Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Looking Past the Smudges

The sun shines through the large double windows dominating the living room in our little rental apartment, and what captures my view is not the splendid water view but the smudges on the old panes. 
Almost missing a great view!
Now, in fairness, the glass panes are old – and the windows high up; they are also protected by storm windows – so, keeping them transparent is hard and expensive work!  When the sun ducks behind a cloud –the smudges fade; I can look beyond the windows and take in the familiar, agreeable view.  

The Christmas season is a bit like these windowpanes – it is the lens through which I may view the pivotal historical event  -- Christ’s birth, and its attending hope of peace with God and His good will towards us.  But evil, and its attending suffering splatter grief upon this lens – and like seeing the apartment’s windowpanes, these smudges distract – and I lose sight of the Gift .

The sun shines and warms and lights us and we have no curiosity to know why this is so; but we ask the reason of all evil, of pain, and hunger, and mosquitoes and silly people. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

I indulged this propensity Emerson described in last week’s worship.  In the church’s sanctuary, decorated with poinsettias, greens and candles – my mind only saw the images of what is happening to people and their children around the world and close to home. Image after image – from what ISIS does, to what we may have done to enemy combatants suffocated me. Not to mention the images from my less than stellar performances, which my own conscience kept inserting!  It was a battle during the service to subdue their power to assault my hope that God so loved the world, He sent His Son to save us. But,

God doesn’t meet us in the hypothetical places we go to in our minds – he’s a God of REAL time and REAL space. So we can wallow in “what-ifs” and find little comfort. But when HARD shows up, God shows up bigger. (quote source)

Christmas is God saying He’s in it with us. He didn’t come to make life perfect – but to purify a people for God – usually in the midst of sorrowful sorrows. (Matthew 2)  Christmas, often the occasion for great gatherings of folk to celebrate the season, is first a time of private revelry between the soul and its Maker.  (1 Timothy 1:5) If He is for us – who can be against us? Christmas, the day Christ was born, began the change that changed everything – God took on flesh so that He might give His life as the perfect ransom for yours and mine at Calvary.

The one day – when Christ was born, whenever it really happened – is the reason I know light from darkness, can live, and have second chances – and give Him the thoughts of my heart which are often filled with conflict, doubt and pain.

Jesus King of Angels By Fernando Ortega

Jesus King of angels heaven's light
Shine Your face upon this house tonight
Let no evil come into my dreams
Light of heaven keep me in Your peace
Remind me how You made dark spirits flee
And spoke Your power to the raging sea
And spoke Your mercy to a sinful man
Remind me Jesus this is what I am


The universe is vast beyond the stars
But You are mindful when the sparrow falls
And mindful of the anxious thoughts
That find me, surround me and bind me
With all my heart I love You Sovereign Lord
Tomorrow let me love You even more
And rise to speak the goodness of Your name
Until I close my eyes and sleep again

Jesus King of angels heaven's light
Hold my hand and keep me through this night

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