God is with us.
To the homeless sleeping in the frigid cold, God is with us.
To the sick baby in the neonatal unit, God is with us.
To the elderly in hospice, God is with us.
To the lonely in the nursing home, God is with us.
To the young adult in a school away from home, God is with us.
To the family moving to a new city, God is with us.
To the unemployed seeking work, God is with us.
To the newly married couple looking toward the future, God is with us.
To the mourning who lost their love, God is with us.
To the refugee seeking asylum in a foreign land, God is with us.
To the world yearning for peace, God is with us.
"For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord." - Luke 2:11
I was inspired to make figgy pudding for our Christmas dinner this year. For those who don't know, figgy pudding, also known as plum pudding or Christmas pudding, is a traditional British dessert. Although it does not contain figs or plums, it got its "plum" name from a pre-Victorian generic term for any type of dried fruit, most specifically, raisins. It is also a "pudding" in the British sense, meaning dessert, and not the creamy dish that is familiar to Americans. So what is figgy pudding? It is a steamed cake full of raisins, currants, and brandy. The pudding is prepared well in advance (usually the last Sunday before Advent or 5 weeks before Christmas) in order to let the pudding age so that the alcohol can draw out more flavors.
While researching recipes for our figgy pudding, I was intrigued to learn of the Christian symbolism inherent in this delicacy:
Even though our figgy pudding was not started 5 weeks before Christmas (the inspiration came too late), and it will not be set aflame (for fear of burning down the house), we will cherish the history of the dish, relish the tastes of the season, enjoy the sharing of our food, and offer thanks for the meanings that were made real for us.
I saw these skates in an outdoor display. Winter sports; ice and snow. I've never skated, nor do I possess the grace and skill to do so!
But it is beautiful to watch a professional figure skater. How they glide across the ice, and master such great command over their body to twirl and spin and LAND on that skinny, thin blade.
"This poor one cried out and the LORD heard, and from all his distress he saved him." - Psalm 34:7
We all possess the ability to spin ourselves up, even without skates. Fretting over this and that; scurrying here and there. Thankfully, God intervenes when we are all spun up, calms our spinning, and sets us back down on His firm foundation.
O Gentle Father, thank you for freeing me from my busyness and returning me gently to Your peace. Amen.
Sometimes the chemistry between two people is more like an explosion than a spark. There was certainly no love lost between my co-worker and me.
One Christmas, he gave me this Kiddie-Car Classic ornament. I still remember his words to me: "I didn't want you to feel bad when I gave everyone else a present."
Every year, for nearly 15 years now, I place this ornament on my Christmas tree, and I pray for him. Even though there is no human's love lost between us, God's love is still in and between us.
To my dear friend in Christ, may God bless you and grant you His peace.
"Looking at little life moments with a spiritual eye."