Friday, December 20, 2013

Carrying the Savior

"And, behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God."
Luke 1:36
Back in 2006, there was a movie called "The Nativity Story."  It was a beautiful little movie that told the story of Joseph and Mary, and there was one scene that has stuck with me all these years since.  Mary had heard the angel tell her about Elizabeth's pregnancy, as in this scripture, as well as her own pregnancy.  Mary hastens to Elizabeth's home, a journey of several days. When she calls out to Elizabeth and Elizabeth turns around to face her, Mary's eyes go wide with awe.  You could see on her face..."it's true!"  What was true about Elizabeth's pregnancy must mean that what the angel said about Mary is true, too.  I felt that Mary realized, only at that instant, that she was carrying the Savior, as the angel foretold.  It was a stunning scene--it makes me teary just thinking about it!  Today, let's think about how, sometimes, we need validation that WE are carrying the Savior to others. How will we do this today?  How can we show others that Jesus resides in our world? Love, heidi

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tender compassion

"In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace."
The Canticle of Zechariah, Luke 1:78-79
Since last summer I have been praying this Canticle as part of the morning office prayers.  This particular stanza always strikes me as so beautiful and I have been waiting for the perfect day to share it in the Daily. My favorite words are "tender compassion..." I can visualize God tenderly loving us and showing us such compassion and mercy.  And, this time of year, as the days creep to more darkness than light, it is even more hopeful.  These next few days will be the shortest, darkest days and then, so subtly, there will be a minute more of daylight.  Just a minute here and another minute the next week, and, before we know it, we will have more light than dark.  If we think of the light as a most marvelous gift from our loving God, who knows we walk safer and more secure in the light, it will mean much more to us.  So, in these days of going to work in the dark and returning home in the dark, we hope in the Light that comes to us soon!  Let's spend today basking in the tender compassion of our God!  Love, heidi

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Take on your role

"When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home."
Matthew 1:24

Joseph thus accepted the role he was to play in the salvation story, difficult role as it was. How perplexing the whole thing must have seemed to Joseph and yet, he embraced it and lived it.  When we think about it, we all have been given a part in the story of salvation.  We may not remember being there when they passed out the scripts, but all of us who love God have been given a crucial role--just like Joseph. Jesus carefully defined our roles when he told his followers to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick and vulnerable.  Our tasks could not be more clear! And yet, I for one, so often miss my cue and stand around waiting in the wings. Let's spend some time today thinking about St. Joseph and how he models for us his willing way of embracing God's plan.  Can we do the same?  Even though the plan may seem murky at times?  Love, heidi
Reminder to those in Idaho Falls:  Our Reconciliation service is tonight at 7:00, at Christ the King.  Come and clean house! Jesus is coming! 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jesus came from rascals, for rascals

"The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham..."
Matthew 1:1
I was thinking about the significance of this reading, the lineage of Jesus from Abraham--forty-two generations--and a few things jumped out at me.  First, the lineage is Jesus' line through St. Joseph, which is so interesting since Joseph was just your basic guy.  He wasn't without sin, as we believe Mary was, so he was a run-of-the-mill, just plain Joe.  And he and his lineage gave birth to the Savior?  What if Joseph hadn't listened to his dreams regarding taking Mary as his wife? (tomorrows Gospel) There were some big "ifs" in the salvation story, since God relied on these folks mentioned in Matthew's lineage reading.  A couple of these people were born under questionable circumstances...Solomon, for example, was David's love child with Bathsheba.  Yikes!  And this is the lineage of the Savior?  And why not?  People are people and only Mary was particularly well-behaved.  Jesus came from and worked among people who were faulty, some even scandalous.  Jesus' whole life was surprising:  his ministry of miracles, healing and the company he kept were all shocking.  So, it is reasonable that his lineage contains some eye-brow raisers, isn't it?  And what does that mean for us on a Tuesday, mid-December?  It means that nobody is perfect.  It mean that we are to love and care for everyone, imperfections and all, because Jesus came from a line of rascals and associated with rascals in ministry.  After all, we are rascals, too, and aren't we glad Jesus associates with us?  Love, heidi

Monday, December 16, 2013

While we wait...

"The pull to see what comes next is strong--both in prayer and in life.  But the Lord tells us: patience. Let go. In the pauses, in the silence, in the waiting, God is working."
Amy Welborn, "Living With Christ"

In the silence and in the waiting--God is working.  That is such a beautiful thing and so true!  I remember, nearing the end of my first pregnancy, dear Jeni Rose was a week late.  I was so fed up and ready for her to come, but the waiting went on and on.  A friend said, "Hey, look at it this way, the baby is a lot easier to take care of now than after it's born!" Slim consolation, that! That waiting seemed endless, wearisome, frustrating and so out-of-my-control I could barely stand it! But, all the while, as I impatiently waited, our precious baby was getting strong and ready to thrive.  God was working through my waiting.  And that still holds true for me today.  As I wait, God works.  Isn't that a marvelous truth to take with us through our Monday?  Let's create pauses and silence in our final full week of Advent to appreciate the beauty of what God can do while we wait.  We wait.  God works.  Love, heidi