My Christmas Message For 2012

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DeaconSteve
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My Christmas Message For 2012

Post by DeaconSteve » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:58 am

This is the same message that I have posted on Open My Eyes Lord, similar to last year, but much revised.





Some years ago I watched a television program called “Northern Exposure” about the adventures of a small town, nestled so quietly somewhere in Alaska. It’s not on TV anymore. I was often amazed at the character of the town radio disc jockey. He always seem to say something thought provoking and full of meaning; something that got right to the heart of things. For example, his philosophy concerning the moose or elk that roamed the town streets freely, as cat and dogs do most of the time. He gave those moose and elk a status of importance and respect, because as he saw it, they were there first. It was their tradition to roam about freely. He always had a wonder of the meaning of life and events and people, especially this event we are about to prepare for very soon, the birth of the infant Jesus.

Of course, the day after Thanksgiving kicks it off as shopper’s streak to the malls and stores at the break of dawn to cash in on specials and promotions.

I guess I also think about the wonder of this event in our lives each year and reflect on it’s meaning for me. Christmas will always be tradition to me, of how my family used to celebrate it as I was growing up, and the traditions that the family I am a part of now. Like most folks, I enjoy the Christmas tree, the lights, the presents, the manger scene, the toys for the grandchildren, and sometimes, but rarely (in this part of the country), a snowfall. Midnight Mass, in my faith expression, is always so beautiful. The choir sings so magnificently. The church decorations are beyond words to describe. So, all in all, I feel pretty good about Christmas (except that it seems to come so soon). It is a joyous time of the year, almost like a new experience each year.

But then I look beyond the realm of where I now am, and so close to me I am given the vision to see another Christmas, yet one not so really new. And like Ebenezer Scrooge, I am led to places where I do not cherish to go and beyond visions I would rather not share, except that they are so close to me; perhaps to all of us. Come with me as this vision unfolds:

This year is no ordinary year for Christmas. It will take much courage, and faith, and the hearts and hands of many strangers to reach and touch the many hurting people in our country these days, to even see Christmas as something to celebrate. So many are without an income, without jobs, without homes, and without much of a promise of any change anytime soon. Those are just a few of the realities we face these days, aside from the constant threat of terrorism, the existing wars, and potential danger of other wars to come about. People are afraid, they feel insecure, confused, and many just plain feel helpless. And I am quite confident that this has all stemmed from a moral breakdown in almost all venues of society in this country; from the family on up and including our government. The lack of concern about what government is suppose to be is alarming itself. What use to be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people is taken to be almost a joke by our leaders these days. But despite all of that, despite all of the ills of this country and the world, we still have to deal with it. We still have to go on living and functioning and being present to the needs of each other, and most importantly, we have to realize, perhaps more than even before, that THIS IS GOD'S WORLD, and God knows what is going on, and God has a plan, and God's plan is one of hope and better things to come, than one of doom and gloom. How can I be so sure of that? Because God is all good, God is all loving, and we are his children, and He cares for us. And if we cling to Him, we will be OK.

We will still have to suffer and be sick, be homeless, be without a job, without an income, but God will give us everything that we need, that is, the inner strength and the courage to deal with what might possibly be in store for us in 2013. And rest assured my friends, what is in store will not be pleasant. We are going to have to get off of our butts, and to start looking at the reality of what is going on in this country. Nothing is going to get better if we just sit on our laurels. Things are only going to get better if we get involved in the process of putting God back into this country. As for me, if that means offending some folks, then that will be their problem. There will be more of this homily/sermon, extended into the new year.

Imagine if you will - our soldiers across the world, especially those still in Iraq and Afghanistan, away from family and friends, in a desperate effort to defend our country against terrorism to liberate and rebuild a nation from the clutches of dictatorship, and thousands have died, and many more will for that effort, which in my opinion, is and has been a useless effort, and a terrible loss of our soldier's lives.

Imagine if you will – outstretched hands pleading for a warm blanket, and what little child would have benefited from such a gesture some two thousand years ago? – little soiled hands reaching for our pumpkin pie and whipped cream, and we respond: “That’s for tomorrow!” and our vision would reveal a homeless person with us saying, “Cover you naked body fool; you’ll catch yourself a death of a cold.” If only we would have known that the cold and the streets and the lack of food was his/her death. If only we would have given them some clothes.

Betrayed by disguise and ourselves revealed, we must contend with a heavier burden. Still entranced by this vision we venture on. She is dying of cancer or another dreaded disease, and we fail to comfort her and her family in their sorrow and loneliness; we misunderstood our teenager’s pain and never bothered to look back when he said he hated God (or whatever title one gives a Supreme Being). Oh well, Christmas can’t be perfect, at least not for everyone. They don’t really want so much, now do they? Or is it that some don’t want to give so much as a “little bit?” So we turned the vision off.

The crib! Look at the crib! The baby! Look at the baby! – for there in that amazing scene, in the form of a helpless child, we see the tenderness of God. That same child will be helpless once again when his life is snatched from the cross, and once more we will look upon the helplessness of God.

Perhaps that baby is saying, “Don’t look at me; they remain with you still; their soiled hands won’t go away; their empty stomachs aren’t getting filled; his pain is still with him; she finds no comfort, but only sorrow in her loneliness, in her cancer. Did you pass out the blankets so they would be warm? Don’t look at me, look at them, “. . . for whatsoever you did to the least of my brethren, you did unto me.” Perhaps we wonder, “Is there no place we can escape to where we won’t have to see this vision?” The vision is over. Reality bids, but it is not a vision nor a dream. It’s real! It’s real for all of us. It won’t go away, not even at Christmas time. So we ask, “What do you want for us to do Lord?” and perhaps He responds, “Open your hearts and not your heads, so that you may know the true meaning of Christmas!

My dear friends, time passes on. It always does. Time knows no special day, no holiday. It does know of love and comfort, giving and forgiving, and sharing and compassion. Perhaps the answer is to give the gift of who we are; of the joy of being really present to each other, whether here at home or far away in Iraq;, Afghanistan, or wherever - to be full of the Spirit of happiness and gratitude, of wonder and laughter, and of peace. Perhaps, to be all of this everyday of the year – that they might know who He is, perhaps this is to experience Christmas! Blest with the presence of a loving God who is with us today and all days to come after it. The gift of the Infant Jesus. He is with us, Emanuel, that through his eventual death and resurrection, we will be a light of this real life to come. His journey as King has become our journey as servants. His gift of Himself – our giving of ourselves. What a wonderful gift in the life of humankind.

Yes, we call it Christmas, and we describe that Christmas in a thousand different ways, and it’s meaning is felt so deeply by people of all walks of life of many different expression of faith. Like a seagull sweeping down upon the ocean is the vastness of this happening. Even from Santa Claus and toys, sliced ham and cranberry sauce, to white wafers of fresh snow – is the awesomeness of this great time. Children from all over the world anticipate it. People stop at some point to embrace Emanuel (Hebrew for God is with us).

Yes! being an invitation to a deeper spiritual awareness and experience, Christmas takes us beyond concerns of ourselves to a new understanding of “God is with us.” We don’t just extend greetings to those most dear to us. We embrace all of humankind – for we all belong to the Master’s Family. Perhaps that’s why we include and take ownership of the poor, the homeless, the imprisoned, the abused, the depressed, the shut-ins, the elderly, the sick, the dying, the lame, those who do not know of God, or perhaps don't believe in Him. Christmas is not just an event then. It is an experience, an opportunity to understand what each of us is all about. Perhaps it is a time for growth in our own particular faith, a tremendous leap of faith. Doesn’t it only make sense that Christmas is to be lived in joyful worship among God’s people? That it is to be celebrated with high hopes of peace and love of all of humankind, that peace may reign supreme?

Perhaps it is about the heart. Is it a giving heart? Is it a heart that reaches out with genuine love and concern for others, especially those less fortunate than us? Hearts that are so full of that baby’s Spirit that we too can perform miracles? That we have the love to reach out and touch? That we can touch everyone, knowing that as we do touch those who are hurting, those who need encouragement, and those who need a loving embrace, that the Infant Jesus, our King, our God, is with us?!!!!


Deacon Steve
December 15th, 2012





Live today as if it were your last, for tomorrow it will be your past, but live it with peace in mind, joy to find, and for God divine!

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Linner
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Re: My Christmas Message For 2012

Post by Linner » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:32 am

AWW, NORTHERN EXPOSURE...RANDY AND I "LOVED" THAT SHOW !! AND THE DJ'S NAME WAS 'CHRIS' !! YES, HE WAS A SPECIAL CHARACTER...I THINK THE BEST OF THE BUNCH IN THAT SHOW. THANKS FOR THE MEMORY THERE, STEVE !!

NOW...HERE IS YOUR "WOW" !!!! I MEAN, WHAT A MESSAGE YOU HAVE COMPOSED !! THERE IS MUCH TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT, I AGREE, AND ISN'T IT GOOD TO KNOW THAT WE WON'T BE ALONE IN THIS...THAT GOD ... EMANUEL ... IS WITH US ALWAYS ?? STEVE, I WAS PARTICULARLY TAKEN WITH THIS PART OF YOUR MESSAGE :


My dear friends, time passes on. It always does. Time knows no special day, no holiday. It does know of love and comfort, giving and forgiving, and sharing and compassion. Perhaps the answer is to give the gift of who we are; of the joy of being really present to each other, whether here at home or far away in Iraq, Afghanistan, or wherever - to be full of the Spirit of happiness and gratitude, of wonder and laughter, and of peace. Perhaps, to be all of this everyday of the year – that they might know who He is, perhaps this is to experience Christmas! Blest with the presence of a loving God who is with us today and all days to come after it.

I HAVE TO WONDER WHY SO MANY FIND IT SO HARD TO BE LIKE THAT ?? OR EVEN DON'T WANT TO BE LIKE THAT ?? I CAN'T UNDERSTAND IT, EXCEPT FOR KNOWING THAT EVIL DOES EXIST AND WAITS TO OVERTAKE US AT ANY TIME. I ALWAYS WANT TO LIVE LIKE YOUR PASSAGE DESCRIBED...JUST CAN'T IMAGINE ANY OTHER WAY. UNITED IN LOVE, WE CAN STAND AGAINST SO MUCH...

SO, 'TIS CHRISTMAS, AND A SPECIAL TIME OF YEAR THAT SHOULD REALLY BE ALL YEAR THROUGH...I HEARTILY AGREE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR HOLIDAY MESSAGE, STEVE. YOU HAVE A KNACK OF GENTLY POINTING OUT THINGS TO ALL OF US THAT NEED TO BE REMEMBERED...

GOD BLESS YOU, AND I WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY A CHERISHED HOLIDAY.

WITH MUCH LOVE FROM ME....LINDA :wink:
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Brenda Pike
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Re: My Christmas Message For 2012

Post by Brenda Pike » Sun Dec 16, 2012 6:54 am

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STEVE, WHAT A POWERFUL MESSAGE OF TRUTH YOU HAVE PENNED. IT IS HEART BREAKING, SENITIVE AND VERY PROFOUND MESSAGE YOU'VE SHARED WITH ALL. I AGREE WITH YOU, OUR MORAL BREAK DOWN IS MOST OF THE COUNTRY'S GLOOM AND DOOM. WE AS A PEOPLE HAVE NOT STOOD UP ENOUGH AND TOOK BACK OUR NATION. YOUR RIGHT 2013 ISN'T GOING TO BE ANY BETTER. PEOPLE HAVE PUT GOD ON THE BACK SHELF, OUT OF FEAR AND DESPERATION, THEY'LL RETURN TO SELF PRESERVATION. AN EYE FOR AND EYE AND TOOTH FOR TOOTH. BLIND FAITH THEY HAVE AND THE REALITY IS THEY WILL BE IN THE MODE OF BARBARIC ACTS AGAINST ONE ANOTHER. YES, GOD HAS A PLAN AND KNOWS THE DAY AN HOUR HE WILL CALL FOR A RECKONING. THE DECLINE OF OUR SOCIETY IS THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN A FREE PAST FOR SO LONG THEY EXPECT IT TO LAST FOREVER. WHAT CAN WE EXPECT FOR 2013, ONLY GOD KNOWS FOR SO MANY HAVE LOST TOUCH WITH HIS WORD AND WAYS, WHICH HE WANTED FOR HIS CHILDREN. GREAT WRITE, THANK YOU FOR SHARING A BIG BANG OF A MESSAGE. GOD BLESS YOU AND YOURS. LOVE BRENDA

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DeaconSteve
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Re: My Christmas Message For 2012

Post by DeaconSteve » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:04 pm


Thank you Lindy and Brenda for your input. Perhaps is better to realize what could be, so that together, in prayer and action, we can bring about a better outcome, knowing full well that with God all things are possible, but also knowing that God will not interfere with free will, though the FREE WILL that I speak of, is not ours but that of evil people. God bless.
Live today as if it were your last, for tomorrow it will be your past, but live it with peace in mind, joy to find, and for God divine!

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Janice Kennedy
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Re: My Christmas Message For 2012

Post by Janice Kennedy » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:30 pm

What a wonderful powerful blessing. You have a true servants heart.

GLYASDI, Jan :)
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JESUS MESSIAH, NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES. JESUS MESSIAH, LORD OF ALL.
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Hope
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Re: My Christmas Message For 2012

Post by Hope » Sun Dec 16, 2012 1:47 pm

Steve,
This is a Wonderful message that so many need to hear! There is alot that lies ahead of us in the comming New Year, but Thank God He will be with us through it all! We are the love of God that needs to keep reaching out no matter what. Because we have God we have something so many need and I agree with this message we need to always be willing to share it with others in whatever way they need! You have a very Loving heart for everyone and God truly shines through you!
God Bless You Love Eva

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