"Suddenly a great company of of the Heavenly Host appeared with the angel praising God and saying 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.' "
"When the angels had left them and gone into Heaven, the shepherds said to one another, 'Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.' "
This morning in church as another candle was lit, we celebrated the third advent, the advent of joy, unspeakable joy!
These last two years have been a time of heaviness for me, but in it all I have known joy. I know it's hard to believe but I have seen the grace of God, the glory of it, the joy of it...unspeakable joy. Even in Johns death, because of it, because of his stand and his courage, I have learned more, felt more, known more of God and as you may have noticed, I can not stop talking about it.
Years ago, in a bible study, we learned the word 'sumballo.' It is the practice of casting many things together, combining them as one, as if to string pearls on a string, treasures.
Treasures, gained and confirmed over these past 2 years, combined as one, my pearls, cast on a string...
God's Grace ~ love ~ faith and love that spring from hope ~ where my heart is ~ stored up for me in heaven ~ He is my treasure ~ spiritual wisdom and understanding ~ a life worthy ~ stacking memories like stones in the river ~ pleasing Him ~ growing in the knowledge of Him ~ being strengthened to have great endurance and patience and joyfully giving thanks ~ courage ~ strength ~ sharing in the inheritance ~ rooted and built up ~ overflowing with thankfulness ~ setting my mind on things above ~ being renewed in knowledge ~ clothing myself with compassion ~ kindness ~ humility ~ gentleness and patience ~ bearing with one another ~ showing grace ~ all in the name of Christ ~ being watchful ~ devoted to prayer ~ proclaiming the mystery of Christ ~ clearly ~ being wise ~ making the most of every opportunity ~ full of grace ~ seasoned with salt ~ His faithfulness ~ my faith ~ He has His trust in me ~ He is for me, who can be against me ~ He wants to do me a favor ~ His favor rests ~ rest in Him ~ joy ~ Joy ~ unspeakable joy.
From my treasure to ours, the reason for Christmas, Christ, our King...
"When they had seen Him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child. And all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them."
"But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
...like pearls on a string.