It is some time since I last wrote as I have been busy settling in to my new Welsh home after repatriating from Greece. My small tranquil former coalmining village has returned to its naturally beautiful state. Walking out of my house and up beside the nearby river, usually with only sheep for company, my mind frequently turns to Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want; He makes me down to lie in pastures green. He leadeth me, the quiet waters by.”
At this time of Advent though, as we prepare to celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ our Saviour, this psalm takes on a special significance, belonging, as it does, to the trilogy of psalms that foretell of His coming upon the earth.
Psalm 22 prophesies that Jesus will suffer for us. Indeed, it opens with the words that He spoke during His agony on the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” And then gives details of the form of His suffering, including: “…they have pierced My hands and My feet – I can count all My bones – they stare and gloat over Me; they divide My garments among them, and for My raiment they cast lots.” Ps 22:16-18 While Psalm 24 reveals that Christ will be the sovereign King. “Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.” Ps 24:9
Having read those psalms my mind then skips to the gospel according to John where I read those words which always make my mind stop with incredulity: “He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, yet the world knew Him not.” (!!!) John 1:10-11 Still, as I write those words I am shaking my head with disbelief. We owe Him everything. Yet, too many in the world, even after millennia, still do not know Him. And so, I have decided that my Advent preparation will be three-fold:
Firstly, I will ponder on what He has done for me and thank and praise Him.
Secondly, I will speak of Him to whomsoever I meet in my daily life, when it feels right, in the hope that my quiet words may bring Him closer.
Thirdly, I will pray that this Christmas all Christians on earth will put their focus onto the real meaning of Christmastide. That they will, for instance, send each other Christian greetings, not wishy-washy “happy holiday” greetings, and put prayer and thanksgiving to God at the centre of their celebrations. And, yes, I promise to do that too!
If we prepare for the celebration of Jesus’ coming on earth for us in this way, on Christmas morning we will be able to hear the opening words of John’s gospel and be filled with joy; no matter what our circumstances. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:1-4
In case I do not post again before Christmas may I take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very happy and holy Christmas!
» left by Verna (1 year 162 days ago.)We appreciate your comments!
Beautiful meditations. Teresa must be a great name for writers! I always enjoy Teresa O's writings so much also. God bless you, and let us hear from you again soon.» left by Teresa O'Driscoll (1 year 158 days ago.)
Thank you so much Verna for this lovely feedback. I look forward to posting again soon. And I also look forward to more of your inspiring posts.
God bless you too. Wishing you and yours a very happy and holy Christmas. Teresa