Friday, December 23, 2011

A child is born to us...

"For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace."
Isaiah 9:6-7

One thing I always notice is on Christmas Eve day is that, gradually, things quiet down. Everything gets as done as it's going to get and things just become still. Driving around on Christmas Eve, I notice less traffic, less bustle. It's over. The frantic hustle is gone. The world quiets. Only God could accomplish that, really. Only God can put a stop to the craziness that is the retail madness. Only God could slip quietly into the world as an infant and significantly turn the world upside down in a matter of years. Only God can slip quietly into our hearts and change us. Our time of preparation is nearly complete! "For a child is born to us, a son is given us..." Merry, merry Christmas! Love, heidi

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Magnificat

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior..."
Luke 1:46

Some of the most beautiful words of the bible, these. And they are spoken by a young Jewish girl. Why would we not revere Mary, when she is the perfect human example of how to serve God? Mary's "Yes" to being part of God's salvation plan--just the verbal Yes--would be more than enough to elevate Mary, but then the actual life she led, is over the top. Mary didn't just say Yes to God...Mary LIVED her Yes to God, every day in every way. What does this mean for us? It means that we have a beautiful example to follow Jesus throughout our lives. It means that we continually, even now, have a friend in Mary, who knows her Son and guides us to a stronger relationship with Jesus. It means we have a Mother, in heaven, who loves us and cheers us on. These last few days of Advent, I urge you to look at Mary in your nativity scene or on a Christmas card you have received, and think about how vast a Mother's love is. And let's think about how that love is extended to us, even now. And, if you have half a chance, read all of the Magnificat, Luke 1:46-55. Love, heidi

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Can anyone tell me what Christmas is all about???

"Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about...lights, please?"
Linus, "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

I admit it. I went to Catholic school for six years and a Catholic college for one year and what I learned about the Christmas story, I learned from Linus. I remember, as a kid, watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas." It came out in 1965, and I was nine. It was a cartoon. It was cute. But, eventually, Linus reciting Luke 2:8-14, in his sweet, little kid voice stuck with me. "For behold, I bring you tidings of great joy..." and the way he said "joy" was just so dear. And the message stuck with me too. Charlie Brown had lost the whole point of Christmas. He was sad that no one sent him a card and his friends were still unfriendly to him. That is, until Linus explains it all. It is that time of the season when we may wonder what Christmas is all about. It may be frustrating. Or sad. Or lonely. Or maybe, thankfully, just hectic. But, please, I ask you...please sit down and read Luke 2:8-14. I bet you can remember it in Linus' little kid voice. "And that is what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown." Amen. Love, heidi

Monday, December 19, 2011

Clean house!

"Be my rock of refuge, a stronghold to give me safety."
Psalm 71:3

It's getting harder and harder to pray these days. My head is too full of lists, plans, recipes, and keeping track of who's naughty and who's nice. The first three are OK, the last one needs to go. I have the most difficulty trying NOT to judge people. I tend to make immediate, sometimes harsh, judgments and then get all wound around the axle, digging myself deeper and deeper. Why can't I just accept people for who they are, as they are? Why can't this last week of Advent springboard me into being a more accepting, less judgmental person? Lucky for me, it can! Let's all spend some time this last week of Advent "cleaning house" and getting our minds, attitudes and hearts ready for the Christ Child! Love, heidi