prayer from the cell: christmas confession

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  • David Waters

    Perfectly fertile ground to shame the wise.

  • Rayla Just Rayla

    GOOD ONE! Merry Christmas all 🙂

  • Connie

    I always thought that dirt was the best place for things to grow in. 🙂
    Another great analogy of life in Christ as seen through a simple worldly perspective. There’s just some things that are hard for our human minds to grasp.
    Thing is: a barn may be all those things, but a barn isn’t “bad”, it simply is. It serves a purpose, and it has a function.

    Thank you for another great picture of life.
    Merry Christmas, David.

  • Nancy T.

    Perhaps my thoughts are best summed up as the following, in response to your post:

    I wanted to post a famous letter, from Fra Giovanni Giocondo, dated 1513, a favourite of mine, only to find out that its earliest attribution is to Greville MacDonald 1930s. The misunderstanding (deciet?) of this saddened me, and yet, I still love the letter.

    As well, just before reading your post, I had listened to ‘I believe in Father Christmas’, a song sometimes thought to be a ‘Christmas Song’ or, a song against the commercialization of Christmas. It is a actually a song about the loss of innocence, and, I believe, the loss of belief.

    Somehow, it seemed to me, appropriate to post both…

    I Believe in Father Christmas

    They said there’ll be snow at christmas
    They said there’ll be peace on earth
    But instead it just kept on raining
    A veil of tears for the virgin’s birth
    I remember one christmas morning
    A winters light and a distant choir
    And the peal of a bell and that christmas tree smell
    And their eyes full of tinsel and fire

    They sold me a dream of christmas
    They sold me a silent night
    And they told me a fairy story
    ’till I believed in the israelite
    And I believed in father christmas
    And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
    ’till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
    And I saw him and through his disguise

    I wish you a hopeful christmas
    I wish you a brave new year
    All anguish pain and sadness
    Leave your heart and let your road be clear
    They said there’ll be snow at christmas
    They said there’ll be peace on earth
    Hallelujah noel be it heaven or hell
    The christmas you get you deserve

    You can listen at:

    And the letter…

    There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, you can take. No Heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it to-day. Take Heaven! No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present little instant. Take peace!

    The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach, is joy. There is radiance and glory in the darkness, could we but see; and to see, we have only to look. I beseech you to look.

    Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendour, woven of love, by wisdom, with power. Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the Angel’s hand that brings it to you. Everything we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty: believe me, that angel’s hand is there; the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing Presence. Our joys, too: be not content with them as joys, they too conceal diviner gifts.

    Life is so full of meaning and of purpose, so full of beauty—beneath its covering—that you will find that earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage, then to claim it: that is all! But courage you have; and the knowledge that we are pilgrims together, wending through unknown country, home.

    And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you; not quite as the world sends greetings, but with profound esteem, and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

  • (this is a refined version of a comment I made on a previous NP posting)

    Jesus is not the reason for the season – neither for this calendar season nor for this season of your life.

    The reason for the season is Emmanuel – God with us.

    It might be acceptable to be at a party with strangers, it is good to be at a party with friends, it is better to be at a party with your loved one. Take this “with-ness” one more level – that is Emmanuel – that is God with us.

    God is always with us. So, the question really is: Am I with God in the same way that God is with me?

    Those WWJD wristbands have it right – What Would Jesus DO – not believe, not wish, not pray, not sermonize – what would Jesus DO?

    If we seriously strive to answer that question in all our actions, we will find ourselves striving to live like Jesus. Yet, such striving is inadequate. It is not that living like Jesus is not good or not good enough; it is just that there is more. That is where we find resurrection – the transformation of the human spirit. It is an earth-shaking experience. It is as if a stone has been rolled away from the entrance to our tomb. It is as if the curtain covering the Holy of Holies has been ripped asunder and we are no longer prevented from entering into that place where the immediate and tangible presence of God dwells and there we find our true and best self and find our true and best self with God.

    Your journey is not about living for Jesus or like Jesus. Your journey is about being Jesus, being Emmanuel, being “God with us,” being the Good News, being the Kingdom of God on Earth here and now.

    Merry Christmas!

  • Londiwe Xulu

    One of my favorites. Thank you!