Saturday, December 20, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Psalm 66,67       
Isaiah 11:10-16    
Revelation 20: 11- 21: 8     
Luke 1: 5-25

Today’s Scriptures offered me little inspiration until I realized that I was resisting the vision in Revelation of those souls who had not measured up so their names were not recorded in the Book of Life – they were thrown into the fiery lake.  My whole instinct cried “NO”.  Where was forgiveness?  This is not the God of love that I know. I remember Kathleen Norris saying we should not cut out the nasty bits in the Bible we don’t like; should rather look at them as reflecting our human condition. I found this helpful. If we are really honest, can we really say that we would not find satisfaction in seeing those people who despitefully use us get their comeuppance, or understand God’s forgiveness in the violence happening in our world? People often ask why people who have lived their lives doing evil should be given the same forgiveness as those who try to love their neighbours. The parable of the workers in the vineyard tells us God’s ways are not our ways.  

This brought me to consider the Child whose birth we are awaiting
and what followed.  The essence I found here was that God came into our world; in Jesus, God lived our human life, challenging our assumptions of how we should live.  After the Resurrection he returned to earth to spend time with his disciples, teaching them how to continue his work.  This underlines the view of the Kingdom of God being on earth, not in some far off place, removed us. The passage following the fiery lake reassures me of this.  The Kingdom will not remove us from earth, but God will come among us, and the earth will become the place God created it to be.  This is a message of hope. As we approach Christmas, I will open my eyes and heart to those moments when we see God’s kingdom working, not just in the future, but here and now, when God working in our human weakness can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine and I will sing with joy Thank you O my Father, for giving us your Son, and leaving us your Spirit, till the work on earth is done.

- Jean Gandon  

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