Hello, Friend! Nannie here!
Finney is very delighted that it is Christmastime. Finney enjoys gettin’ ready for Christmas as much as he loves when Christmas Day finally arrives!
When the last days of Autumn begin to usher in the newly winter-like days, Finney loves to watch Nature do its thing. Makes it all the more fun to be able to anticipate the coming of Christmas…the birthday of the Savior of us all!
All of the following passages are taken from Christian Prayer: The Liturgy of the Hours.
“On that day sweet wine will flow from the mountains, milk and honey from the hills, alleluia…
The mountains and hills will sing praise to God; all the trees of the forest will clap their hands, for he is coming, the Lord of a kingdom that lasts for ever, alleluia.” (page 43)
Christ our King will come to us: the Lamb of God foretold by John. (page 45)
From the root of Jesse a flower will blossom, the glory of the Lord will fill the earth, and all creation shall see the saving power of God. (page 50)
In the Old Testament book of Isaiah, Chapter 7, The Lord told Isaiah to say to Ahaz (King of Judah), to ‘Be careful, be calm, and don’t be afraid’…Isaiah also said to Ahaz, ‘Listen, O House of David!…the Lord Himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” (Page 53)
It’s quite thought provoking to ponder on the journey of Mary and Joseph! I don’t know about you, but I never knew it was 80 miles from Nazareth (in Galilee) to Bethlehem (in Judaea), where King David was born. Bethlehem was the destination of Mary and Joseph because Joseph was of the line of David, and they travelled all that way with 9 month pregnant Mary on a donkey, and Joseph walkin’!
The story of David brings a lifetime of thoughts to reflect on, and so fun to entertain those thoughts in a greater fashion at this Christmastime of year. David was just a young shepherd boy when he represented the Israelites and was single-handedly responsible for slaying the Philistine giant, Goliath, with his slingshot and a stone. After being chosen by God and anointed by Samuel, David then went on to become a powerful king and ruler.
As we read in the Catholic Encyclopedia (http://www.newadvent.org), David was “the ancestor of the Messias (Greek form of Hebrew ‘Messiah’). We continue to read, “Incidents in the life of David are regarded by the Fathers as foreshadowing the life of Christ; Bethlehem is the birthplace of both; the shepherd life of David points out Christ, the Good Shepherd; the five stones chosen to slay Goliath are typical of the five wounds. The betrayal by his trusted counselor, Achitophel, and the passage over the Cedron remind us of Christ’s Sacred Passion. Many of the Davidic Psalms, as we learn from the New Testament, are clearly typical of the future Messias.”
Thinking of the small, young shepherd boy who was victorious over the Philistine Goliath, is great to bring to mind when each of us is facing the challenges of our path in life…when sometimes a challenge(s) may seem bigger, harder, and worse than anything we feel we can handle, it could only help to imagine David offering himself to face Goliath, speaking only of his Faith and Trust in God to see him through…and to emerge intact with the overwhelming incident behind him…by the Grace of God!
And, of course, we have the great grace-filled comfort of…
The Lord, Shepherd and Host
A psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
for years to come. (New American Bible)
As I write these holy words, so loved by so many, my mind is brought to my Irish immigrant Dad in the last years of his almost 91 year life. Due to his infirmities, Dad (1904-1995) spent his last few years living with us, and at the times when he was most overwhelmed by the thought that perhaps his passing to the Lord was near, he would ask me to pray the 23rd Psalm with him…this was the prayer he had chosen for the time of his death…my Dad’s name? You guessed it…David.
God bless you, and I pray the peace and hope of Advent fills your days! Thank you for stopping by!