..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Walking with God

To walk with God requires more grace and maturity of thought and habit than to fly or run.
Young Christians are apt to get impatient with the quietness and seeming slowness of riper
Christians. ...To go slow with God is one of the greatest arts in the deeper life of the Christian,
and one that it takes a long time to learn unless it is taught the soul by the Holy Spirit"

--George D. Watson, God's Eagles,

photo taken at Storrowton Village, West Springfield, MA

Monday, December 24, 2012

God is not Dead Nor Does He Sleep

As we approach Christmas, I have tried to write down my thoughts...

We've had a rough year, haven't we? One that could cause our hearts to sink
or make us cry our eyes out. Evil, with its tedious slash-and-burn methods,
is out there. But what I know this year is that I have been all the more drawn
toward bedrock belief in the goodness of God. I somehow do not feel at all
discouraged but evermore sure that God's love is stronger than
all that is tirelessly arrayed against it. He can carry us through
We only have to see, with the eyes of our heart, who our good God is--full of
Light and Life, His nail pierced Hands dripping with compassion and love. Evil's victories are short lived. We have been tricked into thinking that bad is stronger than good because it uses a hacker's force to accomplish its goals. God's ways are subtle, gentle, awe-inspiring and unexpected. The results of evil we see daily with our natural eyes, but may we learn to see how present the love and goodness of God is with the eyes of our hearts. Love and Goodness, God Himself, working through His people, is all around us. And if we dare to join His ranks, we shall see Him all the more.
2000 years ago a small package of God arrived on earth's doorstep. It was
such a small package. Wrapped in a bits of swaddling cloth. God made the announcement of His Son's coming not to the rich and famous, but to shepherds and star gazers, both of whom had time to look for the hidden and subtle, and the vast and deep.
The little package, from His very first moment a divine Pilgrim, at home only
in the Father's love, and in the arms of sweet mother Mary. His little Head never rested on pillowy satins, and His first night wasn't even inside the hotel, but out in the way back with the animal servants.
Goodness is always a threat and so, even after that, He could not find a place to rest--Foxes have dens and sparrows have nests but the Son of God never had a lasting place to lay His Head. He came unto those who were called to be His own but His own received Him not. He, who is our Eternal Home, was cast out to be received only by those who could see His Beautiful Goodness. Even those who simply looked like Him were murdered--little children killed by Herod hoping to extinguish Jesus among them, holy innocents caught up in the battle. To this day those who look like Him are murdered but their true eternal life is not taken, nor can it be.
Our year has been like that, hasn't it? Holy Innocents have again been slain. Yet, I believe more firmly in God's goodness and in the power of Goodness than I ever have for I see it coming to life in those around me who have given themselves to Goodness --God acting through His Own in acts of light, small and large, seen and unseen. God's goodness seen in kind smiles, in small gestures, in young teachers throwing themselves in front of bullets to protect their children, in one small hand reaching out to hold another's
in the night.
What can we do when darkness is all around? We can simply choose goodness.
Love and goodness are something to give one's life to, for they are what God is. God, with love and goodness, made the world and by that love and goodness the world will one Day once again be made a safe and glorious dwelling place--have no doubt about that! Love and goodness are quiet yet exceedingly powerful.
Good overcomes evil by what it is-- it vanquishes darkness by simply being light. There is no clash of two brute forces in this battle because this war is not waged that way. Love is another kind of force entirely, and does things in its own amazing way. Vengeance belongs only to the Lord, who will end our battle with evil with a proper show of the majestic force of Love at the End of Days. All that is God's--goodness alone is His Little Flock's wisest choice. Darkness knows its time is limited so it will do all that it knows to do, within its darkened self, to accomplish its purposes.
Jesus said, "the eye is the lamp of the body, and if your lamp is dark, how great a darkness that is" (Matthew 6:22-23). In JRR Tolkien's, The Hobbit, the shriveled Gollum lives in that darkness and eats of the dark forces of greed, jealousy, and lust for power. The light in his lamp has gone out, as it will for everyone who partakes of darkness. Conversely, the simple, everyday hobbit from Bag End may feel that he is no match for that which lays in the darkness.
Yet, what we must realize is that everyday hobbits, you and I, are on a great adventure toward God--and we can and will be victorious by God's goodness! Let us march into His triumphant goodness and toward Light so pure that darkness has no chance. We are small, just like the small package that came to earth so many years ago, but we are God's small package if we so choose to be!
How clearly do I see this today! How clearly do I see that it all begins simply with our choice and the direction we point ourselves in. God takes it from there! In our selves we have no goodness or strength or courage but when we allow the Small Package of Christ, (who is eternally without measure) to enter our lives He brings with it all the goodness of God packed into something the size of a mustard seed and it begins to explode within us--into a Package whose height and depth and length we will never fully exhaust or explore! A great journey indeed begins!
Dear ones, during this timely Christmas,
trust in the goodness of God...but do more than that--give yourself over to it.
This great old hymn, I heard the Bells on Christmas Day, speaks of a great and present truth:
I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play;
In music sweet their tones repeat,
“There’s peace on earth, good will to men.”
thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along th’ unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.
But in despair I bowed my head,
There is no peace on earth I said,
for hate is strong and mocks the song
of peace on earth, good will to men.
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

For Christ is here; His Spirit near
Brings peace on earth, good will to men.”
When men repent and turn from sin
The Prince of Peace then enters in,
And grace imparts within their hearts
His peace on earth, good will to men.
O souls amid earth’s busy strife,
The Word of God is light and life;
Oh, hear His voice, make Him your choice,
Hail peace on earth, good will to men.
Then happy, singing on your way,
Your world will change from night to day;
Your heart will feel the message real,
Of peace on earth, good will to men

Merry Christmas, good friends,


the hymn was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
during a time of great loss during the Civil War, there
are many variations to the lyrics.