Blanketed in Peace

“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” – (Luke 2:14, NLT)

“Glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace among those whom He favors.” – (Luke 2:14, CEB)

“Glory to God in the highest realms of heaven! For there is peace and a good hope given to the sons of men.” – (Luke 2:14, TPT)

 

Just as the host of angels sang these words after the one had brought the glorious announcement to the shepherds in their fields at night so many years ago, we are reminded of the very same peace and glory today. Last evening as our candlelight service ended, snow began falling and blanketing the earth around us. To me, there is nothing quite so serene, peaceful and beautiful as a scene freshly blanketed in snow. It reminds me that we are made new, and restores hope that the things that seem chaotic will become calm, and that which is broken or fractured can be made new. Peace on earth, goodwill to all, for the Light of the world has come to bring hope to us through the baby born in a stable so long ago. That baby grew and lived and loved with His very life, so that we could know life everlasting. May we take pause in awe and wonder, and marvel at the peace and good hope that has come to us, as gently as freshly fallen snow.

 

Just as fresh snow falls,

Blanketed in Peace

photo credit: Flickr by pixelmama

And blankets the earth;

We’re reminded of,

Our dear Savior’s birth.

For on that dark night,

A long time ago;

The angels appeared,

To shepherds below.

With heavenly voice,

They lifted a song;

All glory to God,

May peace carry on.

Great hope is granted,

To those who believe;

Who trust in the Lord,

With this He is pleased.

So, gaze and the snow,

Take in its pure light;

Remember the peace,

That came on that night.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the precious gift of Your Son and the hope and peace that is found in Him. Thank You for the beauty of Your creation, and the tangible reminder of how we are made clean and new in You, just as the earth appears in a blanket of freshly fallen snow. Forgive us for not recognizing the reminders of Your peace and hope that You present all around us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we are acutely aware of Your presence and Your peace, even in the places where it does not make sense. Show us how to be ambassadors of peace and hope to a world in need, as we love as we are loved by You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we celebrate the peace that came to us through the precious gift of Your Son. Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present

 

But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ. – Ephesians 2:4-5

Marvelously Made

As I further reflect on the truths conveyed in the book study I am participating in, I find myself pondering the point upon which we all struggled. A question for conversation in the Undaunted study guide was phrased in the following way:

“The Bible tells us that God’s works are marvelous. God made you and me. This means we are marvelous! Tell something marvelous about yourself. Why is it so hard, in a day-to-day way, to see ourselves as marvelous in God’s sight and truly valuable?”

Our entire group struggled with the word marvelous, as I think we were all viewing the meaning in the vein of: excellence, greatness, or somehow superb. This morning, I decided to dig a bit deeper into the meaning of the word, as the root of marvelous, is marvel. Indeed, upon further investigation, I discovered that marvelous can mean: such as to cause wonder, admiration, or astonishment; surprising; extraordinary, or even improbable. To me, these things are a bit easier to share, as they are the things in us that make us wonder in awe because a great and loving God has placed them in us, rather than something that we have somehow achieved in our own strength. What has God placed in you, that makes you marvel in reverent awe of Him?

 

I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. – (Psalm 139:14 KJV)

 

Marvelously Made

Artwork by Sylvia Carlton

In reverent awe,

I wonder at Thee;

for You have chosen,

each part that makes me.

From hair on my head,

to love in my heart;

all of me designed,

a purposeful part.

Before I was born,

a plan was in place;

You knew what I’d love,

and trials I’d face.

You made me with strength,

hand-crafted by You;

with a heart driven,

to ever pursue.

I give all my praise,

to You, Lord above;

in awe I marvel,

at Your wondrous love.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You know us better than we know ourselves. Thank You that You have a plan and a purpose for each of us, and You have created in us, all that is needed to accomplish that which You have designed us to do. Forgive us for not marveling at the wonderful ways that You have uniquely hand-crafted each of us, individually, with a plan and a purpose. Teach us to stop and wonder in awe at the work of Your hands, as You so intentionally and beautifully love each of us. Lead us to love others You would love them, and give us Your eyes to marvel at who You have created them to be. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be glorified as we go forth in gratitude in the gifts You have granted. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Crhist, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort. – 2 Corinthians 1:3

Purposeful Pursuit

But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. – (1 Timothy 6:11)

 

Though this was Paul’s charge to Timothy after he had unpacked the dangers of false doctrine and the love of money, the charge given applies to all who choose to follow in the faith. Another version states it this way: But you belong to God. so you should stay away from all those things. Always try to do what is right, to be devoted to God, and to have faith, love, patience, and gentleness. – (1 Timothy 6:11, ERV) If we devote out hearts and minds to the Lord, then our desire will be to do what is right and to flee from that which is not. The more we know God, the more we take on His character, growing in faith, love, patience and gentleness. May we rise up as people of God, and pursue His righteousness, enduring all things through His strength, as He calls us according to His purposes.

 

Let every heart,Knowing Love

who holds the Lord dear;

flee from what’s evil,

and trust Christ is near.

May we all pursue,

righteousness and love;

faith and endurance,

like the Lord above.

Let Your love and light,

in truth shine through us;

as we pursue You,

may folks see Jesus.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that as we turn to You and away from what is not good nor beneficial for our growth in You, that You meet us. Thank You that as we pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness, You grant us Your strength and Your heart to reflect Your love and character to those around us. Forgive us for our failure to rely on You or for seeking after things that are not beneficial to our eternal gain, and help us to have Your perspective on what lies before us. Teach us to trust You more, so that we may view all things with an eternal filter. Help us to love others as You so relentlessly love each of us. May many come to know the glory of Your grace and marvel and the mercy You freely offer. Be glorified O God, as we pursue the things of You and flee from that which is not. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Shout aloud and sing for joy. – Isaiah 12:6

Beholding His Healing

Beholding His Healing
Up to Bethesda,

with its colonnades;

people with great need,

wait with hope each day.

A paralyzed man,

who’d waited for years;

approached by Jesus,

the Savior came near.

Jesus asked the man,

“Do you want your health?”

“Sir, I have no help,

nor physical wealth.”

To him Jesus said,

“Grab your mat and walk.”

At once he was cured,

and with Jews he talked.

Rather than marvel,

at this miracle;

they spoke of the law,

he did not fulfill.

They asked of the One,

who had healed the man;

he knew not Jesus,

nor what He had planned.

Later Jesus found,

the man He had healed,

“Stop now, your sinning,”

His truth was revealed.

From that very day,

the truth he did speak;

he told of Jesus,

Healer of the weak.

 

(Responding to John 5:1-15)

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that while we were still blind and crippled by our own sinfulness, You came close so that we might become whole in You.  Thank You that You are our Healer of mind, body, heart and soul.  Forgive us for seeking answers anywhere other than You.  Teach us to trust You completely, and to obey whatever You ask.  May our weaknesses be strengths in You, and may we too, tell our stories of Your great faithfulness in our lives.  Let the words of our mouth point people to You.  May many come to know You, as we share of Your great love.  Amen.

 

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present