Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Darkness is passing away...

..."for the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining."
1 John 2:8
Did you feel that? Yesterday had 30 seconds more daylight than last Monday.  Did you notice?  Can you just imagine our cavemen ancestors when it dawned on them that the days were slowly, yet markedly, getting longer?  Picture them sitting outside the cave, warming themselves by a fire.  "Don't call me crazy, Og, but does it seem like it's a bit lighter this morning?" I wonder if they were worried that the short days would continue until there was no daylight at all...just nighttime all the time.  Imagine their excitement when they noticed the days were getting even the tiniest bit longer.  No wonder they made a holiday and festival of the winter solstice!  No wonder Pope Julius I declared the celebration of the Savior's birth at a time when the light was so welcome! The Light of God enters the world as a tiny infant, and the darkness of winter gradually gives way to minutes more light.  Both are starting small and barely noticeable. Sounds like a party to me!  Jesus, our Light, is never more welcome than when the darkness is deep.  What can we do to celebrate and thank God for coming as Light into our winter lives? 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Do You Hear Who I Hear?

"When the magi had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said..."
Matthew 2:13

In his Christmas Eve homily (recorded and in Sound Cloud), Fr. Jack Benz from St. Paul's at BSU, had a wonderful reflection on St. Joseph. He mentioned that Joseph had a dream for his own life; taking Mary as his wife and settling into ordinary life in Nazareth. But God had a bigger dream for Joseph and Mary...much bigger! Would Joseph stay small in his own dream or go BIG with God's plan? We all know that Joseph paid attention to his dreams and did what the angel of the Lord told him. But how did he know that the dream came from God? How did he know to trust what he heard in a dream?  The answer holds true for us in our time, too.  Joseph knew to trust his dreams and what he heard God telling him because he was so well acquainted with God he could recognize God's voice when he heard it.  He was in relationship with God and, just as we can recognize a friend's voice or silhouette walking towards us, Joseph could recognize God when God spoke to him. Joseph trusted God and that only comes through spending time with God and entering into relationship with God. Our question for pondering is this: do we know God well enough to hear God's voice and recognize it? What can we do in our daily lives to get close enough to God that God's voice is unmistakable when we hear it? Love, heidi
PS: It's still Christmas!