Sunday, December 25, 2005

The reason for the season.

I did something very uncharacteristic last night. I left the S.O. to go to bed, while I went to Midnight Mass. That's remarkable for me because: a) I'm not Catholic and b) the last time I was in this church was for a memorial service some 10 months ago. Amazingly, the building remained standing, although the surprise I am sure, was great.

I spent too long sitting through southern Methodist and southern Baptist protestant services to convert to Catholicism, however I have genuine respect for the Mass and find it to be more comfortable for me. I like to think that the Mass is interactive worship, you don't just go and sit through the sermon the way one does in Protestant churches. The minister has enough things to scold me for, to be sure, but I was not in the mood. I just wanted to stare up at the cross and pray for guidance and help. For friends, for myself. I believe firmly that God heard these prayers, now whether He chooses to take notice of them is another matter--and solely up to Him.

The Mass ended, I walked home in the cold night air. There was not a cloud in the sky, which is even more amazing when one considers that it has snowed just about every where in Japan except the Kanto plain this week. It was cold but a really beautiful night. Could not really resolve anything on the walk either, except whatever is going to come this coming year, I'll just have to deal with, one way or another.

Perhaps it was just such a night 2000 years ago:

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Luke 2:2 ([And] this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

Luke 2:3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

Luke 2:4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

Luke 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

Luke 2:6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

Luke 2:7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

Luke 2:9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

Luke 2:10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:12 And this [shall be] a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

Merry Christmas!!!!


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