Sunscreen or Sonscreen?

Wednesday, June9, 2021

The Golden Light of Christ

Shines in Every Darkness

Bringing Breath

and

Life Abundant

Isaiah 60:17

Instead of bronze I will bring gold, instead of iron I will bring silver; instead of wood, bronze, instead of stones, iron. I will appoint Peace as your overseer and Righteousness as your taskmaster.

Hebrews 2:1

Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it.

Words of Grace For Today

Isaiah 60 begins:

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
   and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
For darkness shall cover the earth,
   and thick darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you,
   and his glory will appear over you.
Nations shall come to your light,
   and kings to the brightness of your dawn.

That is the context of the advancement that God will provide to the people, no longer merely stones, doch God will provide also iron. No longer merely iron, doch God will provide also silver. No longer merely wood, doch God will provide also bronze. No longer merely bronze, doch God will also provide gold.

The story continues through history as God provides more and more materials, until alloys, plastics, composites, rare metals, and oil abound in our lives.

We want more and more. By our wanting more and more, using and burning more and more oil for example, we will bring upon ourselves the darkness that will cover the earth.

Isaiah could not have foreseen what we would do, though Isaiah saw clearly what people are capable of. The story of God’s people was and is and always will be that the people are blessed by God with an abundance beyond our basic needs, we exploit the blessings, perverting it into all that is against God and God’s creation – and against the people, even God’s people, us! So we turn from God. We lose God’s blessings and end up in exile, ruled by others who are perverse and evil.

God does not leave us there. God’s love is steadfast, even if, and especially when, our love of God and God’s creation is so fickle. God comes to forgive us.

That is the message of Isaiah. The people are in exile, ruled and exploited and assimilated by other people of other power.

They hear Isaiah’s words.

The darkness is coming over all the earth, doch God will bring light to God’s people and all the people of the earth will search for, and come to bask in, that light. For it is the Light of life.

Again and again God’s Word sets God’s people free, as the Word of Life, Jesus the Christ did for those who believed in him in those early generations after his crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. So also Jesus frees us that we may live abundantly.

We need no more than the very bare basics of life. Sometimes we live more abundantly with no extras, no luxuries, none of the usual comforts that so many see as ‘givens’ for life today in the western world. Without the extras we must focus on the necessities, and we soon learn that while the physical requirements to stay alive are significantly important (especially to the billions who do not have them), the requirement of life abundant is not more and more and more.

It is to give, to give, to give to God and God’s people.

It is to serve, to serve, to serve God and God’s people.

It is to love, to love, to love God and God’s people.

It is to forgive, to forgive, to forgive, and to forgive even more all of God’s people.

It is a true blessing from God when we are able to remain fully cognizant of that, even while we are so easily distracted struggling for the basics of life, or more fully distracted by the false promises of a ‘good life’ achieved by having more and more and more.

So we pray that we will give greater and greater attention to what we have heard of the old, old story of Jesus and his love, so that we do not drift away from being the ones who share that Good News with all people, bringing the Light of Life into the darkness that has descended upon so many people in so many places, in so many hearts consuming so many minds. We are to revive those hearts lost to darkness, those minds consumed by the dark.

The Light of Life is here. See it. Receive it. Share it. Bask it in. No sonscreen is needed.

Adversity and True Strength

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Life is a series of reflections

on us.

What have we,

What will we,

do

for others to enjoy an abundant life?

Isaiah 48:10

See, I have refined you, but not like silver; I have tested you in the furnace of adversity.

Luke 6:22-23

Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

Words of Grace For Today

This life may be terrible and even horrendous, but it will be all right in heaven, so this is all right, too, right?

What doesn’t kill you, makes you strong, right?

Too often these rather stupid simplifications of valid ideas are used as excuses to allow psychological or physical violence and abuse to continue. The truth is there are scars from many things that do not make one stronger.

Perhaps the worse use of these is to justify that some people can enjoy great wealth, privilege, and comfort, while others struggle to stay alive, and others die very ignoble deaths, all in order to make the ‘chosen’ few able to be wealthy, privileged, and comfortable.

God did not make creation for us to live in a while and then escape from it’s injustices to heaven. God made all of creation, saw the accomplished work of creating, and said, “It is Good!”

Life for all people is designed to be GOOD!

GOOD does not mean without pain or suffering evil, for then there is also no possibility to love and experience joy. Pain and suffering – and – love and joy are part and parcel of the kind of life God created us for.

We live and love and experience joy. Some day the people we love will suffer and die. We will then also suffer and experience pain.

And it is all Good.

It is true that those who enjoy wealth, privilege, and comforts now at the expense of others being able to live abundant lives will, for eternity, suffer their choices to be blind and deaf to what they do to others.

It is also true that those who suffer and know only pain, will for eternity be released from that horrible kind of experience and they will know joy forever.

Our lives here and now are not to simply accept all suffering and pain as necessary. It is to work as hard as we can to mitigate and minimize all pain and suffering, to provide an abundant life for everyone!

That’s a life full and long of hard, dedicated work of love, not the sentimental kind of love, the real kind of love that puts one into action and pulls one to sacrifice so that others can live well.

What makes us strong, truly strong, is to know that even as we suffer and are in pain God walks with us, still creating, still seeing all that God does through us, and God says, “It is Good.”

Therefore we know that already today all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

The Day of the Lord

Monday, March 29, 2021

The Glory of the Lord

is not only a ‘some day’ hope.

It is evident every day

in the simplest ways.

Zechariah 14:9

The Lord will become king over all the earth; on that day the Lord will be one and his name one.

Revelation 22:3-4

Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.

Words of Grace For Today

The Day of the Lord has many names. It is the day when all the wrong, sin, and evil that humans have perpetrated against each other and against creation and against God will cease and the after-effects will cease as well.

In human terms the rule of unjust humans over others will cease, and God will be king over all the earth and over all people; justice and truth, mercy and compassion, forgiveness and life-giving love will be the way humans will interact with each other.

In divine terms, all that is accursed will no longer exist. The city of God, the New Jerusalem, will be founded (or revealed to us). Jesus is the sacrificial lamb, given to convince us in terms we understand, that God forgives and loves us unconditionally – and that there is no limit to the lengths God will go to to forgive us and more, to convince us we are forgiven. Except God will not violate our freewill as beings capable of love. God will love us, forgive us, walk with us, stand by us, care for us, guide us … but God will not take away our ability to love ourselves, each other, all creation, and God.

This Jesus will no longer be a sacrificial lamb. He will be raised to the most exalted position, to sit on God’s throne, ruling with sacrificial love, over all the universe.

The Day of the Lord has many names and many images and many hopes expressed in them.

The Day of the Lord is the day when all that is wrong will be set right.

Those who benefit from the wrong that is now perpetrated and live lives of comfort will cease to live in comfort. They rightly fear and deny that the Day of the Lord will ever come.

The great majority of humans who have ever lived, and the great majority of those who live on earth now, will no longer suffer the ignominy of being forced to provide comforts and luxuries for others at the expense of the basic necessities of life, and even their lives. For the great majority of humans the Day of the Lord is the expression of hope that provides the little comfort available to them; on that day all will be set right, and those responsible and blithely benefiting from the wrong will no longer exist.

The Day of the Lord has been anticipated for generation upon generation … and is yet to come to be. Still we do not give up hope that God will set right all the wrongs that are done against us. We do not give up hope that God will set right the little wrongs (and not so little) that we do to each other.

Freedom. Hope. Life based solely on forgiveness and love.

We are not yet at the Day of the Lord.

For now, our sins give witness to God’s response to our failings: God forgives and loves and renews us.

For now, we get to be bearers of the Good News that God has placed before us in many and various ways, and in Jesus’ life, death and resurrection: namely that the substance of life is love, and the glue that holds it together, and the lubricant that makes it still move is unconditional forgiveness and love.

For now we have quite the life to live and to live that life in the full expectation of the Day of the Lord pulling us forward through each day’s challenges (including all that Covid 19 makes more obvious.)

Choice Stock, Broken Stock

Friday, March 26, 2021

Where Will This Day Take Us?

The First Step is Always

Confess, Repent, and Be Gratefully Gracious

Jeremiah 2:21

Yet I planted you as a choice vine, from the purest stock. How then did you turn degenerate and become a wild vine?

Revelation 2:5

Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Words of Grace For Today

Humble pie, these readings are for today.

God creates us good, choice vines from the purest stock.

We degenerate and become wild vines, producing little good!

We have fallen from the greatness that God created us to be, to live out in creation.

What are we to do?

The most common human response is …

Denial.

No, we are not that bad. No, we have not fallen. No, God did not create us to be good only.

And on go our denials, some quite marvellous in their creativity.

What is God to do?

We expect that God will punish us, removing our lampstands, unless we return to being good and doing good works.

This expectation is more denial. It is not just that we have fallen. We cannot rescue ourselves or ever again but sin, behave as wild vines, fail to do the good works that God created us for to do.

Doch, God does not punish us. God has mercy on us and is prodigiously gracious with us. God forgives us. God promises to forgive us. God invites us to face reality. God invites us to repent.

To repent is to turn about: we cannot ‘turn about’ and be and do good; but we can ‘turn about’ our pride and arrogance that denies our prolific sins. We can acknowledge, confess, and rely solely on God’s forgiveness … and then move forward relying solely on God’s Grace each day, each moment.

We become humble, grateful, and gracious with ourselves and others.

We recognized that we are broken, somewhat repaired, vessels that carry in our brokenness witness to God’s overwhelming mercy, grace, and love for us (and for all people, and for all creation).

Creation needs our good hard work. We need our hard, diligent, and good work … for our own survival and for the survival of all other people … and more than survival we work to provide abundant life for all people.

This day has it’s fullness waiting.

Are we ready to repent … and let God guide us to (with joyful thanks) accomplish the work that is ours this day?

Dominion & Deception vs Humble Temples

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Sometimes

We Need Someone To Hold Us

Lest We Break Off

From All That Gives Us Life

Genesis 1:28

God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.’

1 Corinthians 3:22-23

Whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all belong to you [as God’s Temple, God’s Spirit dwelling in you], and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

Words of Grace For Today

1 Corinthians 2:18 reads: Do not deceive yourselves. If you think that you are wise in this age, you should become fools so that you may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.

Blessed to have dominion over every living thing we humans have thoroughly deceived ourselves as if we owned and could do with the creatures and creation what we pleased, even if that meant ruining earth as a habitable planet for other species and even ourselves.

Everything is from God.

We are all God’s.

God’s Spirit lives in us.

We are blessed to be blessings to others, not to wreak havoc on others and the rest of creation.

Our dominion over anything is always as stewards, and stewards for a God that created everything, declared it GOOD!, and loves creation and all creatures in it.

It’s all about reality.

First and ultimate always is we are God’s.

We are not some other human’s possession or work.

We are not independent beings.

We are ALL in this together, as Covid 19 has taught us.

While we are not in the same boat, some are in a few people in each luxury yacht and some are bailing to save everyone in their overloaded leaky dinghies, and some are hanging on to flotsam for dear life.

God gives us dominion in order that everyone can live even through a pandemic (when the circumstances of life for each and all become more obvious) in a save boat.

We have lots to do, and always it is futile to proceed as if we were anything less or more or other than God’s stewards.

Equality Is Not Possible Through Revenge

Wednesday, March 3, 2021

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God Created All Equally Favoured.

We can be courageous to live so, today!

Genesis 2:18

Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.’

John 19:26-27

When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, here is your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.

Words of Grace For Today

There is something very wrong with this creation account in Genesis. How it has been used makes this very clear to anyone who wishes to pay attention.

While humans are both female and male, the story places one as the first consideration for God, and the other as an after-thought, a help mate for the first.

This story came out of a male biased culture and has been used to devalue females as second class humans. Abuses have abounded through history based solely on this false preference of God’s for males. These biases and their subsequent abuses used to seem so acceptable to some people, especially those that benefited from them. In truth they always have been an abomination for the whole species.

Today, as if this helps at all, many have turned these biases and abuses on their heads. Females are given free license to devalue, abuse, lie about, gaslight, and even kill males freely, as if it were their birthright as females. This ‘new’ bias-abuse of males can never set right the bias-abuse of females. In fact it is worse. For many the bias-abuse of females was unintentional, even by females who saw it as something for their benefit.

The ‘new’ (to our culture) bias-abuse of males to benefit females cannot be claimed by any to be participated in unawares. It is the flip of a terrible bias in history. For that matter continuing male-favouring biases is no longer excusable (because one was unawares) either, if it ever was.

A bias participated in aware of the bias and one’s participation in it is worse than an accidental bias in that it , on top of everything else, consciously chosen.

Female favouring biases are also most often pursued with revenge in mind. For example it is as if the abuse is pursued against this good male to take revenge for the abuse of other abusive males, even though the males are related only in that they are males.

That kind of blind revenge bias is many measures worse. It claims to set things right, yet it adds layer upon layer of lies and deception and damage to every situation.

Only Grace brings us to live past bias of any kind.

Jesus, on the cross, does not change that woman have next to no possibility to ‘take care of their own business.’ They require a man to own the property and from that provide for the woman. Instead Jesus acknowledges the disadvantage this places upon Mary, his mother, and he ensures that one of the disciples is now recognized by Mary as her son, and she is recognized by him as her mother.

Jesus does not remove the bias. Instead he ensures, despite the bias, that his followers and his mother are cared for as all people should be.

We can make changes, if all too slowly, to cultural biases. We need to do this with great courage and persistence. We need to work to remove the bias and all vestiges from our own lives. We need to actually remove and end the bias, not to merely replace it with an equally if not worse bias!

As we recognize our own sin (including biases), and the sin of our culture’s biases, we need swiftly and effectively mitigate the suffering all our biases cause people, including ourselves. We need to provide the care every human deserves for everyone we can.

This is the meaning of life, and the purpose of each day; to provide God’s Grace to all people.

For this we can live grateful lives.

Our Little to God is More Than Enough

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A reed, a little bark.

What we have may not look like much,

Doch whatever we have

God will use to give all people life,

life abundant!

Leviticus 26:5

Your threshing shall overtake the vintage, and the vintage shall overtake the sowing; you shall eat your bread to the full, and live securely in your land.

Matthew 14:20

And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full.

Words of Grace For Today

God provides a great bounty for all to live from.

All in good order from sowing, to ripening, to harvest, to eating; God provides security for all. Not merely food security, but also food security.

We muck it up terribly so that through history billions go hungry and die of starvation.

Jesus comes to teach us, to heal us, and we gather. It is late. It is meal time. We are not stupid no matter how poor we are. We all have brought a bit to eat with us. We are not stupid no matter how poor we are. We do not bring out the food hidden for safety sake, lest the greed of a few fools and truly poor (who have brought no food with them) brings them to attack us, maim or kill us, and take our little food from us. We, too, are greedy this way. We call it caution or wisdom. Jesus calls it sin.

Jesus does not chastise or demand or expose us. Instead Jesus gathers the little his disciples have, places it in a few baskets, and passes it around for all to take from it what they need. Those with plenty add to the baskets, those with nothing take a meal from the baskets. Jesus does not dictate love, Jesus only lives an example of sharing God’s bounty with all people.

The people follow Jesus’ example, assured by his presence that they need not fear.

In the end many, many baskets of the leftovers remain uneaten. We are not stupid, we have brought more than enough. Jesus is not stupid, he shows us how to share God’s blessings of food and God’s blessings of everything else, so that all have enough, and there is plenty left over.

Now, today, amid the challenges of Covid 19, take the new opportunities we have before us, to relax (which negates fear), to bring out God’s bounty, and to share God’s great bounty with all, so that all have enough to live, and to live abundantly.

God’s Creative Responses of Love, Us

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Fire

Beauty

God Needs All We Can Be

To Bring Wayward Creatures Like Us

To Be Reconciled With God

Isaiah 6:8

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’

2 Corinthians 5:20

So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

Words of Grace For Today

God’s Kingdom is never a static, accomplished, passive, settled thing. God’s Kingdom is God’s rule over God’s creation and all the creatures in it, including us very sinful and loving and stubbornly arrogant and gracious and cruel and kind and ….

God’s rule over us responds to our vagaries, pulling, twisting, diving, climbing, enveloping, releasing, disciplining, celebrating [and fill in everything God does in response to us] us.

God does not do this at a disinterested distance. God walks with us. Significantly God works in creation through us. God needs ambassadors of God’s will, as well as engineers, healers, teachers, gandy-dancers, architects, poets, and [fill in all we humans can be and do] of God’s will.

Always God is looking for volunteers. While God can easily voluntell us to go, God more often waits, patiently, for us to respond to God’s pleas ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’

The temptation for us is to ignore God, for history teaches us well that those who respond most often are disparaged, persecuted, and even killed for their trouble.

When we listen to God’s history told as a complete history of life, Creator and creation and creatures all together, then we begin to understand that there is no life with as much value and reward and joy and hope and love as a life lived in response to God’s call, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’

When we respond, ‘Here am I; send me!’, then we become ambassadors for Christ who entreat all people on behalf of Christ to be reconciled to God. In response … well the responses are all over the map of possibilities given our sinfulness and love and stubbornly arrogance and graciousness and cruelty and kindness, our success will appear to be minimal at best, and the demands Covid 19 places on us are nothing compared to those creatures and Creator will place on us.

And our all our hope will be fulfilled, our joy complete, and our love will be made whole … even as we sin yet again and require God to step in to graciously forgive us, redeem us, and send more ambassadors to us to teach us how to be reconciled to God.

God’s rule requires everything from us, especially creativity in being God’s gracious, unconditional, and unending love and joy for others.

Help! Help! Help! Finding our way in Covid times.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Path of Our Life,

When God Carries Us,

We Have So Much to be Thankful for

Psalm 119:37

Turn my eyes from looking at vanities; give me life in your ways.

Colossians 2:6-7

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Words of Grace For Today

Eldon worked hard, sought to save as many people as possible wasted money. Yet his life went off in all sorts of directions as he sought to find purpose, meaning, or some fulfillment in life. He chased things that some would call extras or luxuries, just to have something fill up his life. He avoid alcohol and drugs, yet his addiction to things of comfort, pleasure and status had him deep in it’s grasp.

Knowing little, but that his addiction was killing him, he sought any help he could. He even prayed, Lord save me from my addiction. Show me the way to life as you created us to live it. Show me what you have created me to be and do with this life, this life that is so empty.

Jane grew up in the church, was confirmed, participated in the youth group activities and studies. Bright as anyone she knew she went off the university, on to grad school, with full scholarships. She applied to study history for a Ph.D. at Yale and was given a fellowship. While she had always applied herself to study beyond each course, the course work being rather easy for her, she found the Ph.D. studies all encompassing and demanding, so that for the first time in her life she was afraid of failing. She worked long hours each day, through every weekend. Three years into the work she was grinding away at her thesis when it all came tumbling down on her.

She tried to study and could barely see letters on the page. She tried to remember what she’d just read and made notes about, and it would not come to her. She tried to sleep and she could barely sleep.

She went to the doctor, who did a full work up but everything tested fine. The doctor did confirm that Jane was unable to focus on anything. It was as if she’d become an idiot overnight, and it stuck. It was so frustrating. She went to a therapist, who was kind and knowledgeable, but there was no help to give Jane. Finally she took a two week trip back home. Walking her old home town high school paths, nothing seemed to bring her to be able to read and remember.

She went to see her pastor, who listened thoughtfully to everything Jane told her. Her pastor said she had no idea what was happening to Jane. She advised simple things, stop to breath, say morning prayers, sing her favourite hymns, go to confession, come and partake in the Eucharist.

Jane then confided in her pastor that she had stopped going to church when the work load for her doctorate because so demanding.

Her pastor pointed her to a verse from Colossians:

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

Her pastor pointed out that no matter what else was going on with her, Jane still had so much to be thankful for. She suggested keeping a daily journal of everything that she had and could be thankful for.

Jane started a Gratitude Journal, making entries each morning. Weeks later after returning to the university and her teaching duties (part of her fellowship) Jane realized she was less stressed about her studies, and she could sit and read and remember.

She dove back into her thesis work.

It was decades later when Jane crossed paths with Eldon, who was still praying for relief from his addiction as life meant nothing if he had not acquired something new that day.

Eldon could see how Jane was kind, thoughtful, and assured of herself, even as she took on some of the toughest challenges at the university where she was a full professor, shortly to take over as head of the history department. He asked how she managed to appear so … so … maybe it was that she looked so content.

She said she always found ten things to be thankful for each morning to enter into her Gratitude Journal. After that no matter what happened, she reminded herself all day long, that God was good to her. The rest was relatively easy, even if it was nearly impossible.

Today, remaining alert and consistently doing what is required to minimize the spread of Covid 19 after nearly a full year of it, may seem almost impossible. It need not, if we remember to always be thankful for all we receive from God.

2nd Day of 12: Dealing Grace to All Creation

Saturday, December 26, 2020

See the Light!

Carry the Light to Heal All People

and Creation Itself!

Jeremiah 33:6

I am going to bring Jerusalem recovery and healing; I will heal its people and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security.

Luke 2:15

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’

Words of Grace For Today

As Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon laid his siege ramps against the walls of Jerusalem to over run it in 589 BCE, and Jeremiah had already prophesied that Jerusalem and Judah would fall to their enemies, King Zedekiah came to him and asked him why he prophesied their demise.

We all know that such proclamations in time of war are dangerous. They can be self-fulfilling by undermining the morale of the people. Jeremiah prophesied as he did, because God called him to; the people had turned from God, become perverse, and it was only a matter of time before their own corruption brought enemies to their walls to conquer them, weak as they had become from within. Few if any heeded Jeremiah’s warnings … and Jerusalem (in 587/6 BCE) and later Judah fell to their enemies … and then other enemies … and more enemies … so that they remained ruled by foreigners when Jesus was born (despite the Maccabean 167-160 BCE and other revolts seeking their independence).

Before Jesus’ birth, more than 500 years since Israel was independent, the people had many stories to remember and to be disappointed in and place their faint hopes in. One such story was of a Messiah who would be born in Bethlehem.

The Shepherds may have known this story, or not. Still, when an angel and then a chorus of angels visit them to give them the news that a saviour is born in the city, they are not fools. They up and head into the city to see the Saviour born and laid in the hay of a cow’s manger.

Why Shepherds? One might surmise that, as ones who lived very rough in the hills as they tended and guarded their sheep, they would not be put off by the poverty into which the Saviour was born.

Yesterday, the Day of Christmas, is the first of twelve days of Christmas. These twelve days give us opportunity to seek out the saviour of the universe – no longer an infant in a cow barn. On our own we will see nothing other than the mundane world, perversions of truth spread to create chaos from hysteria and fear so that evil people can rise to power, … and we will see our only own failures, fears, and dashed dreams.

Guided by the Holy Spirit though we will encounter not only the wonder of God become human, born as an infant Saviour. We will encounter the Saviour, with God’s Grace, healing all people and creation itself, redeeming and renewing them (and indeed us), so that we broken people can be the vessels that carry God’s healing Grace to all in need.

God knows, during this pandemic, there are so many people who need healing, healing from Covid 19 (acute sufferers and long-haulers) from the detrimental effects of physical distancing and isolation, but even more-so from the sickness of the soul that has eaten at the hearts of so many people – long before this pandemic started a year ago. Now the vacuum in the souls of the world is made more obvious.

Pray we encounter the Saviour anew, and that God will make us worthy saints, those who carry the Light of Life to those in need around the earth. May we be those saints who are blessed to bring the Saviour’s healing to all whom we encounter.

Twelve days, a whole hurting creation, and billions who need healing: our work is cut out for us! Thank God it’s God who works through us, healing us as we go!