What I Want for Christmas

Magi

What I Want for Christmas

the gift of love

and health

and time

and money

not necessarily in that order

~~~

a chance to see peace

to see justice

to see the end of xenophobia

to see Donald Trump withdraw

which would, of course, be prerequisite to the above

~~~

a fine bottle of wine

and friends to share it

a low carb Christmas dinner

a recliner to welcome my aching bones

Christmas jazz and family chats

~~~

let me hear

angels singing of good will

let me witness

modern wise men–and women–acting on faith

let the world be filled with the hope He gifted us so long ago

and loving hearts to share it

~~~~~~~

The Nativity scene.

The Nativity scene at the Grotto in Portland

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Female Disciples?

Happy Easter! Christ is risen!

Noli mi Tangere, by Titian c. 1512 (Wikimedia, public domain)

Noli mi Tangere, by Titian c. 1512 (Wikimedia, public domain)

Let’s talk about the women who traveled with Jesus in His ministry.

Mary Magdalene was present at the crucifixion and burial of Christ, and at the discovery of the empty tomb three days later. She was the first to see and speak with the risen Christ.

I’ve heard it said that she was a prostitute, and popular movies such as The Last Temptation of Christ (which I otherwise loved–including the controversial dream sequence) portrayed her in this way.

NOT TRUE!

Mary Magdalene was one of several very important women in Jesus’ ministry.  She met him because she was ill and in need of healing.

According to Luke 8:1-3, Mary Magdalene, along with Joanna, Susanna, and “many other” women who had been healed, accompanied Jesus and the twelve disciples from town to town, supporting the group financially “out of their own means.” Mary hailed from Magdala, a vibrant seaport at the time, and may have come from a well-to-do merchant family.

So, let the rumors be put to rest, and let us continue to think about the importance of these brave women to the ministry of Christ.

Thoughts on Lent

Just completed Day 30 in my Lenten reading plan on YouVersion. (I highly recommend YouVersion for anyone who wants to have convenient access to a searchable Bible and flexible, meaningful reading plans or devotions.)

I ran across a lovely prayer written by F.B. Meyer (1847-1929). Here is an excerpt:

“…that I may daily do something to lessen the tide of human sorrow, and add to the sum of human happiness.”

It reminded me of a wonderful quote from one of my favorite poets (which I am drawing from memory, and hope I have it right):

“We are here to do good unto others. What the others are here for, I do not know.” – W.H. Auden

I hope that you and your significant others experience a very grand sum of happiness during this holy season. God bless!

Amazing Grace, Amazing Voice

My wonderful cousin Freddie shared this video with me.

This young singer is both inspired and inspiring! I hope he shares his gifts of music and joy with the world for many years to come.

This is a modified version of “Amazing Grace.” I think you will enjoy the beautiful lyrics of the “hook” (chorus) and the last verse, which appear to be new. The song is even more joyous and uplifting, if that’s possible.

Enjoy!

The Sounds of Christmas

I have been following a couple of Bible reading plans at YouVersion.com. One is called “Sounds of Christmas.” It incorporates scripture, music video and the lyrics of Christmas songs. Reading through “Oh, Holy Night,” I was struck by the meaningful beauty of the second verse:

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.

O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.

The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.

I hope that you are warmed by His light this sad weekend, and may He guide us all through our trials.

Palm Sunday, Facebook and the 99%

A week before passover, Jesus came to the town of Bethany to visit with Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha (his BFFs). A crowd gathered at Simon’s house nearby, where Martha served dinner.  Simon was a Pharisee (one of the 1%), but also a follower of Jesus since being cured of his leprosy.  However, the crowd was more interested in the miracle that Jesus performed for Lazarus, i.e., raising him from the dead after Lazarus had died and been buried for four days.

Simon, Lazarus, Martha and Mary planned a great dinner party with friends from all over the surrounding area, including Jerusalem.  After the party, the numerous guests used word of mouth (remember that?  it’s a kind of manual Facebook communication), to tell all of their friends, who told all of their friends, that Jesus would be coming to Jerusalem for the passover celebration.  So, the next day, all of these “friends of friends” headed out to greet this great prophet and spiritual leader upon his entry to Jerusalem.  In the custom of the day, they paved the road with their cloaks and with the broad leaves of palm trees — kind of a red carpet (except not actually red).  But this was something the 99% would normally do for the 1%, and that was not in line with Jesus’ way of life as a homeless, travelling preacher and material-free Son of God. So he rode in on a young donkey, to remain humble and to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah:

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and having salvation,
gentle and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
–  15 Zech. 9:9