Thursday, December 25, 2008

2008 12 25


We have been snowbound for the better part of 2 weeks now. Actually, I have been pleased about this as it has slowed down the frenzy and excess that characterizes our modern Christmas. In my childhood (the 1940's and 1950's) we had our family Christmas on the 25th and then visited grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins during the following week which was still Christmas.

In the 1990's we had a few Christmases when adults watched as children tore into piles of presents and then sat back and asked "is that all?" or "are there more?". No one said thank you, they didn't even know who gave them what. They didn't take the time to recognize from whom each present was given. This took something away from them even more than the adults. The chance to be thankful and appreciative of what they had.

This year no one is able to get out, so we will be going to see my grandchildren later in the week, possibly the 4th day of Christmas, which feels more right to me. Having everything happen in one day, all of the visiting and present opening is exhausting. It is much better spread out for the 12 days. It is strange that our culture will recognize the 8 days of Hanukkah, the 7 days of Kwanzaa, but not the 12 days of Christmas. We are taking our turkey dinner to our 86 year old neighbor's house as her daughter is unable to get there. We will enjoy a leisurely present opening when we get back home. We will enjoy grandchildren opening presents from us at a slower pace and take time to ponder the true meaning of the 12 days of Christmas.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Unforgivable Sin
Is not this an example of the unforgivable sin that Jesus spoke of in Matthew 12:31-32, Mark 3:29, Luke 12:10-12, the sin against the Holy Spirit ?

Matthew 12:31-32 (Amplified Bible)
31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy (every evil, abusive, [a]injurious speaking, or indignity against sacred things) can be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the [Holy] Spirit shall not and [b]cannot be forgiven.
32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Spirit, the Holy One, will not be forgiven, either in this world and age or in the world and age to come.

Mark 3:28-30 (Amplified Bible)
28 Truly and solemnly I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever abusive and blasphemous things they utter;
29 But whoever speaks abusively against or maliciously misrepresents the Holy Spirit can never get forgiveness, but is guilty of and is in the grasp of [a]an everlasting trespass.

Luke 12:9-13 (Amplified Bible)
9 But he who disowns and denies and rejects and refuses to acknowledge Me before men will be disowned and denied and rejected and refused acknowledgement in the presence of the angels of God.
10 And everyone who makes a statement or speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit [that is, whoever [a]intentionally comes short of the reverence due the Holy Spirit], it will not be forgiven him [for him there is no forgiveness].
And when they bring you before the synagogues and the magistrates and the authorities, do not be anxious [beforehand] how you shall reply in defense or what you are to say.
12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour and
[b]moment what [you] ought to say.

Jesus teaching was that we are to constantly seek direct inspirational contact with God as he demonstrated in his life.
To make up one's mind about one shall believe permanently is to not be open to the pouring out of the Holy Spirit through you.
To be closed to the Holy Spirit means being shut off from the activity of God that could bring fresh revelation to each situation.
The only way out of this spiritual stagnation is through the action of the Holy Spirit, but if one is closed to this, there is no remedy and the sin or separation from God continues in the state of being unable to be forgiven.

Source: FOX, EMMET The Sermon on the Mount: The Key to Success in Life Harper-Collins Publishers New York NY 1934