Monthly Archives: November 2004

Preparing for Christmas

Via Brad Boydston – a daily devotional series Following the Star to take us from Advent  to Epiphany

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Church as it ought to be?

I followed a few links tonight from Bob Smietana over at God of Small Things to The Parish.  Came across a story about a church.  Maybe one could say the church as it ought to be, where it ought to be. 

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Filed under Books and Articles

The Incarnation

by John of the Cross

“The Incarnation” is translated from the Spanish by Kieran Kavenaugh and Otilio Rodriguez.  It was published in the book Divine Inspirations assembled and edited by R. Atwan, G. Dardess, P. Rosenthal, Oxford University Press, 1998.

Now that the time had come
when it would be good
to ransom the bride
serving under the hard yoke
of that law
which Moses had given her,
the Father, with tender love,
spoke in this way:
“Now you see, Son, that your bride
was made in your image,
and so far as she is like you
she will suit you well;
yet she is different, in her flesh,
which your simple being does not have.
In perfect love
this law holds:
that the lover become
like the one he loves;
for the greater their likeness
the greater their delight.
Surely your bride’s delight
would greatly increase
were she to see you like her,
in her own flesh.”
“My will is yours,”
the Son replied,
“and my glory is
that your will be mine.
This is fitting, Father,
what you the Most High, say;
for in this way
your goodness will be more evident,
your great power will be seen
and your justice and wisdom.
I will go and tell the world,
spreading the word
of your beauty and sweetness
and of your sovereignty.
I will go and seek my bride
and take upon myself
her weariness and labors
in which she suffers so;
and that she may have life,
I will die for her,
and lifting her out of that deep,
I will restore her to you.”

 

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Filed under Poetry and Stuff

The Incarnation

“The Incarnation” is translated from the Spanish by Kieran Kavenaugh and Otilio Rodriguez.  It was published in the book Divine Inspirations assembled and edited by R. Atwan, G. Dardess, P. Rosenthal, Oxford University Press, 1998.

The Incarnation

Now that the time had come
when it would be good
to ransom the bride
serving under the hard yoke
of that law
which Moses had given her,
the Father, with tender love,
spoke in this way:
“Now you see, Son, that your bride
was made in your image,
and so far as she is like you
she will suit you well;
yet she is different, in her flesh,
which your simple being does not have.
In perfect love
this law holds:
that the lover become
like the one he loves;
for the greater their likeness
the greater their delight.
Surely your bride’s delight
would greatly increase
were she to see you like her,
in her own flesh.”
“My will is yours,”
the Son replied,
“and my glory is
that your will be mine.
This is fitting, Father,
what you the Most High, say;
for in this way
your goodness will be more evident,
your great power will be seen
and your justice and wisdom.
I will go and tell the world,
spreading the word
of your beauty and sweetness
and of your sovereignty.
I will go and seek my bride
and take upon myself
her weariness and labors
in which she suffers so;
and that she may have life,
I will die for her,
and lifting her out of that deep,
I will restore her to you.”

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Cliff Hanging

We have just finished a week of prayer at our church.  This is the second year we have done this. 

This year I came back from one of the most relaxing holidays I have been on – ever – to one of the busiest weeks of my year.  Every day seemed to be packed with obligations at work and, on top of those, things I had chosen to do for my family and for my church.  And Leo was away for a good part of the week leaving me on my own to handle family issues such as driving and picking up kids, laundry and all those other mundane things that have to get done around home.  Everyone, including my married son, pitched in and things got done. 

I needed this week of prayer.  Sometimes when we are planning it I feel almost selfish realizing that I am going to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the whole effort.  I make time to go regularly because I want to so badly. 

It is sometimes strange how God impresses things on my mind as I sit and listen to him.  I know I need to learn more about loving God.  As I sat and thought about what that might entail, I was almost frightened.  God doesn’t always teach us things in the easy parts of life.  So I don’t know what this need to know God will bring.  It seems a bit like standing at the edge of a cliff (and I am afraid of heights) and knowing that I could be asked to step off it.  I am frightened and yet drawn to the edge at the same time.  If the journey is to continue I have to go forward.  I can’t just sit on the edge forever.  And back to where I’ve been is not the direction I want to head.

Heading into a new week I already know that parts of it are going to be extremely hard.  There are places I would rather not go.  I don’t know the results of decisions I have to make but it looks like I don’t have the option of not taking any action. 

God, hang on to me tightly if I am jumping off a cliff.  You know I don’t like heights.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff

Advent series

We just completed our week of prayer at church.  It is a nice lead up to Advent for me. I like the season of Advent.  I like to ponder everything that went on as the world got ready to receive this gift of a Saviour.  I guess most of those involved had no idea what was really coming.  I mean, how does a virginal young woman begin to understand what it is going to be like for her?  She had to deal with rejection, with misunderstanding, with judgement.  So did Joseph and he was only a surrogate father.  I wonder how many times he was tempted to get rid of this blight on his character.  The two of them certainly needed an angel visitation.  What people of trust in God they must have been.

And God himself – I wonder sometimes at the immensity of the risk he was taking.  Was the outcome certain?  I guess God could see it all outside of our time shell. 

When I read passages like Philippians       I am provoked to wonder at just how much of the outcome of this whole plan was a done deal.  Jesus chose to become human – fully human.  Does this not involve some free will on his part as well?  What if in the garden as he was agonizing over his own death he had not chosen in our favor?  To be obediant to death – for us – demanded total obedience.  Jesus was human.  The total obedience part for me is so hard.  Was it hard to go all the way for the one to whom I owe everything? 

Maybe this seems like a strange kind of thought sequence.  I have never really though about the gift we were given in these terms before – in terms of what it really meant to Jesus to live that life of complete obedience and at the same time to be as human as I am.  That thought to me is almost overpowering.  And it makes me wonder if the whole incarnation didn’t involve a great risk and great sacrifice on the part of God for us the creatures he brought into being.

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Visiting Dad

Dad is in the hospital.  It’s going on three weeks now.  At first things didn’t look too good since he was so weak from some internal bleeding. That problem seems to have taken care of itself with a change of medication. 

Another problem has developed – not sure what it is exactly – that keeps him from being able to bear weight.  This means he is immobile and so can’t return home.  It may be time for him to move to a care home.  All transitions are difficult but are made more so by the Alzheimer’s disease. 

I went up to visit the other day.  I took along a few pictures of Mexico and of the ship we were on.  I had fun telling him about the trip.  He remembered me but I doubt he understands much about where I was.  He kept commenting about the long trip I would have home, not remembering that I just live in town. 

Our conversations are not usually profound.  They can’t be anymore.  But for some reason, I go back to visit.  He won’t even remember that I was there.  But the other day when I went he said, “It is so nice you came to visit.  I love you.”  I don’t think the conversation could get more profound than that for me.  I am still my daddy’s girl. 

More difficult days may be ahead.  For now, the recognition that we love each other is enough reason for me to keep going back.  Some days he can express it, some days not.   Each day he can is a gift.

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Filed under Dealing with stuff