It is uncle Baden's fault. I received a Christmas card from him a couple of weeks ago, but, then, this year he decided to spend Jesus's birthday with Christ himself. He departed a few days before Christmas in his ninety-fifth year.
So last night, I found myself in Glen Innes. Steve and I had decided to drive to Uncle's funeral in Newcastle. We are on holidays after all. Choosing the New England highway, one of his favourite roads, we left home yesterday about lunch time and skirting the heavy traffic we soon were enjoying stunning scenery. As we drove over Cunningham's Gap, through farm lands, wineries, orchards and rocky hills we were like kids in a candy shop. 'Look at that rocky bluff...the spot of sun on that hill...the shaft of light slicing through the clouds...the crop of tomatoes...the bolt of lightening over the purple hills. We could feel our souls being restored as only God's nature can.
The day was perfect for driving. Storm clouds provided a constantly changing backdrop to green hills, red cows and trees sparkling in the freshly washed sunlight.
Instead of the planned stay at the coast for these few days, we were far from the madding crowds, enjoying an evening of misty rain and an expected low of ten degrees at night.
Today we drove a road called Thunderbolts Way, for us, uncharted territory, unexplored wonder. Passing through miles of lush pasture land, towering gums, mountains and rushing rivers we stopped at a goat cheese factory to sample wondrous flavours whilst the goats were being milked outside. Ah, how I love this amazing country!
If we enjoy driving so much, why does it require a necessity to push us out of our rut and get us on the road?
God made the world for us to enjoy and I realise that in my tiredness I have neglected to worship Him in His creation for a few weeks. Maybe that is why I have been so tired!
Thanks Uncle Baden for your parting gift to us. This trip to farewell you has been a wonderful blessing.
Thursday, 27 December 2012
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
'Please, Mary. Ride on the donkey. If you keep walking you'll have the baby beside the road.'
'The donkey's back is so hard.'
Joseph rummaged in his bag and pulled out another coat. Folding it, he placed it on the donkey's back and lifted his wife. 'I'll walk beside you. Lean on me, but lets keep moving.'
Can you imagine trying to sit on a donkey when in the early stages of labour? I guess the discomfort took her mind off the baby. She must have had so many questions.
Her baby was a boy, she was sure of that. But what would the son of God look like? Would he look like her or like his Father? And what did his Father look like? She had never seen God. Yes, the angel said God would overshadow her and she would become pregnant, but my guess is she didn't even know when that had happened, much less get a glimpse of the baby's Father.
So when the Son of God emerged from her womb into the smelly stable, like any mother, she must have grabbed him and studied him carefully. Not to count fingers and toes, but to see...to see God. Mary was the first person to come face to face with God. I can imagine her gazing with awe and wonder.
And then he opened His eyes. She connected with the King of Kings, not body to body but soul to soul, spirit to Spirit. It took her breathe away.
'He has His Father's eyes.'
Joseph looked over her shoulder at the baby. 'What do you mean?'
'His eyes. They are so deep, pure, clear. It's like he looked into my very heart and I could see into His heart. Never before have I seen such love. Oh, He is the Son of God!'
Her baby squirmed and she lifted him to her breast. He latched onto her nipple and sucked. 'He loves me, Joseph. I saw it in His eyes. He loves me.'
'The angel told me that he would save the people from their sins.' Joseph stroked the cheek of the feeding infant. 'I guess He loves everyone, Mary, everyone.'
The moment was broken by a slight tap on the wall of the stable. 'There He is. Just as the angels said.' The shepherds were panting hard. 'Sorry Ma'am, we ran all the way. Did you know your baby is the Messiah?'
Baby Jesus stirred and opened His eyes.
Mary pulled back the cloths so the shepherds could see. 'I know. Look. He has His Father's eye's - eyes of love.'
Thursday, 13 December 2012
For the last ten years I have written a poem for my Christmas card.
This year the mind is blank....
Can I send out my card with out crazy poetry?
This is last years poem.
God in a manger?
King of Kings - born in poverty?
Creator of the World
Born of the created?
Born of a virgin?
Conceived by the Holy Spirit?
The God of all Gods
Reduced to a sperm?
How can that be?
The creator carried by His own created one
Baby Jesus nourished by mankind
Pushing through a birth canal
Trusting His future to one family?
My God! All this for me?
You chose to experience my experience
Suffer my sufferings
Die to open the door to my eternity?
My God! How I love thee!
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Get out of the way
We’re on an important trip
Hope we find him today!!
The King of Kings
That’s what the star does say
Just imagine … king over all other kings..
Herod, Do you know where he is, I pray?
For he is our Lord, our saviour
He’ll change the world, make it new
We want to go and worship him
Do you want to come and worship too?
King over all kings you say
Um now let me see …
The scholars say ‘Try Bethlehem’
But you must come back and tell me
I’ll find that baby and bring him in
He must be destroyed and it must be now
I won’t have another king
I won’t have anyone making me bow
There will always be Herod’s attacking my King
Faith stealers, hope destroyers
Who just ruin everything
And there will always be wise men seeking my King
Passionate eager and determined
Just longing to worship the king
Get out of the way
We’re on an important trip
We are seeking the King today!!
Jo Wanmer 2008