Randy's Reflections
December 29, 2017, 10:11 AM

Advent Words of Winter


How do you picture Jesus? I don’t mean skin tone or color of eyes and hair, but does he have a stern, scowling face or a face which is serene or happy? Maybe he has a face that has a Mona Lisa smile. The lyricist of Silent Night says he there were “Radiant beams from Thy holy face.” It makes me think of a face of a child showing wonder and joy. Too often I think of Jesus as a non-smiling somber man. Someone who has known the hardness of life and is unrelenting in his view of justice, yet Jesus was compassionate and welcoming. Jesus is merciful and forgiving, so remember he loves you more than anything, like a doting grandpa or grandma.

Lord, help us not only to see others with compassion and open arms, but help us to picture you with a loving smile. We are the ones who need your encouragement and embrace and we need to know that we can come to you at anytime. Help us to turn to you whenever we are in need and to know that your grace welcomes us all the time. Amen.

December 29, 2017, 10:10 AM

Advent Words of Winter


This word is not the one talking about hospitality of sponsors, but a word about a multitude of beings. In this song the beings are messengers from God, also known as angels. One angel visited Mary, Joseph, and one made the initial visit to the shepherds, but immediately after the initial announcement there was a plethora of announcers. It was a multitude which praised God. Why more than one? One angel could take care of it all, but a multitude would exemplify the magnitude of the event. In Revelation there is an army of angels competing against the forces opposing God. It is a sign of strength, of commitment, of assurance that God is willing to give it all for us. Since creation this event was the greatest event in history and would be the greatest event until the end of time. Perhaps we should take note of this?

Lord, thank you for the monumental event of the birth of your son. Sometimes we forget this was a pivotal point in history. The moment your son entered this world history was changed forever. Let us never forget that when hope seemed forever lost you never lost hope in us. You wanted to give us what we needed most, an entrance to your presence for all time. Thank you for the multitude of messengers which remind us of the magnitude of your gift to us. Amen.

December 27, 2017, 11:19 AM

Advent Words of Winter


So how would you react if confronted by an angel? Calmness would not be my first inclination, more like terror or quaking. So the shepherds reaction is normal, even though the night is silent they are surrounded by bright light and dozens of luminous beings. Since shepherds had to be wary of ferocious beasts or bands of roaming marauders perhaps they were the best people to hear about Christ’s birth. Once their fear subsided they were off to visit the manger where the long expected Messiah lay. So perhaps being confronted by an angel wouldn’t be so bad. Once our initial scare ended we would be treated to a most glorious experience. But then maybe we have already been ushered into a glorious experience. We can know Jesus on an intimate level and we only need to believe and accept his love.

Lord, help us to realize we have been given a gift for the ages. We are able to receive the savior just through believing that he came thousands of years ago on earth and he still longs for us to receive him. Help us to face the fear of a God-confrontation so we may experience the glory of your presence both now and forever. Amen.