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Posts Tagged ‘Peanuts’

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But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man. St. Luke 21 

             Before Thanksgiving, Abe asked me to pick him up  in front of RE Lee Episcopal, around 5:30pm after his run in town.  I parked the car and walked around.  Daylight growing shorter and a storm front coming through, it was fairly well dark. Several older women were out and about, maybe leaving a function at RE Lee, and a car coming up Washington Street, without it’s headlights on,  and a young girl wearing dark colors was walking across the street and the driver had to stop suddenly for the young girl .  The women started waving their arms wildly to ‘tell’ the driver to put on the headlights.  As the car was in earshot, I yelled: “Put on your lights!”  I saw the driver fumbling with the controls to do just that, and just then 2 women had just crossed the street and the one commented, “People just need to be awake” and I said, “People need to be awakened.”  She gave me a curious look.

             All the arm waving and signs will do little, but a word clearly spoken will  reach into the ears and into the heart and hands. And if the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?  Jesus sounds a clear message about His coming again.  He sounds the distinct bugle call of reveille, while the world and our flesh sound the cacophony of revelry.  He awakens the sleepy and gives hope to the fearful.    The Word made flesh sounds forth the Word into our ears and hearts.

             He teaches both the fearful and those asleep.  It is not a question of “fearfulness” but fearful people.  I think it rather timely for us that our Lord teaches about nations in distress over the roaring of the seas and the waves as we hear about the secular end of the world scenarios of global warming/climate change.  After hurricane Sandy made that left turn into New Jersey and New York, the foreboding cry came up for sea walls to New York Harbor.  Yes, as Jesus said, the roaring of the sea perplexes us.  I am not equating climate change as an end-time sign, but the Lord teaches about the response in our generation and every generation:  foreboding, fear, perplexity.  These things have taken place.  These signs are like leafing of the trees means summer is near.  This is good news for the faithful, those whom the Lord has claimed as His own: your redemption is drawing near.  Lift up your heads!  Without Jesus Christ, it’s only one damned thing after another.  The secularists and pagans have tried for a couple of century to teach us that our only life is this one, trying to silence the hope of the new creation, that all our happiness is in this world, so grab all the gusto.  Buy hundreds of dollars of lottery tickets as the void approaches!  We’re on a trip to nowhere!  Love yourself above all things and people and love all things more than yourself and all people! C. S. Lewis preached the following (From “The Weight of Glory”:

“… almost all our modem philosophies have been devised to convince us that the good of man is to be found on this earth. And yet it is a remarkable thing that such philosophies of Progress or Creative Evolution (and we can add communism, socialism, secular humanism, progressivism, etc) themselves bear reluctant witness to the truth that our real goal is elsewhere. When they want to convince you that earth is your home, notice how they set about it. They begin by trying to persuade you that earth can be made  into  heaven,  thus  giving  a  sop  to your sense of exile in earth as it is. Next, they tell you that this fortunate event is still a good way off in the future, thus giving a sop to your knowledge that the fatherland is not here and now. (only thing I would change is that we are promised it can happen tomorrow or today, just ask candidates for office) Finally, lest your longing for the (eternal) should awake and spoil the whole affair, they use any rhetoric that comes to hand  to keep out of your mind the recollection that even if all the happiness they promised could come to man on earth, yet still each generation  would  lose  it  by  death, including the last generation of all, and the whole story would be nothing, not even a story, for ever and ever

             Jesus gives the wake-up call to be watchful as the day approaches.  But how? Watchful in prayer at all times.  As we enter the season of Advent, the lessons from the Gospels are focused on the Gospel according to St. Luke.  This Gospel has a special emphasis on prayer.  Luke knew prayer’s centrality in the life of the church in Christ.  Luke wrote his second volume Acts on the first years of the Church. He was there.  He knew the sustaining nature of prayer in the midst of many brothers and sisters arrested, harassed, beaten and imprisoned.  He knew the Christ Mass story very well from probably Mary herself.  What the world did not get, the Lord gave.  Christmas, really Christ Mass, is all about the eternal God entering fully into human history. Into the void, the Lord comes to save: the Son born of Mary, as the Son of God. Into the breach He came. As the Lord taught:  dissipation, drunkenness and the cares of this life burden us, weigh us down.  These are not the soil of prayer.  Dissipation is wearing your self out chasing things that never satisfy, like Christmas shopping!  We are not encouraged in our culture to wait on the Lord but wait in lines for stuff we don’t need.  Cares of this life are real but care should prompt prayer.  Drunkenness is not conducive for prayer, as is the insobriety of the philosophies that point to the self in self-righteousness.  I think there is drunkenness of many ideas.   Be watchful in prayer.  This is not the season to shop till we drop but drop to our knees in prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.  ACTS. 

            The dissipation of a culture on the edge of the void and embracing it in pro-death, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, coitus non interruptus, same-sex marriage and other alternatives is frightening. The world is ending. It began it’s end in the flesh of the Son of God upon the Cross. No pockets on His Cross.  No credit cards on Golgotha but the debt’s been paid. We see the signs of the end all around us.  While the world sings gather ye rosebuds while ye may, the Church is to pray for the end and the new heavens and the new earth, groaning in travail, to be revealed. The world cannot rise to such heights. The Lord calls His Church to teach His Word.  Speak a word:  turn your lights on.  Speak a word:  The light of Jesus Christ shines on you.  Even more frightening is the sleep of not caring and not knowing.   

            This past week I watched on TV the last half of “A Charlie Brown https://i0.wp.com/1.bp.blogspot.com/-htyjTCzOnxw/TuY7hV5z_cI/AAAAAAAAAsQ/5PK59NKh8P4/s640/charlie-brown-christmas-tree1.jpegChristmas”.  It’s about Charlie and the gang putting on a Christmas show.  Charlie Brown wants to know the true spirit and meaning of Christmas but no seems to know and this perplexes him.  They want to put on a show for Christmas.  They need to get a tree for their play. So Charlie and Linus go the tree lot. Now this was made in 1965 when aluminum trees were all the rage…along with pink-flocked trees etc.  It was ghastly. (Off topic: this is good reason enough not to fool around with the liturgy.  Just think of those trees, and avocado green refrigerators and robin egg blue tuxes, which were all the rage!)   Charlie Brown and Linus go a tree  lot with garish pink, yellow, and multi-colored trees.  Charlie comes across a pitiful little tree, all bent over: this is it!, he cries. He picks it up and needles fall.Linus:  “But Charlie Brown, that tree does not fit into the modern spirit of Christmas” Yes, that’s right Linus. At the same time during the showing of Charlie Brown Christmas,  during a commercial, I flipped to NBC and lighting of the Rockefeller tree with 45,000 lights! But Charlie Brown, that tree does not fit into the modern spirit of Christmas.  Yes, that’s right  Even in 1965, Charlie Brown Christmas washttp://cbsdallas.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/the-rockefeller-center-christmas-tree-new-york-ny.jpg?w=600 controversial because Linus read a goodly portion of Luke 2: “Shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night…” In the TV show, Linus puts his security blanket around the base of the tree.  IN all the years of reading Peanuts, I think this may have been the only time Linus ever parts with his security blanket.  The Lord is Linus’ secure portion. This tree does not fit into the modern spirit of Christmas and that’s precisely the point. ( Matthew 5:13The tree of the Cross does not fit into the modern spirit of Christmas, in fact it kills it to make us alive in Him.  To the world it looks pitiful, folly, not powerful and great but to us who are being saved, Christ is the power of God unto salvation.  (1 Corinthians 1:22-24) It does not fit into modern spirit of Christmas. John the Baptizer with his clarion call to repentance does not fit.  A virgin giving birth to the Son of God for our salvation does not fit…but all of what the Lord does in His Word for you makes us fit by His grace, mercy and peace.  Unto us a Son is given, unto us a Child is given. (Isaiah 9:6)  We need to be awakened day by day by His Word. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not understood nor overcome it.  Wake up. Turn your lights on.

              And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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