Everyday Spirituality

Everyday Spirituality

Constructing the Nativity III

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Luke 1

39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.” (The Bible, ESV)

We are never alone, but will always be able to share our joy with those who will appreciate it.

Constructing the Nativity II

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Luke 1

26 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed[b] to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!”[c] 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant[f] of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (The Bible, ESV)

Angels are messages from God. Sometimes it is scary to do something different from what everyone else is doing however serving life and truth holds great promise.

Constructing the Nativity I

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Luke 1

In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord. But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.

11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God, 17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived, and for five months she kept herself hidden, saying, 25 “Thus the Lord has done for me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among people.” (The Bible, ESV)

A “blameless” innocent mind is open to the birth of an idea that will make a difference in the world. Nothing is impossible to God, Love. When a divine idea takes form in your thoughts, cherish is quietly, away from worldliness.

Borrowed Christmas Traditions

posted by Cheryl Petersen

Santa Claus is a jolly reminder that many of the traditions engaged in during Christmas time were borrowed, maybe never to be returned. The traditions of gift-giving, tree decorating, feasting, and honoring gods, can be traced back to ancient Scandinavia, Germany, and Rome celebrating the winter solstice or New Year.

Movie, Christmas Unwrapped: A History of Christmas documented how, for more years than not, Christmas was a rowdy event. Drinking, indulgence, and carousing went on for days. It was centuries after Christ Jesus’ birth before churches stepped up as participants in the holiday.

Christmas as we see it today was fine-tuned in the 19th century when children were recognized as important during the festivities. The “family” approach tempered the holiday. Christmas carols, stories, and cards also became popular in the 19th century along with the nativity of Christ Jesus as a focal point.

It’s fair to put in a plug for Saint Nicholas―though exorbitantly marketed today―because the spirit of giving has truly been lived by individuals for centuries in many cultures. For example, in the 4th century A.D. Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna lived in what is known today as Turkey. Bishop Nicholas was a wealthy and generous man who loved and gave gifts to children. He was later given the title of Saint Nicholas.

Keeping Christmas in perspective, I hope you all have a blessed Holiday.

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