GilmerFreePress.net

Inspirational Image of the Day

G-MM™: Meditation Moment

The Free Press WV

I pray, Lord, for all who will need strength and courage in the day ahead: For those who face danger. For those who risk themselves for others. For those who must make an important decision today. For people who are seriously ill. For those facing persecution or torture. I ask you, Lord, to give them the power of your Spirit,
Amen.


John 1:19-27 (NASB)
The Testimony of John

This is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent to him priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” And he confessed and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.”

They asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” And he said, “I am not ” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” Then they said to him, “Who are you, so that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?”

He said, “I am A VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, ‘MAKE STRAIGHT THE WAY OF THE LORD,‘ as Isaiah the prophet said.”

Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. They asked him, and said to him, “Why then are you baptizing, if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”

John answered them saying, “I baptize in water, but among you stands One whom you do not know. It is He who comes after me, the thong of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”


Notes on the Scripture

In this passage, John the Baptist recalls the prophecies of Isaiah, that a child would be born who would bring redemption to Israel and to mankind at all ends of the earth. He announces the coming of Christ to all who will listen, saying that there will be one who comes after him, who will baptize us with the Holy Spirit and redeem us from our sins.

He was the last of the prophets of Israel, a tradition that really began with Moses (although there are earlier bits and pieces) and reaches its zenith in very different men, Elijah and Isaiah; the first was a worker of miracles, the second a teller of prophecies. But John recalls both of them, the scruffy Elijah who is a man of action, and the wonderful Isaiah, whose last prophecies have not yet been fulfilled.

One great attribute of John was that he accepted exactly what God had set out for him: no more, no less. He was to live in harsh conditions, primitively, eating insects and wearing skins like a caveman, then giving all the glory to his slightly younger cousin; after this, he was to be jailed and beheaded. He did have a great deal of glory and the wonderful satisfaction of knowing how many people he had helped to find salvation.

As Paul says, we are one body with many parts, and each part has its function, none greater than any other. Let us remember, then, all of those who serve Christ without external glory, without making much money or getting a lot of praise and status. The people who quietly organize and clean up and make food for events, the people who stand all day ringing bells to collect money for the Salvation Army, the volunteers in the church library — all the saints of God who serve Him without much recognition.

G-MM™: Meditation Moment

The Free Press WV

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through a belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
Of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth and His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion and His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection and His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In preachings of the apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today through the strength of Heaven
the rays of the sun,
the radiance of the moon,
the splendor of fire,
the speed of lightening,
the swiftness of the wind,
the depth of the sea,
the stability of the earth
the firmness of rock.

I arise today through the power of God:
God’s might to comfort me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to lead me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s Heavenly Host to save me
from the snares of the devil,
from temptations to sin,
from all who wish me ill,
from near and afar,
alone and with others.

May Christ shield me today
against poison and fire,
against drowning and wounding,
so that I may fulfill my mission
and bear fruit in abundance.
Christ behind and before me,
Christ behind and above me,
Christ with me and in me,
Christ around and about me,
Christ on my right and on my left,
Christ when I lie down at night,
Christ when I rise in the morning,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone that speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
Amen.


The Historical St. Nick

Saint Nicholas of Myra was born in western Anatolia (Turkey), then the hotbed of Christianity, around 270 AD. He was persecuted and imprisoned, but rose to become the Bishop of Myra, where he died in December of 345 AD. He was said to have worked many miracles and became so popular that his remains were stolen in 1087 by Italian merchants and transported to Bari, Italy, where they can be seen today. He is the patron saint of children.

One of the earliest legends that was attached to his name tells how St Nicholas heard of a man who could not afford the dowries for his three daughters, with the result that he intended - regretfully - to send them to the brothel to work. St Nicholas saves them from this fate by throwing three bags of gold through their window at night: it is this tale which is often identified as the root of St Nicholas’s reputation as a gift-giver.


Santa Claus circa 1920.

Cults grew up around his legend in both the Catholic and Orthodox churches and he is well-known throughout continental Europe, from Russia to the Netherlands. In Germany and surrounding areas, a practice arose of giving secret gifts to children from St. Nicholas on his feast day, December 6.

The practice was so popular that it was adopted and, because of the date, associated with Christmas in much of Europe and North America. He was gradually transformed into “Santa Claus” (a Dutch colloquialism for St. Nicholas), starting around 1860. The current Santa was strongly influenced by Scandinavian immigrants, Clement Moore, and the Coca-Cola Company.


Isaiah 26:18-19 (ESV)

We were pregnant, we writhed, but we have given birth to wind.

We have accomplished no deliverance in the earth, and the inhabitants of the world have not fallen.

Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy!

For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.


Notes on the Scripture

Like Paul in Romans 8:22, Isaiah uses the image of pregnancy to describe our state as human beings. Here, Isaiah uses pregnancy to symbolize the pains we take, and the pain we suffer, in order to try to deliver ourselves from the destruction we slowly undergo in our bodies and lives while we are on earth. We try and try, but all we accomplish is to give birth to the wind; eventually our earthly accomplishments blow away, invisibly, leaving no sign behind.

But our lives are not in vain, because the earth is pregnant with our dust. The earth will give birth to the dead; a symbolic morning will come and the dew will be God’s light, which is to say, Christ Jesus. Remember the beginning of Chapter 1 of John: “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” When we pass away from this life, it is as if the earth is pregnant with us; and we will be born into God’s bliss when the light of Christ shines upon the earth once more.

G-MM™: Meditation Moment

The Free Press WV

Lord God, let me not put my trust in the words of men, for their minds are weak and their tongues are tainted by the world. Let me not put my trust in the thoughts of my mind, for I am filled with sin and self-deceit; but let me test everything having to do with faith against our only true teacher, Jesus Christ, and the true Word of God that He inspired the apostles to write in the Bible.

In Christ’s name, I pray,

Amen.


Psalm 134 (ASV)
Greetings of Night Watchers.

Behold, bless the Lord, all servants of the Lord,
Who serve by night in the house of the Lord!

Lift up your hands to the sanctuary
and bless the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion,
He who made heaven and earth.


Matthew 25:1-13 (ESV)
The Parable of the Ten Virgins

Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.

As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.

And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.

Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.


Notes on the Scripture

This parable of Christ is easily understood. Christ is the bridegroom, and the virgins are the people of earth awaiting his coming. Those who prepare themselves for the coming of Christ will enter into “the marriage feast,” which is Christ’s kingdom. But those who do not prepare themselves, Christ will deny.

Because we do not know when Christ will come, we must prepare ourselves now, with daily prayer and the reading of God’s Word. We must at all times remember our belief in Christ and our faith in His resurrection, and we must honor Him with our praise.

During Advent, we prepare to celebrate the first coming of Christ, his birth as a human child to a humble young woman who spent the night in a barn. This echoes our waiting for Christ’s return, and the joy we express in remembrance of Christ’s birth echoes the joy we know will come when Christ returns to us.

Click Below for Mon on Religion and Faith...

Page 2 of 367 pages  <  1 2 3 4 >  Last »


The Gilmer Free Press

Copyright MMVIII-MMXVII The Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved