In his book Miracle on the River Kwai,Ernest Gordon tells the true story of a group of POWs working on the Burma Railway during World War II.
At the end of each day the tools were collected from the work party. On one occasion a Japanese guard shouted that a shovel was missing and demanded to know which man had taken it. He began to rant and rave, working himself up into a paranoid fury and ordered whoever was guilty to step forward. No one moved. “All die! All die!” he shrieked, cocking and aiming his rifle at the prisoners. At that moment one man stepped forward and the guard clubbed him to death with his rifle while he stood silently to attention. When they returned to the camp, the tools were counted again and no shovel was missing.
What can sustain the will to die for others, when you are innocent? Jesus was carried and sustained in his love for us by “the joy that was set before him.’
Where are you flying today? It is well and truly winter here in the Southern Hemisphere. The days are getting shorter, the air cooler, the nights freezing. As my little one says,” Mummy I am making smoke with my mouth!” Well steam at least. In spite of the lovely markers of the changing seasons it is easy to feel blue and downcast. Heavy hearted that the weather has again transported you to the blues. Don’t fear blue bird. Allow yourself to fly……winter will soon become spring. A day will come when all pain and suffering and hardship and grief and tears will end. He holds the hope to a future of real joy!
I enjoy writing, journaling and describing my life, our world, my family, friends, inspirations and faith. And I do some of that here on this blog. But honestly I have days that I wonder why. Have you ever stared at your blank Facebook status update box and felt inept…nothing witty, engaging or thrilling was coming to mind. You write nothing – fail. You write something little- boring. You make it up – brilliant. But it is not you. It is not honest. I guess writing a blog can be a similar process. I have days when I wonder what to post, I rarely plan ahead. I wonder who reads it, after all there is little dialogue, comment and feedback. And yet I yearn to know you read it, that it matters, that you like it. For many writers the process is solitary, the criticism is public and the outcomes unknown.
So today when I heard someone had read my blog and learnt more about me I was excited. But not in the way you might think. I was excited because the reader was pointed to my faith. My faith in Jesus. I hope that in all of my reflections, excitement and discussions here I can glorify Him. God is a creator and he loves beauty, design, he delights in good family life, loving marriages, bountiful banquets, healing hands and communities that love and support each other. He loves us in the pain, the hardship and even in our failures, our sin.
John Piper says:
IAnd I am hoping that the things that I take pleasure in and celebrate here will point to him. Honestly.
This should be obvious…..you would hope. But for many it is not. Christ is the reason for Christmas. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. If you are not sure who He is and why you need to know you may find this list helpful. John Piper says there are 12 reasons for Christ ….for Christmas: