‘Jesus’ Category Archives

6
Jan

CELEBRATING JANUARY 6: something special and unexpected

by Arnold Jago in Celebrities, Family, God, History, Jesus

January 6 is in the feast of the Epiphany.

The “twelfth day of Christmas” (count them yourself).

Commemorating three (perhaps) royal personages (perhaps) seeking the much-awaited new king in (definitely) the wrong place.

“Epiphany” means a divine manifestation or revelation – usually with something unexpected about it.

* to the Jews it was unexpected for God to reveal himself to pagans (the wise men weren’t Jews).

* to the wise men it was unexpected that God would reveal himself in an environment of poverty (not a palace).

* to us it may be unexpected that God expects us (yes, us) to spread his gospel. His gospel. Not ecumenism. Not democracy. Not human rights. Not “liberty and equality”. . . .

To spread his gospel by living it — unembarrassed to mention it and to argue for it.

So don’t you and I need an epiphany now, in a hurry?

The forces of greed, disbelief, violence, distraction-worship — and refusal to think hard — are sidetracking us from our calling.

Let’s ask God for a personal epiphany — and the courage to stand tall and fight hard.

 

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25
Dec

A HAPPY AND HOLY CHRISTMAS: and, hopefully, a better New Year.

by Arnold Jago in Jesus, Lifestyle, Prayer, Truth

Christmas Day.

The day to either celebrate — or to deliberately ignore — the birth of Jesus Christ.

Whatever else he was, this Jewish prophet had a message for the whole world that he called the “Kingdom of God”.

He taught us to pray for the coming of that Kingdom:

 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name,

 “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as in heaven.

“Give us today our daily bread — and forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven those who are in debt to us.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Amen” **

That was the prayer.

He followed immediately with the comment:

“Yes, if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will forgive you yours;

“But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive your failings either.” **

The prayer is 2000 years old.

The commitment is one that we have, so far, not disciplined ourselves to live by.

If, with God’s help, we did live by it, would not the problems of fear, terror, genocide, gossiping, broken homes – all such things going on unchecked in our greedy world – start to give way to a new, better world?

Are you (am I?) willing to start praying it and doing it at the personal level — starting now?

(** source: Saint Matthew’s gospel, chapter 6)

 

21
Sep

GOD AND POLITICS: thoughts re what he might want of us down here.

by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Contemplation, God, Jesus, Politics

September 21 is celebrated in Catholic Tradition as the Feast of Saint Matthew.

Matthew is traditionally considered the author of the 28-chapter account of Christ’s  life entitled in printed bibles “The Gospel according to Saint Matthew”.

Saint Matthew’s gospel differs from those of Saints Mark, Luke and John its more Jewish flavour and more detailed account of Christ’s words about what God’s “kingdom” really is and what it might look like if brought into existence on this earth.

A 1964 film based on this gospel called “The Gospel According to Matthew”, directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini can be viewed online.

http://int.search.tb.ask.com/search/video.jhtml?p2=%5EY6%5Exdm220%5ES12281%5Eau&n=781aec92&ss=sub&st=bar&ptb=44265483-EA01-485F-B49A-9ED8E79584ED&si=CMDooqzrj8QCFdd6vQod2rEA7w&tpr=sbt&searchfor=pasolini+matthew&pn=1&pToken=CAoQAQ&ots=1442802840786

You’ll need to set aside just over two hours. It might stir up some thoughts.

 

28
Mar

EASTER THOUGHTS: guaranteed bunny and bilby-free . . . .

by Arnold Jago in Faith, Jesus, Persecution

“JESUS my Saviour,

At this holy time

Help me to remember

How you lived your life:

Helping poorest people.

Healing sick and blind.

Plus the things you taught us

And the way you died….”

“MEN crucified you.

Stupid and unjust.

You did not deserve it:

Fills me with disgust.

Yet your death is precious:

Fills my eyes with tears.

You took it out of love for God

And for sinners just like me….”

“SUDDENLY I’m filled with joy:

A different kind of tears.

Whatever be your will for me,

No sacrifice will I refuse:

Rich or poor, just as you please.

There’s nothing I would not attempt.

There’s nothing I would not accept.

To show my grateful love for you.”

Amen.

 

 

23
Jan

BEING A CHRISTIAN IN THE MIDDLE EAST: what kind of future?

by Arnold Jago in Faith, History, Jesus, Persecution

When Iraq was invaded in 2003, there were 1,500,000 million Christians living there. Now it’s 400,000 – and falling.

The city of Mosul alone held 60,000 Christians. Now, since the ISIS takeover, there are none.

Arguably, the USA and friends created ISIS as a result of their backing the wrong side in the civil war in Syria.

Some commentators warned that it would happen. For example, see “Clinton” at:  http://marymackillop.org/category/suffering/page/4

It was pretty obvious.

Christian church leaders on the spot where the violence is worst are recommending forgiveness and patience to their followers.

Seemingly quite impractical, even suicidal – yet is it not the way their founder Jesus Christ preached and practised?

Meanwhile many Muslims are converting to Christianity.

One estimate, according to Al-Jazeerah, is 16,000 per day in Africa alone: https://muslimstatistics.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/al-jazeerah-6-million-muslims-convert-to-christianity-in-africa-each-year/comment-page-1/

 

 

 

6
Jan

YOU’VE TAKEN DOWN YOUR CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS? Put them up again. Why? I’ll tell you why.

by Arnold Jago in Faith, God, History, Jesus, Multiculturalism

Today, January 6, is the last of the “Twelve Days of Christmas”.

Tomorrow take down your Christmas decorations. Not before.

If you’ve already taken them down, put them up again.

Then take them down again tomorrow.

Everybody knows that Christmas has twelve days  – perhaps from hearing that carol entitled “The Twelve Days of Christmas”.

However, nobody seems sure what that carol is all about. Is it a message in code? Doubtful.

But there’s no doubt why there are twelve days — not just one day — of Christmas.

December 25 traditionally celebrates Jesus’s birth.

January 6 (Epiphany day) celebrates the “Wise Men from the East” paying him their respects.

Twelve days later. As per the Gospel of Saint Matthew.

“Epiphany” means “manifesting” or “show-casing”.

In this case, Jesus’s manifestation to — not only his own race — but also to alien enquirers.

At its simplest, today is a memory-jogger that God loves not only the people we’d expect him to love – those with the “right” religion . . . .

But also those who have the theory arguably wrong but are honestly seeking him and the goodness that belongs to him.