God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Be Near Me Lord Jesus

When I first saw this picture of one of our little one’s praying in church, being Christmas time I couldn’t help singing:
Be near me, Lord Jesus,
I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever,
and love me, I pray;
Bless all the dear children
in Thy tender care,
And fit us for Heaven
to live with Thee there.
This was such a sweet picture of innocence and sweetness.  It is what we hope we are teaching our children - to spend time with God in what
seems so pure and hopeful.   As I look at our little one praying, I wonder of her thoughts and prayers.  Is she praying her dreams of the coming Christmas morning?  Is she praying the familiar comfortable words that Mom and Dad taught her to say before meals or bedtime?  Is she just still and quiet as the prayer for peace is being read?
I want this image of our little one to remain safe and whole and able to grow as God’s beloved child.  But the day after I received this precious photo, the lives of so many other little one’s were destroyed by a stranger with a gun.  Twenty children are dead and we won’t know why.  I don’t want them fit for heaven and living with Jesus.  I want them here growing up, playing, laughing, crying, getting hurt, falling in love.  During the Christmas season we don’t want to think about the killing of innocents, yet one of our Christmas stories has a very dark side.  We like to think of the joy of the coming wise men with the extravagant gifts.  These same magi brought to Herod’s attention that there is a new ruler, a shepherd king.  Herod uses this knowledge to kill every child under two.  Lives were shattered and torn apart.  As Jeremiah said:  “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled because they are no more” (Matthew 2:18).  God is crying  - as Rachel is crying - as we are crying. 
This Christmas time, as in every Christmas time, we light candles in the darkness.  We light tiny flickering flames of hope, peace, joy and love.  We light these tiny flames to remind us that in our world we sometimes find it hard to be hopeful, to believe that violence is not the last world, that sorrow will only last for a time, and that hate will not win.  We light our candles to remind ourselves that God is coming, God is always coming again into our world to light our darkness, to remind us of hope in the midst of despair, to offer us peace in the midst of violence, to offer us joy in the midst of sorrow, to offer us love in the face of hate.  Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay, close by me forever and ever I pray.  Bless all the dear children in thy tender care.   

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