"Presence" is more important than "presents". Presents catch out attention immediately and brings a surge of happiness for a moment but the presence of a loved one warms our cold hearts, and plants a deep sense of joy. Presents costs money, presence costs time. Presents leave the other alone with their new toys, presence glues the relationship between two people. God gives us presents too … free gifts of grace, but the best gift he gives us daily is his presence, – himself … the God of grace – God with us!
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"Seasons" is a good way to help us "see" different phases of our life journey. I recall a time when as a Christian I could only see myself in either "close to God" or "far away from God" categories. A problem arises when it’s seen as a static way of explaining our spiritual lives. In reality it’s more dynamic. I found it more helpful to ask whether my posture is facing God or moving away from him. But in addition to that, the usage of "seasons" helps us to see different time periods, events, experiences and environments we are in as we "work-out" our salvation. It’s not confined to an either/or good-bad pole. There’s a lot in between.
From a human experience angle, there are periods of intensity, rest, slow moving, moderate pace,and so on. Interspersed with that are highlights of birthdays anniversaries, reunions, and so on. From a Christian year angle, I found it helpful to have the different seasons of advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost which is based on the life seasons of Jesus and the church. Interspersed are days around the Holy Week, Trinity Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, etc. What this tells us that there is much variety in our experiences of God and the environment where our faith is being shaped by the HOly Spirit. BY "Faith" here I’m speaking about the broader use of the word which includes the head (thinking), heart (feeling) and hands (doing) dimensions.
For each season, we will then grow differently, as well as practice different spiritual disciplines to move towards the center where God and his Kingdom is the focus!
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These harmonics vibrated from July 24 -25, 2008