On earth as it is in heaven

I love this time of year.  Next to Lent/Easter, Advent/Christmas is my favorite time of year!

I was introducing my granddaughters to the cast of the Christmas story, using my nativity scene.  We don’t have baby Jesus out yet, but for now, I focused with them on the message that the angel brought to Mary, that she would have a baby, even though she didn’t have a husband, and that the Holy Spirit would put that baby, the Son of God, into Mary’s belly…and how Mary said yes, and obeyed God even when it challenged her reason.

We talked about the manger, and how it is a place where the animals come to be fed, and how when Jesus was born, Mary laid him in that manger.  These girls are 3 and 4, so Jesus being the bread of Life is a little over their heads for now, but we will make that connection in time, I’m sure.  Anyway…it was fun seeing how much I could communicate the Christmas story without the words right in front of me…if you want to know if you understand a certain topic, or narrative, try telling it to a 4yo in your own words.

Their attention span is not long (whew!) so, I didn’t get to the part (yet) where Jesus was born, and the angels sang, but I was thinking about it after they went to sleep.  I made a new connection that I had never ever noticed before.

Where had I heard that…”in the highest…and on earth”, it was familiar, but it took me a minute to recollect:  the Lord’s prayer, of course.  Remember my retreat here last year?  I talked about how the Lord’s prayer alluded to the communion of the saints, or at least, it put me in mind of it.  He taught us to pray for His Father’s will to be done, on earth, as it is in heaven.  Well…before Jesus prayed that prayer, the angels proclaimed it to be so!

Glory to God in the highest
(Hallowed be thy name)
Peace among men with whom He is pleased
(thy kingdom come, thy will be done),
in the highest and on earth
(on earth as it is in heaven).

Do you see it?


Season’s Greetings and Happy Holy Days

I’m seeing a lot of sentiment from folks online for keeping Christ in Christmas, and some who are outright offended at the “holiday” greetings that are sometimes used instead of Merry Christmas.

I am not one of those people.

I’m not offended by someone wishing me “happy holidays” or “season’s greetings”.  I’m not offended because I don’t believe the sentiment steals anything from Christmas, rather, I believe it enhances it, since it is inclusive of several memorial and feast days in the time span from December 1 through January 5 this year.

December 1 kick-started the “holidays” with the first Sunday of Advent, reminding us, that Jesus wants to be born in us anew, again, and we wait anxiously for His arrival, both in our hearts and for the day when He returns to the earth to take His children home.  While we wait, we are reminded of the prophecies foretelling the details of his birth, and prepare our hearts for Him to be born in us again.  We are mindful of our sinfulness, our need for a Savior, the blessed example of the one woman whose “yes” to God continues to inspire us, and the example of Jesus Himself, who being God, stepped down in humility and became man, for mankind.

In fact, truth be told, every Sunday is a holy day in which Jesus comes to us, is born in us, gives His body for us, and is raised and raises us to new life again.  With that in mind, wishing me “Happy Holidays” is a perpetual blessing as I see it, that lasts through the winter holidays all year long.

Blessed Advent!

Merry Christmas!

Happy New Year!

Happy Holidays, everyone!