Archive for the ‘Joy’ Category

Christmas Joy

December 25, 2007

Luke 2:8-20

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

The heart of Christmas is mysterious joy. At every turn the wisdom of the world is turned upside down and confounded. Here is the treasure of God placed into an earthly vessel. Step back and wonder at the wisdom of God in this passage.

An Angel and the host of heaven, herald the arrival of Prince of Peace and the God of Goodwill. They rend the fabric separating heaven from earth so that the glory of the Lord shone all about the place. The attention of the Omniscient, Omnipotent Triune God was focused like a laser on – shepherds?

Like so much of the Advent of Christ this seems incongruous with what we think we know about God. For instance, He is an Infinite Spirit, filling space and time while existing outside that same space and time, yet the Holy Spirit overshadows a small girl in an insignificant village and God becomes local. The God of the universe is wrapped up in the womb of a virgin.

Here, the angel tells the shepherds that this news was to be for all the people – kings and prophets, rulers and teachers, judges and magisterium, but the lowest class of working man is granted this greatest of favors, they were told where to find the Savior of the World. The good tidings of great joy were placed in the earthiest of earthen vessels, keepers of sheep.

This is the message of Joy… There is a baby in Bethlehem, wrapped tight in swaddling cloths, lying in a food trough and all of that is a sign that unto you is given a Savior who is Christ, God’s anointed, the Lord of the Universe.

That is the sign of a visit from God? A poor family – living with animals – at a public inn? How can this be the same God? The hope of all the world, past, present and future, is mysteriously cooing and feeding at the breast of teenager. Who would look for the Savior of the world in a baby?

Ah, but there was treasure there. That earthen vessel of low reputation and common birth contained the Lord of all the universe. Look with the eyes of heaven. Look at that child with God’s eyes! Here is Jesus the Christ, Savior of man, the Son of God and of Mary Glory to God in the highest!

That Christmas conundrum continues today. Who would look for the Savior in me and you? All of our inconstancies and frailties; our flesh marked with sin, frame a poor dwelling for the Savior who is Christ the Lord.

1 Cor 1:26-31

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God — and righteousness and sanctification and redemption — 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the LORD.”

Born to you this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Glory to God in Highest and on Earth peace, goodwill toward men!

al sends

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Look What I Did

December 24, 2007

Well, so far this Christmas season I have done the following: decorated a Christmas tree, gone Christmas caroling, bought (and drank) Starbucks Christmas frappuccino, sang in a Christmas choir, read Advent readings, bought Christmas gifts, wrapped Christmas gifts, opened Christmas gifts, hung a Christmas wreath and scads of little twinkling lights on the outside of my house, drank eggnog, ate pecan pie, bought a turkey and dressing for Christmas dinner, watched claymation “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” gone home for Christmas (a bit early), read a Christmas sermon by Gregory of Nazianzus, gone on a Christmas lights spotting tour of the city, said “Merry Christmas” about four thousand times, delivered an Advent homily, answered my daughter’s question “How much longer till Christmas?” a few dozen times, and gone to a couple of Christmas parties. No, I have not yet watched “It’s a Wonderful Life,” but I will soon.

I warmed up to Christmas a bit late, in spite of all this activity. But now that the Big Day is almost here, I finally feel it.

Merry Christmas, everyone in the blogosphere.  The Nativity of our Lord is come: rejoice!

Tic-Tic-Tic

July 13, 2007

We are quickly approaching 5000 visitors to this here little blog… Should we mark the milestone or bask in our humility by not pointing it out?

I guess it is too late to do the latter so let’s do the former. What shall we give away? I notice that Frank Turk’s Pawn Shop is still up and running, perhaps a T-shirt or a mug from Frank or how about a book? We will see if we get any reaction (better yet more traffic) and then proceed.

al sends

Cute Little Bundles of Sin

June 30, 2007

Babies really like me.  Well, most of them do anyway.  They coo, smile and generally seem to enjoy it when I hold them.  Of course it could all be a nasty trick:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/07/01/scibaby101.xml

Sin gotta hold on us and only Jesus Christ can break it.

Luke 18:15-17

Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.  17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 

al sends

I want to be Frank Turk

March 21, 2007

Not really… I just want his stats.

Awhile ago Frank had a little contest. As he was approaching 200,000 visitors to his BLOG, he invited us to capture the moment his hit counter rolled over. The visitor who pushed him over the edge and took a screen capture of the momentous occasion would receive a T-shirt from Frank’s pawnshop.

Well, we are about to roll over 1000 visitors.

1K

While this number includes my lovely wife, who visits regularly, we do have several visitors not related to me who stop by our little corner of the blog-o-sphere.

So, if you are visitor 1000. Take a screen capture with the hit counter in it and email it to me. I will provide you with one of three wonderful prizes:

  • If you are my wife you get a foot rub.
  • If you live in the Pensacola area but are not my wife I will buy you lunch.
  • If you live in Arkansas (or some other third world country) I will buy you one of Frank’s T-Shirts.

Boy this is going to bring in the traffic!

al sends

By the way the hit counter on this site is at the bottom of the right hand column.