There is an old Medieval carol that speaks of Adam’s sin in eating the forbidden fruit, but it ends by saying, “Blessed be the time the apple was taken. Otherwise, our lady would never have been heavenly queen”–basically giving thanks for sin so that people could worship Mary. Protestants look askance at Catholics for praying to Mary and honoring her as queen of heaven. Unfortunately, we have made up for it by virtually ignoring her, a worse mistake than honoring her wrongly. At least at Advent we pay some attention.
God deliberately passes over the great and prominent in order to do his work through the lowly and ordinary.… Read the rest
“I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God; I trust in God’s unfailing love forever and ever. I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints.”–Psalm 52:8-9 (NIV)
David was running for his life from Saul and stopped to see the priest Ahimelech. An Edomite named Doeg saw him there and told Saul, who ordered death for Ahimilech and all the other priests who served with him. No Israelite would obey the order, so Doeg was happy to slaughter them.… Read the rest
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”–1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
I have had to fight a gloomy mood all my life. Not surprisingly, that has made it difficult for me to understand the concept of joy. How can I be happy and upbeat all the time, when such rotten stuff keeps happening to me? Then I noticed the number of times scriptures say, “rejoice and be glad.”
I can understand being glad to get out of a cold rain into a warm building, even though the rain hasn’t stopped.… Read the rest