Silent Night

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinuis was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David  called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver the child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and in the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see-I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you; you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth 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 heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors”

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.” When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:1-20

Last night I went to my church’s 10:45 candlelight midnight service. The words above were from our gospel. It talks about the birth of Jesus, which is what Christmas is all about. There is something special about the late service, which is why I keep going to this service. The service was beautiful, which was complete with a trumpet, a string quartet, two flutes and and oboe.

The prelude, which was before the procession was just beautiful. The instruments combined were wonderfully combined. This prelude made me cry, which was the 3rd year in a row where I had that reaction during the prelude. This service was complete with songs like ” Once in royal David’s city, “Joy to the World”, “O Come all Ye Faithful”, “Silent Night”, “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and to end it all, “Hark the Harold Angels Sing” . The special thing about “Silent Night” is that the church lights go off and the congregational candles are lit.  I love that after this service, it is Christmas.

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Strength in God

For I can do everything through Christ, who give me strength

-Philippians 4:13

I am going to try to describe this piece of scripture. God gives us many gifts and one of them is strength. Not everyone ends up much of a strong spirit even though it can be achieved through everyone. It just seems easier for other people. God gave me a strong spirit and I have developed it over the years through nature and through contemporary christian music and events and places. One such place is Kanuga, an Episcopalian Conference Center, in Hendersonville and that is where I got to know God and I was able to go to Parish Weekends and Winterlight, a high school youth conference, the thing about Kanuga that means the most. Events like Outreach developed that strength as well. I been to a pilgrimage and that was a huge part of developing my spirituality. Opportunities at Gardner Webb developed the strength even further and those included The Gathering, volunteering, and other things.

So what I am saying is that God gives us strength. God gives us hope even times are tough. We can achieve our callings through God and he makes us stronger even when we seem week. There is always hope no matter even if it seems like there isn’t. We can achieve our dreams through God. God is one reason why I am the person I am today. Things happen in our life for a reason even when it does not sense. God places certain people in our lives to make us who we are and to test us at times. Strength is an important aspect of life and God helps us get spiritual strength. Spiritual strength is one of the greatest gifts I have. Anyone is achievable through God and don’t ever give up even if you feel like you have to.  We need God in our lives because he makes us strong when we are weak and he allows us to see light even if that light seems far away.

How would describe this piece of scripture?

“Bent Over” Spirit That Dwells

 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”  Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

-Luke 13:10-14

At yesterday’s Gathering, the sermon was based off of this sermon. In this scripture, it talks about a women who has been crippled for 18 years and it says that an evil spirit caused her to bent over. No would notice her because she was crippled, but Jesus did. He called her over and cured her of disability: of both her crippled spirit and her physical crippled nature.

In life, Satan wants to fully cripple our spirits. All because of our past, we can’t be fully what God wants us to me all because of a “bent over” over spirit that dwells in us. I never believed that our spirits could be “bent over” all the time. That makes no sense because I don’t feel like I have a “bent over” spirit at all. God wants us to be who he wants us to me and to that, we need to cured of this “bent over” spirit. Our past should not hold us back even if it can make us feel insecure at times. If we put our faith in Christ, there is no way that the devil can control us.  Once our spirit is cured, than we should praise God, which was what I was doing at the Gathering last night and the music was led by the Gospel Choir. Satan wants to destroy who we are meant to me and can hold us in bondage.

Cleaning and Trusting of the Heart

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness

-Matthew 23:25-28

What is the human condition of the heart. The Christian bubble works even when people tell you it doesn’t work in the real world. But what do I mean by the heart. By the heart, I mean that it reprints the true nature of who you are, which is your core personality, desires, commitments of your treasures.

The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. The Lord regretted that he made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled

-Genesis 6:5-6

This piece of scripture was the first place that the heart was in the Bible. God saw what humans are capable of, which means we are capable of evil. Love drives God and even when he knows we are capable of sin and evil, He still loves us. Humans tend to at times completely ignore God because our heart betrayed Him and we betrayed our relationship with God. So it is important to look at our heart and see if we can trust it and if not, we have to learn to clean up some.

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

Ezekiel 36:26

This proves that the heart can be good and that the spirit guides us. We have to have the heart that is made of stone to be mostly gone to stay in line with God. That is what is saying. We need to trust God’s heart the most instead of our own.

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism;  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

-Ephesians 4:1-6

This piece of scripture talks about many things that are good such as humble, gentle, peace, hope and unity. We have to be willing to live the life that God has called you to. It is the spirit that creates unity among us. We have to use our gifts to do what God has called us to do. We have to keep eyes on God because he is the answer of everything due to His strength, perseverance, and we need to keep our eyes on Him.

So do you trust your heart? All of these pieces of scripture were talked about at last night’s Gathering.

 

How Do You Inherit Eternal Life?

As Jesus started on this way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teachers” he asked. “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good-except God alone. You know the commandments. “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.”  “Teacher, ” he declared. “all these I have kept since I was a boy”. Jesus looked at hime and loved him “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

_Mark 10:17-21

This piece of scripture was what the sermon from the Gathering on Tuesday talked about. This man approached Jesus and asked “how shall I inherit eternal life?”. The answer to that is love. Jesus told the man that he knows all the commandments that must be followed. Jesus said the only good is God. God knows where everyone’s heart is and their treasure is where the heart is. It is important to follow Jesus in order to inherit eternal life. When Jesus asks the man to sell all his things, the man left feeling sad. Jesus said that he must sell everything to give to the poor and doing charity is important when it comes to the life of being a Christina.

How often do we say “no” when we choose not to follow Jesus. Why do we sometimes ignore Jesus? One of the reasons why is that we get so frustrated when we give up and we are holding on so hard that is preventing us from following Jesus we have to follow him. The world that we live in weighs us down and we get so caught up in the world that we think the world is so perfect, but in reality it is painting a false image of society and the planet that we live on. There is a nastiness and filth we sometimes don’t take notice of and that will continue to weigh us down.

In order to follow Jesus, we cannot let the devil control us. We need to be able to cling to the goodness of Christ and his mercy and his hope in order to be a true Christian. Showing goodness and mercy and hope to others is how we can follow Jesus and how we can help fix this broken society.

What do you think of this piece of scripture.

 

 

Compassion and Love of Humans

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble

-1 Peter 3:8

Originally I was thinking of talking about the sermon of yesterday’s Gathering’s sermon. But when I went to bible gateway to find the passage, the scripture of the day was this quote I am talking about today and thought it was a wonderful piece of scripture to use for this day’s post.

This quote is important to human existence. The world is so messed up. But there is a way to fix it. This scripture is saying that you have be compassionate to one another and show love. That is the human life and we should do more of that than be rude and act by hate. What it truly means to be human is to be feel loved and love others. The more we show love, the more fixed this broken society will be. God was compassionate, good, and loving towards all and could forgive our mistakes. We have to make sure we know how to how compassion and how to show love towards others.

What do you think it truly means to be human?