Monday, December 27, 2010

thought for 2011

Today my thoughts are turning to 2011. Inspired by something in this week's Christian Science Sentinel, I am asking my daughter to use her calligraphy skills to create a small sign. The sign will look something like this:
A land flowing with milk and honey
A land filled with threatening giants

That is the question I will ask myself each morning. It will be a reminder to be watching for signs of the good that God has prepared for me that day. Am I seeing that good unfolding or am I feeling overwhelmed by some giant problem: a health challenge, a hefty bill that must be paid, an obligation that must be fulfilled, a poor relationship that must be corrected, a painful situation that must be soothed, something physical that must be healed.

In this week's Bible Lesson about God there is a paragraph from Science and Health that has always resonated with me. This is what I will use to deal with those 'giants' and the threat they are attempting to impose on my life. It begins: "When the illusion of sickness or sin tempts you, cling steadfastly to God and His idea. Allow nothing but His likeness to abide in your thought."
I love the word 'allow'. That means it is my option to choose what is abiding, taking up residence, in my thought about my life and situation. I can allow it to stay or I can reject and overcome that 'giant' imposition. That does not imply ignoring it or dismissing it without some change of thought on my part. My prayer will be to begin with God and His beautiful creation. To see that nothing else is present or has power. No 'giants' because God's creation has never changed. It remains at one with Him. As His idea, His beloved child, I have everything I need all the time and under all circumstances. God's plan for me is flowing with 'milk and honey'. That is an active flowing, never blocked or delayed or stopped.

I will post this sign on my desk and look at it every morning. I have also been praying about my spiritual study for 2011. In 2010 I studied Isaiah and his book in the Bible. It was a wonderful study and filled with inspiration that will be part of my prayerful work. I strongly encourage you to find something to inspire you in 2011 and something to study for your own spiritual growth.

May the Lord bless you and yours.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Can you 'leave your flock' and hurry to the manger?

What a question! It brought me up short as I read an article in this week's Christian Science Sentinel. We are know the images of the Nativity given in the Gospels. I could just imagine those faithful shepherds, keeping watch over their precious flock, staying alert for any danger in the darkness. Suddenly, there is an angel. A messenger from God with a startling message. These men would have been familiar with the prophecies in the Old Testament about the Messiah who was to come. They had been awaiting his arrival for centuries. Now they were being told that he had arrived that very night and was nearby! Those men got to hear the angels sing. And they left their flock and hurried to find the manger and see the baby.

Would you do the same? Can you set aside the flock of family members, business associates, neighbors? Can you put down all those catalogs filled with tempting gifts and leave all those emails unread? Can you change your focus from the flock of bills sitting on the desk unpaid? Can you put down the 'to-do' list that you haven't been able to check off? Can you let some of those errands wait?

Can you instead listen to the angels sing? Having heard their message, can you hurry, right now, to the manger scene? Can you take moments to dwell on what happened that holy night and see the Christ for yourself? Have you ever seen a newborn baby and marveled at the innocence and purity and promise of that life? Can you believe the son of God walked among us? Can you believe the Christ still comes to us now?

I believe. My Christmas wish for you is that you do the same. Hurry. God will care for your flock while you go see.

Merry Christmas.