Christmas Means Love

This website is about pathways to God. Perhaps the straightest way is the way of love. And that brings me to Joan Osborne. One of my favorite Christmas songs is her singing “Christmas Means Love”.

She sings about the birth of Christ bringing us the message of love. She affirms that Christmas should be a time to share joy and love with our neighbors. The love message of Christmas can compel us to help one another.

Then in the middle of the song, she has a talking part. There she speaks of her desire for one thing–to spend Christmas with the one she loves.

I believe that in our experiences of love with one another whether it is familial love or romantic love or compassionate love we are traveling the way of God. Along this way, every experience may brush up against the glory of the God of Love.

May your Christmas be filled with deepest and sweetest love. Now let’s listen to a bluesy Joan Osborne.

 

This Morning’s Meditation

This morning I read Luke 1:39-56 which is called The Magnificat or Mary’s Song. One spiritual exercise that I practice occasionally is writing a haiku related to what I have read. I do this to focus my attention on the text and to find some specific meaning for me at this particular point in my life. This is what I wrote:

Mary’s mighty God

Forgets not His promises

To raise the lowly

Afterwards I found myself praying for our President-elect. The prayer went something like this:

That he might care for the poor suffering people of our world and of our nation, I pray that You would soften his heart. Create within him a heart of compassion and give him the wisdom and courage to oppose those who seek only to increase their power and wealth at the expense of the lowly. May Mary’s God be Donald’s God.

Finally, this morning I turned to a meditation by Richard Rohr in Preparing for Christmas: Daily Meditations for Advent. He also looked at the Magnificat. He pointed out that Mary’s Song and the teaching of Jesus both emphasize that attachments to power, prestige, and possessions will numb our hearts and dull our spiritual perception. I believe he is right.

May the God of Mary and of Jesus be our God in 2017

An Advent Meditation

John dreamed of the coming of the Messiah. He looked forward to it.
He proclaimed it every chance he got. He loved the Messiah of his dreams. His
Messiah would come with axe in hand to chop down every tree that did not
bear good fruit (Matthew 3:10). With his winnowing fork, the Messiah would
clear the threshing floor and burn the chaff with unquenchable fire (Luke
3:17). John looked for a Messiah who would come in fiery judgement on the
world-saving the few and scorching the many. And he loved that Messiah.
It was this vision of the Messiah that caused him to question in Luke 7:18-23
whether Jesus was the one of his dreams or not. He had heard what Jesus was
doing while John himself languished in prison. So, he sent some disciples to
ask Jesus point-blank if he were the expected one or not.
Jesus’ reply can be summed up this way: 1) Those in need, like the blind and
the leper, are being cared for and healed. 2) The poor, i.e., those looked down
upon as the unwashed masses who do not follow the dictates of “the Law,”
receive from the lips of Jesus the good news of God’s Kingdom. 3) Those who
are not offended by the acts and words of Jesus are called blessed.
Jesus distrusted the title Messiah because so many had such wrong ideas about
the mission of God’s Messiah. Certainly John the Baptist was such a one. Jesus
answered neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’ to the inquiry. Instead he said, “This is what I
am doing, and if it does not offend you (and your dreams) then you can be
blessed.”
In this third week of the Advent Season we focus on love. But that single
word raises the question, who do we love?
John loved the image of a Messiah who would save on the one hand and
utterly destroy on the other. At times it almost sounded as if he was more
interested in the latter than the former. Even today, perhaps all of us have
heard preachers proclaim the coming judgement at the return of Christ almost
as if they welcomed it.
During Advent we reimagine waiting for the coming of Christ and we also
carry it over into our waiting for the return of Christ. I leave you with a question:
Who would you love to come? What kind of Christ is the Christ of your dreams?