It’s Christmas again! Christmas always comes fresh, always like a new dawn, always like the new day that we look forward to, always the joy.
The songs over my TV music channel jubilantly celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Son of God. Like Bing Crosby’s song says, it’s Christmas again and the bells are ringing — they’re ringing because of the carol we sing in our hearts.
It is our hearts that God sees and listens to. It is our hearts that Jesus came for — to claim back our hearts for God’s eternal love and joy.
This Christmas eve, as I sit in my living room, staring in awe at the brilliance and beauty of my Christmas tree, the luxury of beaded lights and the ostentatious array of shiny ornaments, I think about the baby Jesus born in a humble stable with the horses’ trough covered with hay for His bed. The king of kings born as a human in a lowly setting.
Oh wondrous night. Oh holy night!
Then I stare back at my tree. I catch sparkles from the tree lights. Magnificent illusion created by the slight movements of my head. Then I think of that night in Bethlehem, when the stars shimmered brightly and one big star guided the shepherds and the Magi to where baby Jesus lay. A cold crisp piercing the balmy night, but a sacred hush permeating the air – the son of God has been born.
Oh joy to the world!
Merry, merry Christmas one and all! Let’s celebrate with hearts devoted to the Almighty, the King of Kings.
It’s almost Christmas! Just a day away. I cannot help but marvel at how it was over 2,000 years ago, when baby Jesus was about to be born. I especially think of Mary, His earthly mother. Her belly so big; the baby perhaps kicking, raring to come out into the world, while she and Joseph are busy looking for a place where she can deliver. Do you wonder how Mary felt then? I do, especially because, as scripture tells us, she knew who she was carrying in her womb. The angel Gabriel announced to her that God chose her to be the mother of the most awaited one, the Messiah.
In Luke 1, verse 30-33, the angel Gabriel appeared to an astonished girl of 14 and said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. You have found favor [a] with God. You will become pregnant, give birth to a son, and name him Jesus. He will be a great man and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. Your son will be king of Jacob’s people forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
A mysterious and mystifying message, though a sacred one.Read More »
A dear friend, Dr. Elna Nidea Chia, posted on our high school batch online chat network, an intimately erudite exchange I call, “Conversation with God”. This thought-provoking piece carries no author’s name, she said. She shared it because it struck a special chord in her heart, as it struck mine. In reading it – humbly, I hear God’s strong, compassionate and loving voice, speaking to a broken world cradled in all the beauty and splendor He created it with. He speaks to a broken heart, not really broken, but just “breaking through and becoming.”
It is my hope that this precocious piece, spiritually captivating and stirring, can inspire contemplation, soul searching and help prepare hearts as we anticipate the celebration of the glorious birth of Jesus, son of God, during this 4th week of Advent.
A conversation with God:
Me: Hey God.
Me: I’m falling apart. Can you put me back together?
GOD: I would rather not.
GOD: Because you aren’t a puzzle.
Me: What about all of the pieces of my life that are falling down onto the ground?
GOD: Let them stay there for a while. They fell off for a reason. Take some time and decide if you need any of those pieces back.
Me: You don’t understand! I’m breaking down!
GOD: No – you don’t understand. You are breaking through. What you are feeling are just growing pains. You are shedding the things and the people in your life that are holding you back. You aren’t falling apart. You are falling into place. Relax. Take some deep breaths and allow those things you don’t need anymore to fall off of you. Quit holding onto the pieces that don’t fit you anymore. Let them fall off. Let them go.
Me: Once I start doing that, what will be left of me?
GOD: Only the very best pieces of you.
Me: I’m scared of changing.
GOD: I keep telling you – YOU AREN’T CHANGING!! YOU ARE BECOMING!
Me: Becoming who?
GOD: Becoming who I created you to be! A person of light and love and charity and hope and courage and joy and mercy and grace and compassion. I made you for more than the shallow pieces you have decided to adorn yourself with that you cling to with such greed and fear. Let those things fall off of you. I love you! Don’t change! Become! Become! Become! Become who I made you to be. I’m going to keep telling you this until you remember it.
Me: There goes another piece…
GOD: Yep. Let it be.
Me: So…I’m not broken?
GOD: No – but you are breaking like the dawn. It’s a new day. Become!!
— Author UnknownRead More »
Sometimes, what you plan is not what you get. For me recently, I got something else so much better. I planned to pick up a quirky custom, carried from my youth, of treating for my birthday. Instead, wonderful friends gave me the party. Though not the plan I had in mind, I am so thankful for a gorgeous pre-birthday treat which Cai and her husband Genhai very graciously hosted in their lovely San Jose home yesterday. This really resulted from my inviting them to lunch with me and some other friends, to try authentic Filipino cuisine at a restaurant in Milpitas, CA. I might have unintentionally uttered that I wanted to treat because of my birthday. Immediately, Cai grabbed the opportunity to say, she’d rather do a lunch for me instead. I recall quickly explaining that where I grew up and in my youth, the celebrant was often teased for a “blow out”, meaning, the celebrant does the treating. Cai would not hear of it despite my flamboyant insistence. She was relentless, and she won. I’m glad she did, though, because her lunch was superb, and the social, a bouquet of liveliness and fun. A real gift.
A very heartwarming birthday treat (Photo by Genhai Zhang)
The impressive food fare (Photo by Dan Yasukawa)