For those of you who are new to following JanBeek,
let me explain.
I take sermon notes in poetry when I listen
to the Pastor’s message each Sunday.
Here are my notes from today’s sermon.
It was preached by a guest in the pulpit,
Retired Presbyterian minister (and friend of mine),
Rev. Steve Hundley. What a gift!!
(a reflection on the Scripture in Luke 2:21-40)
When we remember our history
And travel thoughtfully through it,
We take a journey of understanding
To truly comprehend life as Jesus knew it.
We can’t take a plane through Christmas
And miss the trip along the way.
We need to slowly walk before and after
And bring Jesus into our life today.
Mary and Joseph probably had a hard time
Understanding the meaning of Jesus’ birth.
There they were in Bethlehem
Wondering what this baby really was worth.
Simeon told them Jesus was “The Light.”
His power would bring glory to the Israeli people.
That must have puzzled those in the temple.
God’s spirit came upon those under the temple steeple.
Have we, like Simeon, seen God’s salvation?
Do we know the Redeemer has come?
Jesus came to honor roots and bring wings.
He came for eternal life for all – not just some.
God is with us every day of our life.
We can’t fly in and out of the Christmas season.
We need to come, meet, greet, and stay.
For Christmas is every day – for good reason!
Sometimes we have to take the LONG ROAD
in order to make it Home.
Bird in a Gilded Cage
I’m only a bird in a gilded cage.
I’m trapped in a pent-up life.
I see the blue sky and the world out there,
But I’m locked in a world of strife.
I know I have friends who are here with me.
I feel their support and love;
But they can’t quite reach all my problems here –
I’m counting on the Lord above.
He’s not just a God who is far removed.
He’s my Savior, Deliverer, Friend.
I take all my strife to the Lord in prayer
And count on the Holy Spirit to descend.
Come into the cage of Your gilded bird.
Come into my heart today.
Take all of my troubles and grant me peace.
Give me love, JOY, and patience, I pray.
Increase Our Faith
– from a message by Rev. Jean M Johnson based on Luke 17:5-10
If the disciples of Christ felt clueless,
How can I know anything for sure?
If they lived with the King of Peace,
Why weren’t their thoughts clear and pure?
They lived and rubbed elbows with
Our Lord, the Christ, Savior on earth.
They were with Him, hearing His parables,
Watching His miracles; some knew Him from birth.
Yet, they asked Christ to increase their faith.
Maybe it wasn’t a request to increase their hearts.
Maybe they were asking Him to increase their hands –
Give them the will to work and do their parts.
Because they had faith, the disciples needed
The humility for doing the mundane, daily grind.
Obeying and following Jesus means quietly doing
The duties of loving and serving with no thanks in mind.
Don’t ask for a great faith to do great things.
Be content with faith the size of a mustard seed
To do the work of serving God humbly,
Listening for the Holy Spirit to reveal every need.
Hmmm… My prayer for today is one of gratitude for my God and for His Son, Jesus Christ, and for my faith. Yes, it is small as a mustard seed! But, is it sufficient to do God’s Will today? Oh Lord, increase my humility. Increase my ability to hear and see the needs around me. Increase the capacity of my hands and feet to be the hands and feet God uses for His small tasks here on earth. You have given me ears to hear, dear God, and eyes to see the needs around me. Increase my willingness to respond to Your nudges and help me do so with no expectation of recognition. Thank You for the fruits of the spirit alive and well in me: love, joy, and peace. I know faithfulness is a gift from You, also. Help me share those fruits and radiate the gifts freely today.
In Jesus Name –