Friday, December 21, 2012

Arise my beautiful one!

"Christmas is the promise that the God who came in history and comes daily in mystery will one day come in glory."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

But, perhaps, not today. I woke up this morning, not to the end of the world, but to the dogs who wanted their breakfast. So, I guess the world didn't end. I really didn't think it would, did you? Throughout history, it seems, when people seem to think they know what is going to happen, they find out they don't. We don't know what is going to happen and if we spend too much time trying to figure it out and prepare for it, we will lose precious time living in the present. So, as the shortest day of the year dawns in east Idaho, I know only a few things...I am given this day as a gift. I know that Jesus is beside me every second of this day and God loves me more than I could ever fathom. I know that, being given so much in my life, I want to share with others and help ease burdens others may carry on their journey. And, I know that I have such an awesome gift of family and friends to walk the journey with me. And that is about all I know. And, surely, it is enough! Love, heidi
PS: I will be taking a few days off next week, so will take this opportunity to wish you all a blessed Christmas! As it says in Song of Songs, "Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!" Come Baby Jesus!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Hope is born!

"When Jesus Christ is born in me, hope burns brightly and everything else fades into twilight."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

Faith, hope and love. We hear about the virtues and, for me, faith and love are so much clearer to recognize than hope. Hope is born at Christmas. When all else seems to be coming apart at the seams, it is hope that can move us forward. A few years ago, when the economy began tumbling down, there was hope that it would turn around. When someone is diagnosed with an illness, we cling to hope that they can recover. When one door closes to us, we have hope that something new and wonderful may be just around the corner. Hope keeps us going, giving us the will and strength to move one foot before the other. At Christmas time, we remember, thus re-birth Jesus into our world. We make Jesus present, right here, right now (remember Sr. Kathleen's lesson?) Jesus, made present anew, gives us a fresh dose of hope. The days are moving toward the shortest day of the year, when darkness seems to envelop us. We have hope that as soon as Sunday or Monday, there will be another minute of daylight in our day! The time of darkness will ebb away, minute by minute and light will linger! Hope. I guess it isn't so hard to recognize after all. Love, heidi

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jesus resides there...

"I believe that the single most important consideration during the sacred season of Advent is intensity of desire...An intense inner desire is already the sign of (Jesus') presence in our hearts."
Brennan Manning, "Reflections for Ragamuffins"

When I read this today the song that ran through my mind was "We Need a Little Christmas," or, as it played in my head, "We need a little Jesus, right this very minute." This particular Advent, with these horrific shootings in our country, it's not even that we want Jesus; the fact is that we desperately NEED Jesus. Maybe our sadness this particular Advent drives that point home. Jesus isn't a luxury. Jesus is a necessity. And the good news for us is the second sentence...our intense desire for Jesus means we already have Jesus. The ache in our hearts for those who suffer is because Jesus resides there. In our hearts. And Jesus is sad, too. Let us join our Jesus-filled hearts together today and pray for all who suffer sadness this day. Love, heidi

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Our God weeps...

"Our country is grieving. Each child who has been slaughtered belongs to each of us and each slain adult is a member of our family. It is impossible to explain the horror to ourselves and to our survivors. We need to hold each other’s hands and look into each other’s eyes and say, 'I am sorry.'"
Maya Angelou

There are no words that can adequately describe how we, as a country, feel about the tragedy in Connecticut. We are a family, the family of God, and our family members have been killed senselessly. We know our compassionate God weeps with us and for us. There is no vessel that could hold all the tears. Our response to this tragedy can be prayer for all involved and an increase in compassion for all who we encounter on our journey. Life is fleeting and so fragile. Dear God, please hold the suffering in your arms. Love, heidi