1435. Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us. ~Malcolm Muggeridge

Remember this. When people choose
to withdraw far from a fire,
the fire continues to give warmth,
but they grow cold.
When people choose to
withdraw
far from light,
the light continues 
to be bright in itself
but they are in darkness.
This is also the case when 
people
withdraw from God.
~Augustine

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Try as some may, purporting that life is “a tale told by an idiot signifying nothing” or that it’s merely the result of events that can be explained through science or reason falls terribly short of reality. Nothing in these assumptions explains the existence of or need for compassion, grace, love, or mercy. Nor do they explain the compulsion in the human heart for expressions of such. If mortals were simply intellectual beings, they’d not emote, express feelings, or commit loving acts that are seemingly inspired in some inscrutable place within their physical being. These things, like all happenings in Creation, are indeed symbolic narratives designed to teach or illustrate truths about the Ancient of Days who created and wired into humans the capacity to feel, express emotions, and extend kindnesses to one another. It’s also true, as Muggeridge suggests, that the Author of light and life wrote into the fabric of Creation parables for His children and that getting the gist of them is an art, an art mastered not only by looking carefully at the apparent and outward realities of Creation but also by peering into its inward and inner realities. The sacred isn’t merely above us but forever within us and the entire body of Creation. Discovering the sacrosanct in all that Yahweh made can’t help but stir in the descendants of Adam a sense of connection and belonging to a higher Power. The resources and bounty of planet earth alone give us plenteous reasons to sense the presence of a Holy Benefactor and to feel His gracious, creative, and loving hands in our lives. What sparks a real desire within the human heart to seek Him is the “getting the message” within all the happenings of that which He has made. However, in case Creation’s parables are too puzzling, over 2,000 years ago God expanded the narrative and clearly revealed Himself when He sent His Son to be our Savior. Jesus is our memory, and in coming to offer us salvation, He reminds us of who we are and to whom we belong. As we prepare to celebrate the Messiah’s birth this weekend, I wish all of you a very blessed Christmas. As a very familiar yuletide song says, “O come let us adore Him!” And as we do, I pray that we create a compelling testimony to others of the Lord’s very real presence in our midst.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. ~Romans 1:20 ✝

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572. The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

When the oak is felled
the whole forest echoes with its fall,
but a hundred acorns are sown
in silence by an unnoticed breeze.
~Thomas Carlyle

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A tiny acorn falls from a towering tree. An even tinier seed drops from a flowering plant. Deciduous trees and shrubs lose their sheltering leaves. Perennials die down to the shivering ground when the first hard freeze comes, and the flourishing grass withers and turns brown. At a glance there is no telling proof of life as the sun and moon pass over barren fields throughout the short, cold days and the long colder nights of late autumn and wintertime. Yet the world doesn’t pass into nothingness. What the Lord spoke into the void remains alive in dark, inner chambers where it lies in wait, waiting patiently with expectancy for moments in time when a spark will activate the memory of what Yahweh spoke, and once again life emerges from sacred, secret places. Then sunlight and rain, filled with the same kind of holiness, nurtures the new growth and urges it on to another round of completion. For in the faithful and ongoing rites of passage in springtime under the multitudinous orbs of heaven, life goes on directed by the ancient and engulfing rhyme and reason of the Maker of Heaven and Earth who is as omnipresent now as He has ever and always been.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. ~2 Corinthians 4:18   ✝

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