Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas

The white candle in the middle of the Advent wreath is the Christ Candle, which is lit on Christmas Day.



Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(Philippians 2:9-11)

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fourth Sunday of Advent

On the fourth Sunday of Advent, the last purple candle is lit. It is known as Angel Candle, representing PEACE.



"And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

(Luke 2:12-14)

Friday, December 21, 2012

12.21.12

This is it!

According to the Mayan calendar, some claim, the end of the world as we know it will come on December 21, 2012.

I just saw a friend of mine post on Facebook what he wished he had done before the end of the world. That got me thinking.

What do you wish you had done before the end of the world?

What would you like to see before the end of your life?

My brother was found with cancer 11 years ago. He thought it was the end of his life. That changed his life altogether. He asked himself what was really important in life and began doing it. He would not wait, for he had no time to waste. He began to spend more time with us. He poured out his life and love into his only daughter. He not only cherished moments with his family and friends but also were proactive in creating them. He said he had no regrets in life.

What would you like to do in life? What's your "bucket list"?

If the world is to end today, are you ready?

I personally don't think the world will end today based on what Scriptures have to say about the end times. But 12.21.12 gives us an opportunity to think about the meaning and purpose of our life.

And if you have dreams and aspirations, why wait? Start pursuing them today!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Fear Not

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:10-11)


Fear often drives our decisions and actions. It's so natural that we are not even aware of it.

Fear not.

God's first words to us is "fear not".

Fear not, because God is Life. God is Light. God is Love.

God is good and willing. God is our Father as father should be. God the Almighty is in charge.

He is the good news. He is the source of joy. He is for all people. God is for you. He is with you.

God is our Savior, one who delivers from all our troubles, evil, sin, darkness and death.

He is the Christ, the Anointed One, the Chosen One to bring true peace to the universe. He is our hope.

He is the Lord, the King whose rule is perfect and benevolent, under whose authority we would be glad to submit.

Jesus is God who became a man and born of Mary on Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Heard the Bells

Murdering of 20 innocent grade school children and 6 adults at Sandy Hood Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is pure evil.

I cannot even begin to imagine what their family members are going through. They lost their beloved sons and daughters, brothers and sisters whose futures were bright but now no more.

In my prayer I was impressed with the song below, whose lyrics were originally a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow during the era of Civil War.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day, there old familiar carols play,
and mild and sweet their songs repeat, 
of peace on earth goodwill to man

And in despair I bow my head; "There is no peace on earth" I said
"for hate is strong and mocks the song" 
of peace on earth goodwill to man

Then rang the bells more loud and deep; God is not dead nor does he sleep
The wrong shall fail the right prevail; 
with peace on earth goodwill to man

Then ringing singing on it's way, the world revolved from night to day
a voice, a chime, a chain sublime, with peace on earth goodwill to man 

from I Heard the Bell on Christmas Day by Casting Crowns


In Newtown, evil feels so strong and indeed mocks any song of peace, joy or goodwill of the holy Divine. And yet God is not dead. Nor does He sleep. I am not in any way trying to diminish the unspeakable loss their community is experiencing right now, but in the end, justice will be served. The right will triumph. The day of the good shall dawn. Innocence shall be restored. Life is neither random nor meaningless. Particularly, the little ones are never forgotten by the heavenly Father. Jesus declares, "For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven" (Matthew 18:10).

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

Third Sunday of Advent



Today, we light the third candle, which is pink. It is called Shepherd Candle, representing JOY.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
(Luke 2:8-11)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Second Sunday of Advent


On the second Sunday of Advent, we light the second purple candle on the Advent wreath.

It is known as Bethlehem Candle, representing LOVE.

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
 who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, 
 from you shall come forth for me 
 one who is to be ruler in Israel, 
 whose origin is from of old, 
 from ancient days. 
 Therefore he shall give them up until the time 
 when she who is in labor has given birth; 
 then the rest of his brothers shall return 
 to the people of Israel. 
 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, 
 in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. 
 And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great 
 to the ends of the earth. 
 And he shall be their peace.  
(Micah 5:2-5)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Mystery

a scene from The Nativity
Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus the Christ.

The birth of the Anointed One (Messiah in Hebrew, Christ in Greek; often refers to a king) was prophesied throughout history by the Old Testament prophets. In fact, when the wise men (magi) from the east came to Jerusalem, seeking the one born king of the Jews, religious leaders of Israel referred to the prophecies and accurately pointed out where the child was to be born. Jesus was born to in Bethlehem of Judea, known as the city of David.

Indeed, Jesus of Nazareth fulfilled all the prophecies concerning the Messiah found in Scriptures.

His birth was announced to the shepherds by a host of angels. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of his birth is that he was born to a virgin. Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit.

Unbelievable? Before you quickly dismiss them, may I invite you to "dwell in them"? There are elements of mystery surrounding the birth of Jesus. Christmas is a good time to allow a bit of mystery in your life.

By the way, I am not anti-science. I love science. In fact, I believe that scientific pursuits will eventually lead to the discovery of God.

It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. (Proverbs 25:2)

Imagine a child on Christmas morning. She could hardly stay in bed with the anticipation of gifts under the Christmas tree. Parents who put the gifts there are just as eager. They delight in her delighting. They love to see her joy.

God's mysteries are like presents under a Christmas tree. They are hidden in his universe for you to discover.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

First Sunday of Advent

Advent Wreath

Advent is a season of anticipating the coming of the Christ, the birth of Jesus on Christmas.

On the first Sunday of Advent, we light the first purple candle on the advent wreath. It is known as the Prophecy Candle, representing HOPE.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; 
and the government shall be upon his shoulder, 
 and his name shall be called 
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, 
 on the throne of David and over his kingdom, 
 to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness 
 from this time forth and forevermore. 
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. 
(Isaiah 9:6-7)


Christmas



Retooning the Nativity by Igniter Media