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Bridgewater, December 2012


 waiting for christmas

James S. Stewart, in one of his most notable sermons, preached that Christian believers should proclaim the Incarnation.  Taking his cue, I searched my memory and archives to find what for me is a perfect example to share this Christmas season.  Malcolm Muggeridge, in his book, Jesus, The Man Who Lives*, offers this eloquent paragraph:

This was the incarnation, described in the opening words of the Fourth Gospel, in a passage surely among the greatest ever to be written at any time or by any hand.  From its triumph and opening:  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, to its beautiful and comforting conclusion:  And  the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us....full of grace and truth, it conveys with perfect clarity why the Incarnation had to be, and what it meant  for mankind, at the time and forever after....“So the story of Jesus has to begin with the Incarnation; without it, there would be no story at all.  Plenty of great teachers, mystics, martyrs and saints have made their appearance at different times in the world, and lived lives and spoken words full of grace and truth, for which we have every reason to be grateful.  Of none of them, however, has the claim been made and accepted, that they were Incarnate God.  In the case of Jesus alone the belief has persisted that when He came into the world God deigned to take on the likeness of a man in order that thenceforth men might be encouraged to aspire after the likeness of God; reaching out from their mortality to His immortality, from their imperfection to His perfection.  It is written in the Old Testament that no man may see God and live; at the same time, as Kierkegaard points out, God cannot make Man His equal without transforming him into something more than Man.   The only solution was for God to become Man, which He did through the Incarnation in the person of Jesus.  Thereby, He set a window in the tiny dark dungeon of the ego in which we all languish, letting in a light, providing a vista, and offering a way of release from the servitude of the flesh and fury of the will into what St. Paul called the glorious liberty of the children of God.

* The London Times affirmed this book to be “Muggeridge’s  masterpiece, the greatest achievement of his life as a writer.”

 Christmas lights at Garvan Woodland Garden    

The path that I have trod, has brought me nearer God, though oft it led through sorrows` gates. Though not the way I'd choose, in my way I might lose, the joy that yet for me awaits. Not what I wish to be, nor where I wish to go. For who am I that I should choose my way? The Lord will choose for me, 'tis better far I know.  So let Him bid me go; or stay. The cross that I must bear, if I a crown would wear, is not the cross that I would take. But since on me 'tis laid, I'll take it unafraid; and bear it for the Master's sake. Submission to the will, of Him who loves me still, is surety of His love revealed. My soul shall rise above this world in which I move;  I conquer only when I yield.  Lyrics to “Submission” by C. Austin Miles  circa 1928

 Snowy Nandina Bush with Christmas Berries

Wishing you Blessed Holidays

nd there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,     Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:8-14