Tag Archives: Jesus

Seeing

17. Sometime later, there were some wise men who saw a new star in the sky.




Sometimes in faith we need to have simple wisdom like the wise men of the Jesus story. We read that they saw, pure and simple, they saw! Such wisdom that they had though was dependent on them looking. Jesus you will remember accused the scribes and Pharisees of looking and not seeing; of knowing the law but not the wit to see God’; of the demand of ‘mercy and not sacrifice’. So we return to the ‘ask, seek and knock’ that Jesus promoted. So today look carefully at the world then in your prayers ‘ask, seek and knock.’

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Counted.

9. When Mary was very big and the baby was soon to be born, the emperor said that everyone must visit their home town to be counted. Mary and Joseph had to go to Nazareth.




We can be so comfortable; warm and well fed, sane and intelligent. But not so everyone. There are those of our acquaintance, who are cold because of an uncaring society; hungry for contact; ill  at ease with depression; struggling in a world that demands competency or rejects because of poverty.

Christ the King/Emperor demand that we are counted. When we conclude our faith is truthful, it is not enough to understand in our heads, we must be counted with those who act like Jesus. We are told to be counted; to touch with human kindness, to speak with someone we know to be lonely, to listen to the disturbed, to ask the opinion of someone left behind.

Lord grant me the grace to follow you command to love God and my neighbour. By observing the first may I react to the second.

A Waiting Disciple?

16. The shepherds found the baby and then were so happy and excited that they told lots of other people the news.


I always dream of one of the shepherds turning out to be one of Jesus favoured disciples some years later. From their calling to the stable in Bethlehem, their visitation and their spreading of the news; they waited and watched.

Here is the nub of our faith; we hear, we act and we tell. When we are comfortable with this path we will be drawn into repetition. We cannot stop hearing, but then neither can we cease acting as Jesus called and neither can we stop telling of the worth and worship we find in Jesus presence.

Somewhere to Stay

12. Mary and Joseph found somewhere with the animals where they could stay.

Jesus said: “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”

Somewhere to stay for Mary and Joseph was not a five star hotel, not even a second rate B and B; but somewhere outside regulation perfection; ‘beggars can’t be choosers’ is the old adage. If this part of the Christmas story is allegory for you and your position before God, let me encourage you. No matter how small and insignificant, however unclean or unworthy; God will dwell in you. The Jesus who spoke of us ‘asking’, ‘seeking’ and ‘knocking’ gave and still gives himself as the example for us to follow.

Great Things.

8. Mary said, “God does great things: because of my baby the hungry will be fed, the poor will be lifted up.”

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‘Christ be with me, Christ within me’ – such a subtle prayer that can only reflect Mary’s song.

Mary understood the significance of her baby. In the eye of the wise, those who saw her (Elizabeth) and those who were to see her babe (Simeon), there seems to develop a critical prophetic eye. That the child will grow to be a mover and shaker, but not in the business or political sense. Jesus was to become the Emmanuel- ‘God with us’ – for the poor and marginalised.

Therefore in the prayer ‘Christ be with me, Christ within me’ maybe we should hear Mary saying to us, “God does great things: because of my son in you, the hungry will be fed, the poor will be lifted up.”

May you reflect the Christ light in you dealings, particularly the marginalised today. Do something that shows that light today.

Extra-Ordinary 

5. An angel, called Gabriel, came to visit Mary. He said to her, “You will have God’s baby, and will name him Jesus.”

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After the ordinary the extra-ordinary. To hope or expect the extra-ordinary is not really a modern state. We are far too practical and logical to expect God breaking into life in such a prominent way. Prophets and seers are held at sceptical arms length.

Yet those who constantly proclaim God’s Kingdom still live and breath in this generation. I am not talking about the shouters on street corners or those who announce God’s doom. Jesus spoke of cups of water given, children cared for and prisoners visited. Look for and practice generosity, caring and visiting – be a present day angel proclaiming Christ’s kingdom.

Who will I give, care for or visit today. Pray and act afterward.

God made…..!

2. God made all things: the sky and the land, the heavens and the earth; and they were good.

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I recall a response that always comes to mind when I hear the phrase: “God is good!” My knee jerk reaction is, “All of the time!” When you look at the creation stories the regular phrase used is, “and God saw that it was good.” Advent is a time when we may look at all that is amiss in the world but recognise that ‘goodness’ is an element of the spirit of God. An Advent theme is repentance but also an acknowledgment that we seek what is good in the world, that even in the tainted and ugly situations we may bring the lovely and good. Jesus found the kernel of his Father’s goodness and grace in the most unlikely of people.

Today look at the most tainted events in the news and look for God’s grace embedded there, pray that goodness may prevail.