12 days of Christ
The manger | My dad always shares how humbled he is to know that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born in a stable. I’m reminded of Jesus Christs submission to His Father’s will to lay in a manger. To think of the King of Kings, born in such a lowly place. The Son of God gave up His heavenly throne to give His life to you and me. I hope during this Christmas season--and the ones to come--to give up my own earthly desires for the benefit of someone else.
"When Christ comes again it will not be to the meekness of the manger. It will be as the recognized redeemer and the Lord of the universe. Then in a great solar display stars will fall from their places in a witnessing way with much more drama than at His birth, when the stars in the heaven looked down where He lay. Yet in the vastness of His creations the Lord of the universe who notices the fall of every sparrow is our personal Savior.” -Elder Maxwell
1 Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also.
2 And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.
3 But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:
4 And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:
5 To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.
6 But of these who seemed to be somewhat, (whatsoever they were, it maketh no matter to me: God accepteth no man's person:) for they who seemed to be somewhat in conference added nothing to me:
7 But contrariwise, when they saw that the gospel of the uncircumcision was committed unto me, as the gospel of the circumcision was unto Peter;
8 (For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles:) 9 And when James, Cephas, and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hands of fellowship; that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.
10 Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do.
11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision.
13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation.
14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?
It is part of human nature that we cannot go on being penitent for a long time, or we sink into a settled and insincere gloom rather than working at the definite and active spiritual exercise called penance. The Church knows human nature, and both in Advent and Lent there is a moment where the atmosphere of penance and preparation is brightened by a shaft of light from the glorious season we are preparing ourselves for.
The third Sunday of Advent tells us ‘Gaudéte, rejoice!’ because the Lord is near. On Gaudete Sundays, therefore, the dark penitential violet may be lightened to rose, or pink.
- Adapted from Universalis (2018)
The manuscript in the second photo (swipe left!) features the Choral Prelude ‘Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme’ (Awake, A voice is calling us) (BWV 645) arranged by Johann Sebastian Bach. The original Lutheran hymn was written in German by Philipp Nicolai.
The Lord Jesus will come again but we must be patient, keeping the flame of our love and faith alive in our hearts. We may be tired of waiting for him, but must be ready to wake up quickly to answer his call. We do not know the day or hour of his coming.
Let us Praise and Thank the Lord this New Year’s Eve with our Year-End Thanksgiving Liturgy - ‘Laudamus Te: An evening of Praise for the Gift of Christ’
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