Friday, November 15, 2013

Today's JAR- You Are Loved

Today's JAR- As we prepare for Christmas, this first day of the Advent Fast, it's good to remember that when we start a sentence with "I deserve (blank)" then we've started in the wrong direction. Once we start making decisions because of what we perceive we deserve, because we love ourselves, we've invited suffering into our future.  I say this because these days that lead to Christmas are no longer about preparation, but of indulgence.  Commercials will be airing the next 40 days trying to convince us that we don't have enough and deserve more.  They will try to imply that we are not happy until... And they will plant seeds that we aren't really loved unless... . Let's be guarded from these distractions of the truth; these destructive lies.

This truth is...

Well, it's two-fold:  1) No one deserves to be loved.  2) We are loved anyway. 

Christmas is a confirmation of this... “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." John 3:16. 

Let's keep this verse on the top of our thoughts as we enter into this holy time of preparation. 


Adamfobeth said...

Thanks for writing your blog, I enjoy each installment. Can you give me a list of books you would recommend reading or ones that you have enjoyed and found useful.

Vassi said...

Uh oh! You caught me! I can't remember the last time I finished a book. I usually start to read one, or dive into a middle chapter because of the title, and then stop. I get so caught up in absorbing what I just read and I like to let it settle before I read any more. Next thing I know an other shiny object, I mean interesting book, gets my attention and I start reading from that one.

The prayers of the services teach me the most: Compline, Paraklesis, Vespers, Orthros... The prayers and the hymns carry so much theology in them, (as guidelines on how to relate with God) that they are the best way to learn about the faith. Blogs and Podcasts are good too. My husband was hinting (teasing) at a "shout out" so here goes... try :) I admire him dearly and find him inspirational.

And definitely live the calendar. Fast when there is a fast. Celebrate when there is a feastday. Even a small gesture like a special tablecloth or a small bouquet of flowers on a nameday or holiday to celebrate a saint or occasion can be good for your soul.

I hope this helps... I can offer a list of books I've started :) Look for them in a future post.