Your Star – Good News for January 2

2 01 2011

Matthew 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star at its rising and have come to do him homage.”

When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet: And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.

Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”

After their audience with the king they set out. And behold, the star that they had seen at its rising preceded them, until it came and stopped over the place where the child was. They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.

The Daily Path: We know very little about the Magi who followed the star in search of the Savior. We can’t say for sure what lands they came from, only that they were called to follow that star, honor the child and heed divine warning. I’d like to think that they were driven onward by one thing, finding Christ. Perhaps it’s over simplifying matters but by now you should know that I like simple.

I didn’t have a star guiding me from up in the sky showing me the way back to my faith, but I did have signs from heaven (God). I believe that we all do. I continue to look and listen for God’s presence in my life. The Star of Bethlehem is everywhere for us to follow, if we look and are determined to find God in our life.

Look up. Look down. Look around. Find your star.

Advertisements




Let Go, Live Now – Good News for January 1

1 01 2011

Luke 2:16-21

The shepherds went in haste to Bethlehem and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

When eight days were completed for his circumcision, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

The Daily Path: Reading Luke’s account of the shepherds visit to the Christ child at his birth is a fitting way to begin 2011. Jesus birth was also our re-birth. The beginning of the promise that God holds for each of us: Eternal life in Him.

In this new beginning we look forward, not back. I want 2011 to be about living in the moment. Like the reborn Ebenezer Scrooge, I want to keep Christmas (Christ) in my heart EVERY day, embracing the joy that is Christ’s love in the now. Let’s allow that love to heal so we can remain in the present.

My friends, a Joyful New Year to each of you. Let go and live now!

Image “Beginning 1” courtesy of Rudi Seitz





Good News for Christmas Eve

24 12 2010

Luke 2:15-20

When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds.

And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.

The Daily Path: “Let us go then to see this thing that has taken place.”

In this passage we hear how God has once again spoken to common men like you and me, inspiring them to witness His love and mercy. Then, when they have seen, they are again inspired to go out to share it among all they come in contact with.

Friends, we’ve been called to witness the miracle of God in our lives. Some of us have just had an inkling while others have opened their eyes fully to be truly transformed by the experience. Tonight, as we begin to come together as family and friends to celebrate the birth of the Savior, let us be like the shepherds that first holy night. Tonight we see the miracle of the Child who a benevolent and loving father sent to us. And now, filled with that grace we are called to go forth and live the miracle everyday of the year.

Thank you for all of your notes, prayers and support in 2010. You’ve made such a difference in my life. Truly, God has brought the miracle of you into my life.

I wish each of you a Blessed Christmas filled with His Peace!





Advent Day 23 – Good News for December 20

20 12 2010

Luke 1:26-38

In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 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.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

The Daily Path: “May it be done according to your word.”

I wish those words were always on the tip of my tongue, etched in my consciousness. Instead, old Gabriel hears this when he visits me: “Behold I am a stubborn, obstinate, egocentric servant of the Lord. Not sure why he even bothers with me.” Then the angel departed to report back on this woeful child of God. “Master, why DO you bother with this one?”






Advent Day 22 – Good News for December 19

19 12 2010

Isaiah 7:10-14

The Lord spoke to Ahaz, saying, Ask for a sign from the Lord, your God; let it be deep as the netherworld, or high as the sky! But Ahaz answered, “I will not ask! I will not tempt the Lord!”

Then Isaiah said, Listen, O house of David! Is it not enough for you to weary people, must you also weary my God? Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel.

The Daily Path: Today’s Gospel is a repeat of yesterday so I’m sharing the words of the prophet Isaiah that foretold the birth of Jesus to the virgin Mary. Did you know that the Qur’an mentions the birth of Christ and of Mary? It’s true. Both appear dozens of times. After receiving a comment from noted author Kashif Shahzada on yesterday’s post (GNTG 12/18) that led me to this bit of enlightenment, I started to think again about the void of understanding between so many on this earth. Where do we come together? What have I done to bridge the chasm, if anything? As we prepare for the birth of Christ, it strikes me that instead of harping on what divides we should spend our time finding common ground to build understanding, tolerance, peace, and the love of God. Governments and political agendas can’t accomplish this, but I believe people who are “truly” enlightened by God can.

Kashif, thank you for reaching out. Peace be upon you.





Advent Day 21 – Good News for December 18

18 12 2010

Matthew 1:18-24

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the Holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly.

Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.

The Daily Path: I’ve come to realize that the good sisters failed to convey the entire story of Joseph. Perhaps the questions about Joseph’s dilemma would have been a little too edgy for the nuns to discuss during our religion classes back in the 60’s. LOL I can understand why.

Can you imagine the headlines that would be generated by the media if celebrity M&J faced such an issue today?

MARY PREGNANT OUT OF WEDLOCK

Joe Outraged – Dumps “Virgin” Fiance

Mary’s Wild Miami Night With Kardashians Leads to Baby

WHO’S THE FATHER??

Joseph had quite a decision to make, as we all do facing many dilemmas in our own modern lives. Will we have the courage to do the right thing? Will we engage in grace when the angels come knocking? Don’t expect a winged being to appear – but do look inside and listen. The answers are there if we look beyond ME (ego).





Advent Day 11 – Good News for December 8

8 12 2010

Luke 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”

But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. 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.”

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

The Daily Path: Imagine the surprise when you arrive at the door of your fiance and she announces a pregnancy… her own! Not only that, but she also springs news of a supernatural being making an appearance to tell her of “the test results” accompanied by a heavenly request for the child to be named Cornelius. You might quickly run down a mental checklist of how this could be, coming to a screeching halt on the fact that you never had sex with the woman who, up until this moment, you believed to be a virgin. Astonishment? To say the least. Cause for a trip to the counselor’s coach? Most likely. Yet this is pretty much what happened to a young girl named Mary and her much older fiance, Joe the carpenter, some two thousand years ago.

How would you have taken this news as the mother or father to be? Would you have taken it all in stride having complete faith that nothing is impossible for God? I don’t think I would have, but there is my challenge!