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Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:15 pm
by K_P
SLSS wrote:
Sat Dec 23, 2017 11:39 am
Ben, the prison chaplain.
Ain't that the truth!

Merry Christmas Ben, and the rest of the inmates too!

Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 8:12 pm
by PastorBen
hey there

thank you all for your kind words....and in response to a request here is my Christmas eve Sermon from a few years ago....

grace and peace

Ben



Can you feel it? Can you hear it… that Hum in the air tonight,

As all our preparations come to an end and the celebration Begins
I don't think it is just us,
I think all of creation is humming tonight, when the membrane between heaven and earth is so thin you can almost see through it.

Tonight is the night we measure all time against.

Everything that happened yesterday
is before Christ and everything that happens tomorrow is after
him.
Tonight we are living in the eternal now of God's coming
among us

His name is Emmanuel—the God who is with us—

who is made out of the same stuff we are and who is made out of
the same stuff God is and who will not let either of us go.

That is the main thing we are waiting for tonight—for that
baby's cry.

But that is not the only thing, because most of us are
waiting for more than one thing and they are not all the same.

For instance, I believe someone here is waiting to find out what
is inside that large box propped against the wall by the
Christmas tree.

And someone else is looking forward to waking
up in a house in which all the beds are full once again, with children
and grandchildren who have come home for the holidays.

Or maybe some are looking to celebrating their first Christmas together…

Some of you have a new baby at your house, which means you
are waiting for the first Christmas morning when you wake up
in your own live nativity scene.

Yet there are those who will find this is a hard time of the year.
There is that empty chair to deal with, that stocking that stays
folded in the box.

Christmas is the season when you wait to see if the hurt
has lost its edge, you want it to be gone …you want to be the “you” you used to be, so you can get on with your life….yet on the other hand you don't want it to, because that might mean you have stopped caring.

Meanwhile, the memories rise up to meet you, swamping you with a melancholy so sweet you can almost taste it

Christmas Eve functions like a kind of time machine for us, taking us back to every other Christmas Eve we have spent on this mortal sphere.

For some, it is a reminder of the way life used to be ….
Or never was….

Christmas is the smell of pine and cedar boughs and oranges stuck with cloves, the
taste of roast turkey and peppermint.

Everyone is supposed to go home for Christmas, right?
Only where is that, exactly?
Some of us know and some of us are still trying to find out

the answer is, right here… right now…
This is our home tonight and we are all inside…




Not only is this our home ….This is our Stable in Bethlehem,

Where we have brought all our hopes and fears… of all our years to lay them at the foot of the manger,


For we know what the manger holds…it is the God who is with us

Not the God-Up-There somewhere who answers our prayers by lifting us out of our lives,
but the God who is in the midst of our lives 24/7..

None of heaven’s escalators are going up tonight …everybody up there is coming down tonight, right here,
Right here to our own Bethlehem, bringing us the God who has decided to make his home in our hearts….. may your heart be full this night and every night with his love and peace…Amen

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Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:40 am
by 421sd
:cool Merry Christmas.

Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:12 am
by B.M. Barrelcooker
Thanks Ben

We had all of my in laws over as my wife’s grandmother passed and we hosted the wake.

I read that prayer out loud to them.

Yeah .....I got choked up a couple times.

So thankful.

Peace to all you knuckle heads.

BM

Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:11 am
by chadroc
many blessings to you and yours, ben. thank you for posting this.

Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:12 am
by Randall Dee
Those are some nice photos PB. Thanks for the blessings.

Happy Holidays!
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Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:24 pm
by pbrstreetgang
Man, that is definitely one way to lift a snowman's beer.

This season is always one of highs and lows for me, and this thread always seems to bring it all back to where it belongs.

Cheers

Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:20 pm
by Streamer
Thanks, Pastor Ben. Your photos are sublime. Grace and peace to you and yours. Your sermon is forever in grace.
Yer Pal,
Streamer

Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:30 pm
by RockyMtHigh
Thanks Pastor Ben.

And Merry Christmas to all of you!

Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:43 pm
by Da Ax
Blessings on you, also.

Hope everyone has a wonderful holiday, in their own little way.

Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:35 pm
by V Wake
PB, I had to come in to work today for a few hours, leaving my wife and new-born daughter for the first time. With all of the joy that comes with a new little life is sadness, too, at the thought of her never knowing the people that helped to create her... So, all that to say, your re-posting gave some much-needed hope and clarity. Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and everyone else, whether you're in a van by a blown-out river in the PNW or in Chicago with the in-laws. -Knox

Re: Blessings....

Posted: Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:08 pm
by TX.
....Befuddled?