For the Phoenix area: Tuesday classes (11AM & 7PM) resume tomorrow, January 5, in the St. Agnes Room at The Franciscan Renewal Center!
But, as it is written, ”What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.
I Corinthians 2:9-12
Has UPS delivered your eleven pipers piping? After all, it’s the Eleventh Day of Christmas! Merry Christmas! Hooray!
Yes, I know, Christmas is supposed to be over! But its not! Sure, my once beautiful tree is in some landfill, decorations put away, and some New Year’s resolutions already broken. But God’s Gospel Good News is that it’s Christmas every day. Christ makes this Eleventh Day and every day the day for receiving God’s best.
We sometimes misread today’s Scripture when we read it to be talking about the joy and wonder awaiting us in heaven: “What no eyes has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him.” But note that it is not heaven and the hereafter the apostle Paul is talking about, but now. “These words have been applied to the state of glory in a future world; but certainly they belong to the present state.” (Commentary on the Whole Bible, emphasis added)
Paul is talking about today and “the gifts bestowed on us by God”. Christ is bringing us into a life unimaginable, a life that “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, or the human heart conceived”. That is why the Holy Spirit is given to help us understand the wondrous gifts given to us in Christ: “the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.”’
It’s the Eleventh Day of Christmas, and for this day and every day God wants to help us live into the wondrous life of His Son. As our Advent 2015 devotional emphasized: Jesus came down to lift us up into His very life and glory!
I’ve got one resolution for 2016 that I am determined to keep everyday: “Asking the Holy Spirit to help us understand more and more the “gifts bestowed on us by God”.
So, Happy Eleventh Day of Christmas! And Happy Every Day of God’s infinite giving to us Christ Jesus the Lord! Dear Holy Spirit, lead us into the deeper reaches of your grace in 2016!
Grace and peace,
photo by Scutter