Tag Archives: Maranatha

Heart Open to Receive Anyone

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, December 14, 2015

Jesus Heart people

Heart Open to Receive Anyone

In recent weeks, I have been saddened to see such animosity and hatred. Such fear and anxiety. I want it all to stop. Desperately.

I could talk about my grandfather, a Jewish immigrant to America from a shtetl in the western Ukraine in the early 1900’s. And about many of his uncles, aunts and cousins who have been documented as dying in the Nazi concentration camps. Or, I could talk about myself, having one Jewish grandparent. That would have been enough to send me to the camps, if I had been there in that period of time.

I am so sad, shocked and sorry about Americans of Japanese ancestry who were torn from their normal, everyday lives in the early 1940’s and transported to concentration—I mean, internment camps. There are still those alive who remember this horrible deed. I thank everyone who wishes to make certain it never happens again.

I read the news and am filled with horror at the widespread disregard and in some cases, hatred for people of color. Or people who are LGBTQ, or who align themselves as allies. Or, most lately, hatred and open mocking of Muslims. Refusing to tolerate people who are “different.” Like my Jewish grandfather. Or people who happened to have the same ancestry as those who bombed Pearl Harbor. Or, the same ancestry as those in the Nazi party.

As someone who has been intensively trained as a hospital chaplain, I strive to uphold values of mutual respect and treating each person—ALL persons, regardless of color, ethnicity, national origin, creed, sexual orientation, or whatever other difference society raises as a barrier—with kindness and honor. Being willing to sit alongside of each one, walk for a little way with people who are willing to walk alongside of me.

This is why I was so moved today to see Henri Nouwen’s Advent meditation. To read the words he wrote: “The Father … sent us You, dear Lord Jesus, with a human heart big enough to hold all human loneliness and all human anguish.… Your heart does not distinguish between rich and poor, friend and enemy, female and male, slave and free, sinner and saint. Your heart is open to receive anyone with total, unrestricted love.” [1]

I remember John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” I wonder. Who would Jesus hate? Who would Jesus exclude? Who would Jesus send to a concentration camp? Did Jesus come to gather the outcasts and those who wander into His arms? Hard questions. Even more challenging answers. Maranatha. Come, Lord Jesus.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 32.

Pray for the Coming of the Lord

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Sunday, December 13, 2015

Second coming, Autun Cathedral  (Giselbertus, 12th century)

Second coming, Autun Cathedral
(Giselbertus, 12th century)

Pray for the Coming of the Lord

Look up! Be not afraid! The coming of the Lord will be like a thief in the night. Come creeping on tiptoes, perhaps? Or, with a loud trumpet blast? Regardless, Our Lord will return. Soon and very soon.

Henri Nouwen made an intriguing statement today, in the meditation reading: “Be alert, be alert, so that you will be able to recognize your Lord in your husband, your wife, your parents, your children, your friends, your teachers, but also in all that you read in the daily papers. The Lord is coming, always coming.” [1]

Recognizing Jesus in my family and friends? Recognizing Jesus even in all I read in the daily papers? (and other media sources?) This reminds me of something Karl Barth said, about interpreting the Second Coming: “We can’t fathom the Second Advent of Jesus Christ, and we stammer when we try to speak of it.” Truly, the Second Advent is far, far bigger than anyone in the world. I suspect it’s even larger than the whole universe. (And, that is pretty big.)

Many of these Advent meditations concentrate more on the First Coming. The birth of the Baby in Bethlehem. Yet—Advent is much more than that. Although, that is a huge event, too. But the Second Coming? That is certainly a game-changer. Talk about the end of days. The end of everything, as we know it.

I do not claim to know very much about the Second Advent. Except—I will be with God when it happens. If I am in God’s arms, under God’s protection, that is usually more than enough for me.

Dear Lord Jesus, help me to be watchful, waiting for Your arrival. Don’t let pride, arrogance, stupidity, or fear blind me to Your coming. (I know I can be all of these. Forgive me, Lord. Let me say with so many of Your faithful people, Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

(also published at www.matterofprayer.net

[1] Advent and Christmas: Wisdom from Henri J. M. Nouwen (Linguori, Missouri: Redemptorist Pastoral Publications, 2004), 30.