Oh, Come Emmanuel

Christmas, Shopping, Hamburg, Lights

It is a season when many feel the exuberance of the hunt. Finding that perfect gift or bargain becomes an end in itself. For others it is a time of fear and trepidation: the crowds, the expectations and the like weighing on them. Others still, remember a baby in a manger, three kings, a little lamb, and of course a little donkey.

The coming of the Christ-child becomes many things to many people, but its underlying message of Emmanuel is often lost. But the need of “God with us,” it is as important today as it was two thousand years ago.

Consumerism and the “hunt” underlies an emptiness which we feel needs filling. Fears and apprehensions – whether about the season, or racism, or Covid, or identity, etc. – still need the calming hand of God. It is also more than the trappings of a manger scene. That baby, whether accompanied by a lamb, little donkey, or panda bear (yes, I have seen one in a nativity play) was the ultimate gift of God’s own presence to a troubled human-kind. He came to redeem and comfort, to gift, and to be gifted.

Oh, come Emmanuel! Come and be the fulfilment of our sense of “missing something.” Come into our fears and anxieties and gently wipe them away. Come into our consciences and not just our decorations. Come Lord, into our lives.


Padre

Brush With Death

Passage, Passage Way, Way, Path, Pathway

“It was a brush with death, I tell you,” Mary declared to her friends Peter and Jane.

“What happened?” Jane exclaimed.

“I was crossing the little foot bridge over by the train station, and just as I was halfway over my phone rang.  I stopped to get it from my jeans pocket, and I slipped.”

“You mean you fell from the bridge onto the tracks?” Peter asked with a worried expression.

“No, but I did drop my phone on the ground.  My whole life is on it.”


Padre

Weekend Writing Prompt #230 – Brush in 87 words

Agenda

Meeting, Brainstorming, Business

A day filled with meetings and agendas

Rushing between conference calls without end

It makes you wonder if there ever was a time

When we could just sit and chat with a friend

A day filled with minutes and motions

Procedural questions and rules to bend

Is this what we all have come to accept?

“It’s just normal,” or so we pretend


Padre (after a very long day)

Old Fashioned Fun

– NEKNEERAJ

“It’s a beautiful day. You kids get out of the house, and get some fresh air,” Mum called up the stairs.

Chloe (13), Aiden (11), and Scott (10) made there way to the back garden.

“What do we do now?” Scott asked.

“We could kick the ball about,” Aiden suggested. Then again that was his answer to most things.

“No, Mum would kill us is we knock over the fuchsias again,” Chloe objected. “Lets lie down in the grass and see what we can see in the clouds,” she suggested.

“I guess,” Aiden agreed hesitantly.

After about five munutes pondering the passing formations, Chloe said, “I see a wolf.”

“Where?” Scott asked.

“In the middle, see its mouth is open towards the right.”

“I thought that was a dragon,” Scott replied.

“What do you think, Aiden,” his sister prompted.

“I see water vapour,” Aiden replied. “Let’s go play Nintendo.”

“Good idea,” Scott replied, and the trio made their way back inside.


Padre

Photo Challenge #375

My World

Class, Classroom, Tables, Chairs, Empty

Image by Adam Vega from Pixabay

 

This isn’t my world

The world that I know

All dressed up (sort of)

And no place to go

 

I sit before a screen

Instead of a class

No face-to-face contact

Except through glass

 

This isn’t my world

The world that I know

All dressed up (sort of)

And no place to go

 

Tins and dried pasta

Are now my cuisine

Or I use different ingredients

Than the recipe magazine

 

This isn’t my world

The world that I know

All dressed up (sort of)

And no place to go

 

Padre

 

Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge“My world”

Shared on dVerse

 

 

More Than Bricks and Mortar

imageedit_5_7186995301 (1).jpg

 

Lock-down, quarantine, self-isolation, and social distancing have had a major impact on our lives.   This is no less true of our worship, than with any other of our other social interactions.  But Pastors, Priests, and other faith leaders have been proactive in bringing what the modern world has to offer to keep their flocks together, and to fulfill the instruction of Hebrews 10:25, that we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together.

This morning, as on the last several Lord’s Days, I “attended” worship on a live feed which linked the saints together.  The word was powerful as we were reminded that times of trial help prove us, and prepare us for the Lord’s work.  Our growth often has a “necessity” of such trials.  The worshiping of God from the vantage point of our physical separation from one another is one such trial.

It does show us another great truth, however.  The church (Ekklesia) is not the physical structure in which we gather.  We do not “go to church.”  Rather we are the church!  We, the Body of Christ, not the bricks and mortar are church.  The challenge then is for us the “Be Church.”  Nothing else is good enough.

Whether we are housed together with loved ones, linked by technology, or in near total isolation, we are tied together by far more.  We are bound by the blood of Christ!  We are family, and we are a body (I Corinthians 12).   We are Church.

 

Padre

 

Habit

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January MorgueFile 13757688486s53m

Alan adjusted his mask and took the tray from the back of his van.  It was his twentieth delivery for the day.  As he approached the elevator he took out an antiseptic wipe and cleaned the button before pressing it.  He then made his way to the seventeenth floor.  He used the corner of the tray to tap on the door of 1703 and then stepped back.  A glimmer of light appeared briefly through the peephole and the door opened.  He slid the tray towards the customer and stepped back again.

“Mr Patel?” Alan asked.

“Yes, yes,” the man replied as he removed the grocery items from tray.

Alan pressed the Delivered button on his handset as the man pushed a small zip lock bag with a small tip in it towards Alan with a broom handle.

“Thank you very much,” Alan said as he drew out another wipe and cleaned the bag thoroughly before putting it at the far side of his tray.

Alan wondered how many times he had gone through the same process since back in ’20.  The “crisis” of course had been declared over eighteen months before, but no one seemed to be taking any chances.

(198 words)

Padre

Cabin Fever

Pixabay

I remember it like it was yesterday.  Nathan and Carol arrived at their “forest retreat,” as they called me.  It was a bit of a surprise for me, as I usually saw Nathan for fishing weekends, and it was only in the summers that I usually saw them together.  But here they were, “riding out” something they called “the corona.”

I was amazed at how many boxes of canned goods they carried in.  It looked like they were going to be visiting me for quite some time.  And if you went by the amount of toilet roll the brought, it was probably for years!

Well they settled in and the surroundings were filled with the sounds of laughter, television, and the incessant rumbled of the little generator that kept my electricity flowing.

After three weeks the laughter was less prevalent, and after four it was seldom heard at all.  Carol began to complain about “corned beef, tomato soup, and baked beans again.”  Then it happened, the petrol ran out and the internet went down.

What happened next is too horrible to describe.  Sorry, but it’s too unpleasant a memory to continue.

 

Padre

 

Inspiration Call: Talking Walls What story would the walls in this building tell if they could speak?