"Then Jesus said to him, 'Put your sword back into its sheath, ...'" - Matthew 26:52
It sure is hard to believe that those little wheel chocks will hold a huge airplane in place! The chocks seem so disproportionate to the size and weight of the airplane. Yet somehow, in some amazing fashion, and thankfully, they do.
Sometimes we, too, need to be held back from saying or doing something that is not morally acceptable or Christ-like, or that we may otherwise regret.
In those times, what is our "wheel chock" to hold us back? To whom do we turn to stop us in our place?
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.
"But the LORD said to Samuel: Do not judge from his appearance or from his lofty stature, ... . God does not see as a mortal, who sees the appearance. The LORD looks into the heart." - 1 Samuel 16:7
Stereotypes. We all use them. We all have perceptions about how something should be. Like a snowman: it should be fat, not skinny.
How often do you wrongly judge by appearance? Men with scraggly hair, teens blasting loud music, women wearing skirts above the knee; or speak of white men, black women, oriental people. All of these thoughts conjure up images and notions within our minds. But let us not forget that while we look at others in this way, others look at us in this same way.
God tells us not to judge by appearance, but to look into the heart as the Lord looks into our heart.
Almighty God, let me, like You, see beyond a person's appearance and seek instead the love of Jesus in the heart of each person. Amen.
Candy canes are a staple at Christmastime. We probably all have a few leftover at this point. Now that the wrappings are gone and the season is behind us, let us reflect on the lasting and true meaning of Christmas as told through the candy cane. (SOURCE: https://www.sermons4kids.com/candycane.html)
Look at the candy cane like the letter J. Jesus starts with the letter J, so that should remind us of Jesus and help us to remember that Christmas is Jesus' birthday.
If you look at the candy cane the other way, it looks like a shepherd's crook. The shepherd used his crook to keep the sheep from wandering away from the flock and getting lost or eaten by a wild animal. The Bible says, "The Lord is my shepherd." The candy cane should remind us that Jesus is our shepherd and he will keep us from wandering away and getting lost or hurt.
The candy cane is mostly white. White is a symbol of purity. That should remind us that Jesus was the spotless Lamb of God and that because he came to be the sacrifice for our sin, we can become as white as snow.
As you know, the candy cane has red stripes. The Bible tells us that before he was crucified, Jesus was beaten with a whip which made blood-red stripes across his back. The Bible says that we are healed by those stripes. The stripes on the candy cane should remind us that Jesus suffered and died, so that we can have everlasting life.
Enjoy your candy cane from this new perspective.
She asked me what I wanted for Christmas. After some thought, I said "a charitable donation or an act of kindness in my name."
I guess she didn't get it. I wanted her "presence" more than her "presents". I got neither.
What gift did you ask for? What gift did you give?
Being present to one another is the greatest gift you can ask for and give. That is the gift the Baby Jesus asks of us.
Were you present?
God, thank you for a new year. May everyone in our family be willing to begin anew with a clean slate. We know that you are always ready to forgive us. Help us to be willing to forgive ourselves and to forgive one another.
As we begin a new year, remind us of our truest values and our deepest desires. Help us to live in the goodness that comes from doing what you want us to do. Help us to put aside anxiety about the future and the past, so that we might live in peace with you now, one day at a time.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."