thing! How absurd it is to spend time trying to put together a dream or something from the past. Same difference. Absurdity.
My next pondering was the celebration of the birth of the Christ while I would be celebrating my rebirth! Colossians 3:15 states “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Today I choose to cherish Life rather than a dream.
While thinking about the birth of Christ, I thought of the wise men searching. They were certainly following with their heart and not their head, because they were following a star. Continuing with their heart, upon finding the babe, they knelt down in humility to praise and adore Him. None of this was done intellectually!
Yesterday as I was praying to see Love expressed everywhere, I turned in my chair while at my desk and glanced out over the golf course. An older couple were playing and a car drove up on the other side of them and a young woman got out and ran over to greet them holding a wrapped present. After embracing, she left and waved at them as she returned to her car. Now, I had just prayed to see God/Love expressed everywhere and there it was. Love could actually be felt by watching this scene.
Luke 1:78 -79 reads “A light from on high will dawn upon us…To shine upon and give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct and guide out feet…into the way of peace.”